Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

From port to railway station
As this diarist stumbled upon a few notes on Mumbai’s rail history, this particular date, more so because it occurred on January 1, 1915, piqued interest.

It was on this day, when a new Port Trust Railway was established and it ran parallel to the city’s port, docks and natural harbour, and connected Ballard Pier with Wadala.

Ballard Pier became the point of arrival for foreign ships and the railway terminal nearby connected passengers entering the Indian sub-continent by rail via the Victoria Terminus (now CST).

On days when mail steamers docked at the Pier, special trains from the station would leave for and arrive from Delhi, Calcutta and Peshawar like the deluxe Imperial Indian Mail to Calcutta via Allahabad. It was replaced by the Harbour Line services in February 1925.

Bird call this Sankranti
Two city based animal welfare NGOs, Animals Matter To Me (AMTM) and Spreading Awareness on Reptiles and Rehabilitation Programme (SARRP), have come together to do their bit for our feathered friends.

A bird keeps up with a giant bird-shaped kite at Nepean Sea Road. Pic/Bipin Kokate
A bird keeps up with a giant bird-shaped kite at Nepean Sea Road. Pic/Bipin Kokate

As Makar Sankranti and Uttarayan draw close, both NGOs want citizens to alert them about bird injuries that escalate around this time of the year. Readers are encouraged to send in information about injured birds, and save as many as possible, for free. Call: 9821134056

An encounter with Vishnu at the MET
Gaze at five rare wooden sculptural masks made in India that were recently acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. These are currently on display as part of Encountering Vishnu: The Lion Avatar in Indian Temple Drama exhibition that opened at the MET on December 19.

Narasimha, Vishnu’s Man-Lion Avatar, ca. 1700–1750. Southern India, Tamil Nadu, probably Thanjavur district. Wood with cloth and polychrome. Pic courtesy/The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Narasimha, Vishnu’s Man-Lion Avatar, ca. 1700–1750. Southern India, Tamil Nadu, probably Thanjavur district. Wood with cloth and polychrome. Pic courtesy/The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Worn by actors for dramatic plays that were presented during religious festivals in south India, the masks represent a largely unrecorded category of late medieval devotional art from India. Backed by the Miriam and Ira D Wallach Foundation Fund, this exhibition includes displays like the appearances of Vishnu in many avatars, most famously celebrated in his Ten Avatars (Dasavatar).

Along with the masks, the exhibition presents works in bronze, sandstone and wood, as well as miniature paintings, lithographic devotional prints and early photography, all of which illuminate the theme of Vishnu’s divine appearances.

Dating from the 6th to the 20th century, the 30 works have been drawn from the MET’s collection, as well as from private collections, and include an extraordinarily seated sandstone Narasimha from the sixth or seventh century.

Education programmes include a lecture (April 1, 2016) and exhibition tours. Read more about the exhibition on the www.metmuseum.org, or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The exhibition continues till June 5, 2016. Don’t miss this big-ticket draw if you’re going to be in the Big Apple this summer.

Kat Scan

Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Aditya Roy Kapur seems to be paying close attention to Katrina Kaif while director Abhishek Kapoor and actress Tabu pose for the shutterbugs at the trailer launch of their forthcoming film, in Juhu last evening.

For Pathankot’s bravehearts
This is for Mumbaikars who are watching television, and wondering how they can express their support and solidarity for the slain martyrs at Pathankot. The city’s National Sports Club of India (NSCI) at Haji Ali is going to hold a candle light tribute and mourning for those killed in the Pathankot airbase attack.

The tribute, for members and their guests, will be held today, 7 pm onwards, at the East Lawn. So, if you see a scene of sobriety with candle flames flickering this evening, as the sun starts to dip and Haji Ali traffic roaring outside, remember this is a little bit of Mumbai for Pathankot.

A date with Jeeves & Wooster
Love Reginald Jeeves’ wry humour or enjoy reading about the valet’s many attempts to save the day for his idle rich master, Bertie Wooster? Now, watch British author PG Wodehouse’s iconic characters come alive at the NCPA as part of an award-winning theatrical production from London’s West End.

Titled Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, the play will be staged over three days (January 8 to 10), with two shows everyday. It features cast and crew, as well as original sets, props and wardrobe from the UK.

What’s more, the raucous comedy makes its debut in India, post the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first Jeeves and Wooster story. Log on to bookmyshow.com if you haven’t got your ticket yet.

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