Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Where there is a wheel, there is a way
A bunch of bikers hit the road on the Western Express Highway at Goregaon East, despite the lockdown on Thursday. Pic/Rane Ashish
Salaam to you
One of the most crucial things that need to be done right now is ensure that those who provide essential goods reach those who most need them. City-based NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation recognised that, and spoke to additional municipal commissioner Jayashree Bhoj to come up with a solution. Subsequently, it joined hands with Zomato, and they are launching a mobile application today that makes the distribution of essential goods to needy people a seamless process. "It's a closed app that's available only to NGOs and corporations that are making a larger effort. The whole idea is to build more transparency," Padmini Somani, founder of the NGO, told this diarist.
The overriding sentiment says that the lockdown feels like being behind bars, but people would rather be behind a bar of a different kind. That explains why drinks like the quarantini have become famous during this time. While quarantini can be your alcohol-infused go-to, there is also a whipped coffee drink called dalgona that is being touted heavily on the all-knowing and wise WhatsApp, all-seeing Instagram and it's everywhere on YouTube as well. Social media has a recipe of how to make a cup of dalgona. It has a swirl of coffee over chilled milk. An Internet search tells us that the drink was made popular by a South Korean actor who visited Macau where he was served the drink, but later presented it on a TV show. It was South Koreans who gave us Gangnam style and popularised dalgona, the frothy, milky beverage that has come into its own in these times.
Like they say, lockdowns can make you do some Seoul searching.
Eatery makes a song and dance
The restaurant business is badly hit during the lockdown, having had to shut down operations outside of deliveries. But Aneka Goel (in pic), the 16-year-old daughter of Neeti Goel — owner of three central Mumbai eateries — has ensured that the show goes on in the virtual world, at least when it comes to the live music that was available at one of her mother's outlets. She organised a Google Hangouts session with patrons, where they dressed up at home, made themselves food and drinks, and plugged in to Anup Pandey's tunes. "People were singing and dancing, and the whole idea was to bring some entertainment into people's lives when many are bored at home," said Aneka, who has also started a campaign to feed the needy.
Look on the bright side of life
Comedian Vir Das has come up with a hilarious sketch called Brighter Side of the Lockdown, where, among other things, he jokes about how the Coronavirus has given doctors the unprecedented opportunity of saying, "I don't know." Das told this diarist, "If you look at news comedy shows, nothing was unapologetically optimistic, and I found a vacancy there."
Outside of people in the medical profession, civic workers, chemists and people delivering essential services, the police are another group fighting the current battle from the frontlines. Mumbai Police turns things on the head in a new video, since it asks male and female police personnel what they would do if they could have stayed at home like others during the lockdown. Most of them said they would spend quality time with their families, which they don't otherwise get to do. And one of them said that she would read, watch movies, and "full enjoy".
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