Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A Juhu resident feeds one of 17 peacocks that reside in the area, on Thursday. PIC/Rane Ashish
A helping hand for artistes
The pandemic and the lockdown have led to financial difficulties for a number of artistes and arts-related professionals. Legendary singer and musician Shubha Mudgal has thus set up a campaign called Assistance for Disaster Affected Artistes, through which people can donate money to support affected freelance artistes. The initiative aims at raising `35 lakhs, to provide subsistence to over 100 families across India over the next six months. "Lakhs of freelance artistes who earn their livelihood through performances and regular engagements are uncertain about when and how they will be able to make money again. With meagre resources and savings to support themselves and their dependents, the coming months and a potential recession present a bleak future for them. As independent artistes and individual cultural practitioners, we were concerned and thought that we should gather financial support for those colleagues who may not be in a position to fend for themselves and their families, till we tide over this unprecedented crisis and work begins to flow again," co-campaigner, actor and arts consultant Rahul Vohra from Mudgal's team told this diarist.
Joy of giving
Mumbai-based stand-up comic Nishant Tanwar, like many others in the lockdown, was bored and even took to games like PubG to entertain himself. Having made a mark for himself in the field of comedy, he was looking to buy a house in the city and had saved up for it. He then thought of fellow stand-up comics, especially those who are new in the business and rely on open mics and opening-act gigs for their monthly income. He thus wrote a post on Twitter offering to financially help those who reach out to him, without revealing names. Tanwar has received several responses and said that he has transferred `10,000 to every comic who wrote to him. Talking about the gesture, he told this diarist, "The fact that you are bored at home and don't have to worry about rent and income, is a luxury. This is my way of giving back. After all, I owe comedy everything. I had the funds saved up for a house but I can buy that later."
Gandhi and his philosophy
Filmmaker and co-founder of new media laboratory Memesys, Anand Gandhi, has started a series on YouTube where he discusses philosophical subjects like the hold that story-telling has on the human populace. That was the subject of the only episode aired so far, launched this week. Gandhi told this diarist that the upcoming episodes will be on similar lines. He said, "I was 17 when a philosopher-teacher told me, 'Philosophical questions are those raised by children that scholars fail to answer.' I have spent three decades of my life asking those questions, like, 'Where do I come from and what can I do with my life now that I am here?' Our world is near infinite, and I have been working on creating a near-accurate Atlas for it. That is what I'd like to share with my video series — maps and tools. What do we already know for certain and what are we still far from comprehending?"
Catch a show at NCPA daily
Given the lockdown, The National Centre for the Performing Arts has now announced that it will digitally stream its performances every day till April 9 at 6 pm. These include The Symphony Orchestra of India playing Mozart's Haffner, conducted by Marat Bisengaliev today; The Manganiyar Seduction, an audio-visual spectacle directed by Roysten Abel on Saturday; and a dance performance — In search of the Goddess — by Mallika Sarabhai on Sunday. NCPA chairman KN Suntook told this diarist, "This is a repository of great artistic treasures. Our genre heads and the team have worked hard to put this together. As a cultural organisation, we felt this treasure must be shared in these difficult times in a safe way."
A mixed delivery
Pub chain Social is now home-delivering the mixers of the cocktails available at its outlets. So the next time you are craving its bloody Mary or dope martini, log on to a food aggregator app and order the mixers at `150. The plan is to soon expand the service beyond a 5-km radius of its Carter Road outlet in Bandra. Nilesh Patel, beverage head of the pub chain, said, "We want people to enjoy our classic drinks by making things convenient for them." Cheers to that.
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