Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

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

All isn’t quiet on the JLF front
Last Saturday, the UK chapter of the Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF) was held at the South Bank in London. It wasn’t smooth sailing for the festival as it faced protests from writers for having the mining company Vedanta as one of its prime sponsors.

William DalrympleWilliam Dalrymple

The writers voiced their criticism stating that the company’s mining operations in Niyamgiri hills of Odisha were unethical and that the company has been convicted elsewhere. The aftershocks of the protests are still being felt on social media with many literary figures coming out with their tweets.

While Tavleen Singh reprimanded the dissenters with support for robust development work done by Vedanta, senior journalist Hartosh Singh Bal called the criticism of the dissenters as hypocrisy. William Dalrymple, one of the key figures of the festival, has shared an article by Ruth Padel titled, Why I chose to attend the Alchemy festival, despite Vedanta’s sponsorship.

Hand in glove

Pic/Atul Kamble

Actress Illeana D’Cruz seems at complete ease amid the flashbulbs at a product launch event in a Lower Parel mall. 

More than child’s play
A new Hindi play, Samatol Express, being performed by the Street Children Foundation and Samatol, will make you think. The plot revolves around the unusual quest of runaway children.

The foundation works closely with organisations like Samatol, who help children from the street. Innumerable children flee their homes for varied reasons like escaping reality or chasing dreams. The organisation rescues, rehabilitates and helps reunite them with their families.

The play is designed to create awareness and education about crimes as well as social responsibilities concerning children who run away from home. Inspired by real-life events, the play will answer questions about street or railway children, various scams and statistics.

Written and directed by Prashant Nigade, the play will feature Maharashtra Rajyanatya Awardee Praful Bankar in the lead role. The inaugural staging will be this evening at the Mysore Association Hall in Matunga.

Sweet musings by Maria Sharapova
Even as her compatriots slug it out on the courts at Roland Garros, former tennis champ Maria Sharapova who failed a drug test earlier this year, seems content with her sweet entrepreneurial forays, for the moment, at least.

She tweeted yesterday: ‘Hi Chicago, can’t believe this is my first visit! Excited about tomorrow’s Sweets Expo debuting @Sugarpova chocolate’. A different kind of sweet victory, no? Pic courtesy/Maria Sharapova’s official Twitter account

MJ mania in Bandra
For millennials who’d like to experience Michael Jackson’s concerts, head to Bandra’s Bonobo tonight. As part of their new monthly property called Back To The Concert, the pub will recreate MJ mania by screening (on two huge screens) some of his iconic gigs, starting with MJ’s Live In Bucharest.

For the uninitiated, the legendary concert was held at the Bucharest National Stadium in 1992 and saw a crowd of 70,000. “There are many bands and artistes from the past that we still listen to and have regretted not having seen live.

We’d like to know which was Jackson’s best concert or what was the vibe like at Woodstock ’69. That’s what we want to do here,” says co-owner Nevil Timbadia. Watch out for Live Aid Charity Concert 1985 and Beatles Live in Shea Stadium in 1965.

Social media gurus are here
Social media is no more the space to just interact in close circles. It is the destination for checking bulletins, keeping tabs on behaviour of kittens and pandas, and of course, now, catching up on popular online shows.

Professor David Craig and Professor Stuart Cunningham
Professor David Craig and Professor Stuart Cunningham

It is the rise of this entertainment space in social media that professor Stuart Cunningham of Queensland University of Technology, a media scholar and professor David Craig of the University of Southern California, who has worked in American television and Hollywood will discuss at the Godrej Culture Lab this weekend.

In the past year, the duo have been mapping the rise of social media entertainment globally and conducted over 100 interviews with executives at most of the major global platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

See it like Stefano
Stefano Tomassetti, calls himself the “photodreamer”. The 38-year-old Italian photographer’s works are currently on display at the Dinodia Photo Gallery, Nariman Point.

Stefano Tomassetti flashes a broad smile at his exhibition. Pic/Sameer MarkandeStefano Tomassetti flashes a broad smile at his exhibition. Pic/Sameer Markande

Called Eyes in Africa, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, USA and Vietnam, it’s a panoramic and insightful visual tour based on glimpses from his travel in these countries.

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