Ladies first

Updated: Sep 20, 2019, 08:56 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

In its third edition, the Bombaywaali summit partners with mid-day, to see women who have built the city engage in meaningful gupshup

Shaili Chopra and Kiran Manral. Pic/ Rane Ashish
Shaili Chopra and Kiran Manral. Pic/ Rane Ashish

The socio-cultural fabric of Mumbai has often been spoken about as if it were a blanket. Regardless of which city you come from, you could make it yours and slip under it to feel comfortable. The genesis of the Bombaywaali Summit by SheThePeople that will take place tomorrow in Andheri can be traced to the warmth this city offers. It's not just an event that celebrates the women who have built Mumbai in various ways, but also the spirit of the city itself.

Founder of SheThePeople — India's first women's channel inspired by real stories — Shaili Chopra shifted base to Mumbai from Delhi in 2007. "The city embraced me. It was such a big deal because you come to a city and you become its own. And I've moved 17 schools in 12 classes but I've never felt this kind of energy or a connection with any other place, primarily because I'm a woman," she recalls.

Kalki KoechlinKalki Koechlin

Kiran Manral, ideas editor of the channel, was born here. She expands on how this is a liberating city for women — you can have wide roads and cleanliness elsewhere, but have to think twice about walking down the road in the middle of the night. "Mumbai doesn't judge you. Here, it is about who you are and not about 'Tera baap kaun hai?' You've seen it in Bollywood, where you do have a bit of nepotism, but you also have actors like Shah Rukh Khan who have made it on their own," she elaborates.

Mridul Sandhya
Mridul Sandhya

The event began as a salon concept but gradually turned into an annual summit. In its third edition, it partners with mid-day to feature three panels — Digital Bombaywaalis: The Movers and Shakers of the Influencer Space; Bombaywaalis of Our Screens and Bombaywaalis of Culture. Chopra will be moderating the first one, followed by actor Shruti Seth and Rolling Stone India's executive editor Nirmika Singh. The speakers include fashion blogger Aanam Chasmawala, mid-day executive editor Tinaz Nooshian, actor Sandhya Mridul and singers Shalmali Kholgade and Harshdeep Kaur. To end the evening, Kalki Koechlin will be in conversation with writer Sukanya Venkatraghavan on how a performing artiste from Pondicherry navigated the city.

Shruti Seth
Shruti Seth

Manral hopes that by listening to the panelists, attendees will gain some direction towards their own lives. Chopra adds, "It has to trigger some thinking. Cities are made of people and they are the ones who will keep it going. Mumbai has enough problems around infrastructure, pollution challenges, as well as issues of trying to find jobs. Sometimes, coming together and talking about them gives you not just a sense of shared problems, but also the hope of shared solutions."

On September 21, 4 pm to 7 pm
At Fun Republic Social, Fun Republic Mall, 3rd floor, opposite New Link Road, Andheri West.
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