Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
While the rest of Mumbai's fitness enthusiasts wonder how to survive the closure of gyms as precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, Shahid Kapoor manages to squeeze in an exclusive session at his Bandra gym on Sunday. Wonder if the lockdown is only for plebs? Pic/Shadab Khan
No laughing matter, this
Laughter is the best medicine. Well, not when it comes to stand-up comedy shows in the time of coronavirus. For Biswa Kalyan Rath and Papa CJ (in pic), both have had tours cancelled in the wake of the pandemic. Rath, who was to tour UK and Europe, will no longer be flying out.
"I have cancelled my shows for the safety of people," he told this diarist. Meanwhile, Papa CJ, who also had an event at Soho House yesterday which was cancelled, said, "Every single corporate, private and public event of mine has got cancelled or indefinitely postponed. Comedy events, book events, motivational speaking events and corporate training events.
I did think of alternative activities towards which I could direct my creative energies however sadly all my Tinder dates are also social distancing. Spare a thought for small organisations whose revenues have gotten hit badly. And I can't even imagine how hard it must be for parents to engage young children, 24/7".
Safe sushi, now on your plate
With everyone doing their bit in these times, chef- restauranteur Seefah Ketchaiyo, has decided to give sushi a safe twist at her Bandra West eatery, Seefah. "We have stopped serving raw fish to our customers. Yes, we know that eating seafood or meat doesn't cause Covid-19, but our concern is raw seafood for sushi and sashimi. This is just a precautionary step we have taken," chef Seefah told this diarist.
And so, they have introduced cooked sushi which includes salmon tempura, pan seared crunchy tuna and chicken katsu (crumb fried chicken) roll. Apart from these, the rest of their regular à la carte menu is available. "The taste will be different from regular sushi as the items are fried and grilled. This preparation also includes homemade sauces unlike regular sushi, which is served with just wasabi and soy sauce," she added.
Vir Das tries 30 new things
Much like other artistes in the city with cancelled shows and travel plans, comedian and actor Vir Das has had freed up time too. He has however, decided to put it to good use. For the next 30 days, as his social media handles state, Das will try 30 new hobbies and post video blogs (vlogs) about his experience. Called Vir In The Time Of Corona Virus, the first such video went live last Friday as Das tried his hand at the game PubG.
In the second, he tries playing Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. Both the videos are witty with Das's brand of humour and you can tell he has had no experience with the games before. Talking about this novel idea, Das said, "Coronavirus cancelled all our plans for a month. People still need to laugh. I'm going to spend that month trying something crazy each day and putting Vlogs out there. Best case, we all laugh together. Worst case, I learn some new shit".
Big indie win
After a record three shortlists, independent children's publishing house Karadi Tales recently won the Audiobook Publisher of the Year award at the The London Book Fair - International Excellence Awards 2020.
Shoba Viswanath, co-founder and publishing director told this diarist, "We are over the moon. It feels like a gift from the rest of the world. We do our work because we are passionate about bringing these books out".
Spinning tales on Instagram
The Mumbai Storytellers Society will connect storytellers from across the world on Instagram Live, in the run up to World Storytelling Day on March 20. Starting today, all the way to March 19, you can join storytellers Usifu Jalloh from Sierra Leone, Seung Ah Kim from Korea, and Anubha and Janaki Sabesh from India on the society's Instagram handle — mumbai.storytellers.society.
"The theme this time is voyages. Each day, one of the members will go live with the guest speaker. They will tell us how they're using storytelling in their culture and then, both the host and guest will share their stories," co-founder Shreedevi Sunil told this diarist.
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