Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

Updated: May 22, 2020, 07:34 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Residents of a Borivali high-rise while time away on the terrace on Thursday. Pic/ Nimesh Dave
Residents of a Borivali high-rise while time away on the terrace on Thursday. Pic/ Nimesh Dave

What's up?

Residents of a Borivali high-rise while time away on the terrace on Thursday. Pic/ Nimesh Dave

Archive for change

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Pink List India, India's first archive of politicians supporting LGBTQIA+ rights, helmed by city-based Anish Gawande and Smriti Deora, will launch their biggest project till date this Saturday. Titled State of the QUnion, it will be the country's largest archive of queer politics, tracking statements on LGBTQIA+ issues by 151 MPs across party lines and regions. What's interesting is the fact that it will be presented as an interactive digital map. "It has been a fulfilling experience because I know that it will provide that small glimmer of hope that a young queer kid needs to dream of a future in politics, and dream big," Gawande told this diarist.

Sister city collaboration

SCO members and MMMF’s The Singing Tree Choir in the video
SCO members and MMMF's The Singing Tree Choir in the video

Musicians from Mumbai and its sister city in Germany, Stuttgart, have come together to perform AR Rahman's Jai Ho virtually in an engaging video. It features Mehli Mehta Music Foundation's (MMMF) String Ensemble and The Singing Tree choir along with members of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (SCO), one of the world's finest chamber orchestras.

SCO members and MMMF’s The Singing Tree Choir in the video
SCO members and MMMF's The Singing Tree Choir in the video

Salome Rebello, conductor of the choir, told this diarist that the collaboration came about organically as the SCO had visited the city last year, partnered with the MMMF and had performed the piece. While Rebello laid down a beat track to ensure timing was in sync, the singers put on their earphones to listen to her sing and simultaneously video-record themselves.

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"The idea was conceived in early April. The song had a good message for the times. It's about overcoming challenges, too. It got the children excited, and raised their spirits," she added. 

Justin thanks Indian Beliebers

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A still from the video

India's Justin Bieber fans aka Beliebers have a cause to celebrate as the singer retweeted a video featuring them to the tune of Stuck With U, by Ariana Grande and him. Bieber quoted the tweet saying, "Thank you India". But we got to know that this wasn't just a mere retweet.

picAnshu Sahu

The Indian Beliebers Community (IBC) loved the original music video and approached Anshu Sahu, a Delhi-based student who has been making Bieber-centric videos for six years, to make his own version. He then asked people to share clips of them being themselves during the lockdown and received 75 entries.

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After working on it for five days, his efforts were realised when celebrity videographer Rory Kramer noticed it. "Kramer has always appreciated my work by leaving comments. But this was the first time he messaged me. He said that he sent the video to Bieber, who loved it and would repost. My phone has been blowing up ever since," said an elated Sahu. 

A portrait of Mumbai in seconds

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It isn't possible to get a glimpse of your favourite corners of the city right now. But technology can help you experience it. That's what prompted city-based The Fatsmeagol Collective, which delves into marketing and digital video production, to make a crowd-sourced hyperlapse video featuring 714 images from Google Maps, WikiCommons, Stock Image websites and Instagram. The video inspired by creative professional Sam Morrison, is made by Vishal Manjrekar, Rayyan Shaikh and Merolin Dsouza. "The objective was to create a beautiful tribute to the city. We hope to make one more on Mumbai, and one on Delhi soon," Shaikh said. 

Distant challenge

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Asma Khan, the owner and head chef of London's famed Darjeeling Express, and her team have not seen each other since the lockdown. They met to cook for two hospitals there as Khan has always donated free Iftar since she began her food business. The cheery team then took the viral Siren Beat challenge. About it, Khan told this diarist, "It was a hard, long day. After the vans left with the food, we wanted to hug each other but could not. So one member suggested the video, as a way to capture all of us together."

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