Young cricketers practice their moves at Shivaji Park.
The museum's exterior. Pic Courtesy/Wikimedia Commons
Much of the city's past and evolution is held in its archives. This diarist learned that the city's oldest museum, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum in Byculla, recently got a new look for its official website. Commenting on the revamped avatar, museum director Tasneem Zakaria Mehta (inset), said, "Our website reflects a dynamic, contemporary aesthetic.
The museum website is highly acclaimed internationally, and the previous design version was even selected by Apple to be featured on their worldwide product launch of the new iPad and iPhone in 2016. We have made it more engaging, user-friendly and easy to access, and hope our online audiences will love the new avatar." She added that they are working on building an online archive of the museum's vast collections which will be helpful for research and study purposes.
These screens protect the building from solar radiation and offer privacy
We recently learnt that the stunning Ismaili Jamatkhana and Community Centre is a nominee for the prestigious ArchDaily 2022 Building of the Year Awards (Religious Architecture Category). Located in Oshiwara, the structure has been designed by city-based architectural firm, NUDES. "The Jamatkhana and Community Centre design explores the relationship between light, Islamic geometrical patterns, and built form to create an experiential space," its founder, Nuru Karim, told this diarist.
He explained that Islamic geometrical patterns are analysed to develop arrays of multi-sided polygons, thereby creating "Mashrabiya," that stems from "Ashrab," meaning "to drink." Earlier defined as a space to drink water, the term later evolved as a space to cool water stored in earthen pots. "The role of the Mashrabiya gradually evolved into ventilating and cooling larger structures. Its role is two-fold; to serve as a veil for privacy and combat the harsh solar radiation in the region," he added, elaborating that the design comprises three programmatic components - religious, social, and educational.
The main building houses the prayer hall facing the West and is oriented towards the sacred Kabba in Mecca. The social hall on the ground floor spills over onto the landscaped greens. The project is wrapped in intricate Islamic geometric patterns. The design also advocates sustainability and hosts solar panels on the rooftop.
Scenes from the ongoing project. Pic Courtesy/Aravani Art Project
With the city opening up again, Mumbaikars can look forward to a fresh burst of colour at Love Grove in Worli. Aravani Art Project, which gave this stretch a vibrant makeover in 2021 with a mural depicting a series of portraits of people who frequent the area, have been painting up a storm on the pillars of the overarching flyover.
"People loved our mural so much that we decided to extend the same theme to the pillars as well. As always, our art will be bright, colourful and reminiscent of the spirit of the area," explained art director, Sadhna Prasad. The project is particularly meaningful since the collective represents solely women and transwomen. Their art is scheduled for completion in another fortnight. In the meanwhile, you can track their progress on Instagram at @aravaniartproject.
In 2019, storyteller Lopamudra Mohanty decided to use her art to conserve native Indian languages by encouraging more people to learn and speak them. "Many regional stories that don't get the space they deserve because of the lack of a medium. We started with physical storytelling circles, which moved online during the pandemic. We've now started a special project titled Young Indian Language Crusader for children," she explained. It aims to teach children between seven and 14 years to research and present stories in their parents' languages. "They also learn other life and storytelling skills," she added. The project will culminate on International Mother Language Day on February 21. Log on to Instagram at @lopamudrathestoryteller for more.