Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
How time wheels by
It's been a while since we have got used to not seeing Sachin Tendulkar in his cricketing whites, but we must say that he looks especially dapper at the launch of a luxury car in BKC on Thursday. Pic/Atul Kamble
The road to safety
Mumbai Police has a highly active Twitter handle with an admin who's often witty, coming up with clever puns to promote road safety. Hundreds of people write to the account on a daily basis with complaints and queries, and most of these are responded to in a timely manner. But recently a celebrity wrote to the account to air a grievance, and pose a pertinent question. Photographer and director Atul Kasbekar pointed out how incidents of people driving on the wrong side of the road has now reached pandemic proportions.
And he asked that if a motorist has an accident with someone driving on the wrong side, will the former be held responsible? The post generated a flurry of responses, with Mumbaikars — including actor Eijaz Khan — sharing that they, too, feel the same. The good news is that Kasbekar got a call from the cops immediately after, with an assurance that senior officers will hold consultations on the issue. We have our fingers crossed.
Although good handwriting and calligraphy skills may make your teacher happy, Mumbai-based calligrapher Shipra Malhotra discovered that it can't get you a PhD. "I went to the University of Mumbai to check if there was such a course available, and there wasn't," she told this diarist.
However, at the recently concluded National Education Summit, Malhotra — who heads Calligraphy Made Easy, a team comprising 30 people — won an award for Excellent Calligraphy Teaching in Maharashtra.
Shipra Malhotra receives the award
"But there wasn't even a category before this edition. The jury suggested I make this a pan-India movement, but there needs to be more awareness on this front — especially because I have been teaching this as a graded subject in schools all over the city, including leading institutions and municipality schools," Malhotra says. We hope that this honour will bring more recognition to the art form.
A web of support
Not only has the world of online dating apps made the process of potentially finding "the one" easier, but a recent study by a popular dating app also shows that 70 per cent of Indians believe there is less stigma associated with the LGBT community than there was five years ago.
Not only that, 44 per cent of users also say that online dating and apps make it easier for members of the community to be themselves and even express themselves more freely. This is due to the fact that 61 per cent of Indians have identified as LGBTQIA+ on an online platform or closed group prior to formally coming out to friends or family, thus finding an online support group to encourage them through the process.
The right track
With politics being the flavour of the season, the debate on critical issues gets eclipsed by statements made by leaders. Keeping the focus on what deserves to be discussed are two initiatives by Amnesty International India.
While Troll Patrol India involves digital volunteers to expose the abuse that silences women on social media, the Abki Baar, Manav Adhikaar campaign is a dictionary tailor-made for India, which includes entries like D for Dalit rights and J for journalistic freedom.
An artsy affair in the sunshine state
'Tis the season of curatorial announce-ments. Last week, we learnt that artist Shubigi Rao is curator of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020, and now, we have the list of curators for the upcoming edition of Serendipity Arts Festival, to be held in Panaji, Goa, in December. While the theatre vertical of the fest will be helmed by Atul Kumar and Arundhati Nag, the visual arts will be curated by Dr Jyotindra Jain and Sudarshan Shetty.
Atul Kumar and Rahul Akerkar
While last year, it was chef Rahul Akerkar and Odette Mascarenhas who were in-charge of culinary arts, this time, Akerkar will be joined Prahlad Sukhtankar. St+Art India Foundation, which is behind the murals you see at Churchgate station and the Sassoon Docks, will also be curating special projects at the festival. Conceived as a platform creating tangible change across the country's cultural landscape, we aim to make the arts inclusive, educational and accessible," Sunil Kant Munjal, founder, Serendipity Arts Foundation, said.
RJ Salil and Archana Get Brownie Points!