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Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Goan, get crazy about books
Our neighbouring state is getting famous for more than sea, sand and scandal. What with half of India’s culturati already living there, it is not surprising that Goa has its own literary festival the Goa Arts and Literary Festival, organised by the International Centre Goa. Its fifth edition will be held in December this year.

As if one festival were not enough for a tiny little state, here comes another the Goa Writers and Readers Festival, which will apparently kick off the official tourism season this weekend.

The festival is to be held at the Kala Academy in Panaji from October 4 to 6, and features a range of authors including Thomas Keneally, Pundalik Naik, Louis de Bernieres, Sidharth Bhatia, Pamela Timms and Meena Kandasamy, as well as many others. Given that people are already heading to nearby destinations for the long weekend, this is one more reason to go south. Books, beaches and bumming around can it get better?

Music in the air - indoors and out
Where there’s noise, there’s scope for music too. And what better place can one be than in Mumbai to experience this phenomenon. Seldom do we come across a place here that justifies the word ‘serene’. No wonder we don’t get to her a horde of sparrows chirping together anymore.

In air-conditioned splendour
In air-conditioned splendour

But music pertaining to human influence has a slightly different angle. On one hand, we have religious practices that produce music whether everybody appreciates it or not while on another hand, Bollywood songs are constantly blaring out of loudspeakers. The less said about the former the better. About the latter, we can only wonder what really happens to non-filmi music. Where exactly are they heard?

At the mercy of the elements
At the mercy of the elements

We stumbled upon two classical musicians performing in a suburban hotel and later we came across two disabled musicians performing on railway platform. The similarity between the two sets of performers is both were dispensing music irrespective of where they were stationed amid the noise.

Sale for a cause
When Diwali rolls round, it’s time for spring-cleaning. And that means a bunch of old stuff that you need to discard, to make way for new. Often, we end up selling such things to the junk dealer, or just throwing them away. This year, here’s what you can do with unwanted stuff donate it to the Good Karma Sale.

This is a garage sale for a good cause, which will offer upcycled products and curated pre-owned jewellery, accessories, bags/purses, hats, books, art, home decor and knick-knacks at literally throw-away prices.

Proceeds from the sale will go to Manorama Pathshala, a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to providing underprivileged children with supplementary education, using an integrated learning approach to teach various subjects like Maths, English, and Art to students between 4 and 12 years. Make sure the products you donate are in good condition, and hop on over to the sale yourself — you may pick up just the thing you want at a really low price.

When: Saturday, 11 October, 11.30am-7pm. Donate till October 4.
Where: Bombay Connect, 26 John Baptist Road, Mount Mary Steps, Bandra (West)
To donate, contact the organisers at Twitter: @GoodKarmaSale and email: goodkarmasale@gmail.com

Let’s be honest about it
Gandhi Films Foundation is rolling out a nationwide initiative called ‘Values’ on October 1, at the Convocation Hall, University of Mumbai, Fort, Mumbai. This goes on right till the end of January 2015.

The initiative will be unveiled against a backdrop of an event where 300 students from different schools across Mumbai, Thane district and Navi Mumbai would participate and paint pictures on the topic of ‘Honesty & Simplicity’.

This is just the beginning. Organisers state that remembering Gandhian values will then take on different manifestations in various schools and colleges through the medium of painting, elocution, debate and discussion. It is not surprising though quite amusing to see the surge in ‘Gandhian’ activity, every time October 2 comes around.

While remembering Gandhi is all very well, one hopes that it is a year-round, lifelong commitment, rather than just an October 2 moment. If this initiative can sustain the momentum till next year, it will be good going. In a similar vein, we hear about clean-up initiatives from residents of various localities.

One such is a group of senior citizens from Powai, who say they have received good response to their drive . To groups imbued with this zeal we say do it every day, not just in October!

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