Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Kids take turns at a makeshift tree swing off the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road amid the lockdown on Thursday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Independent, we stand
Ahalya Naidu and Meethil Momaya at Trilogy Library
Indie bookshops from across the country, Literati (Goa), Pagdandi Bookstore (Pune), Rachna Books (Gangtok), Storyteller Bookstore (Kolkata), Trilogy by The Eternal Library (Mumbai) and The Dogears Bookshop (Goa) have come together to establish the Independent Bookshops Association of India (IBAI). The objective is to bridge the gap between independent bookstores and stakeholders including the publishing industry, readers and state and central governments. "At the beginning of the year, a few of us got together. Often, we look at independent bookshops in isolation. We have always been in touch with each other. 'Let's make it a formal set-up,' we thought. It's a difficult situation, and being together helps. The purpose is to represent ourselves as a collective; an alternative home for books," Ahalya Naidu-Momaya of Bandra's Trilogy told this diarist. Visit indiebookshops.in to become a member.
Pic/bonobo on Instagram
There was some delicious banter between the social media handles of popular city eateries like Bonobo and Social recently. It started when Raasta poked harmless fun at The Daily Bar and Kitchen, sending commiserations since it wasn't in the list of "daily" essentials. This led to a chain of comments with the eateries punning on each other's names. "The intent was to have some fun with fellow restaurateurs while waiting for a bail-out plan," Joy Singh, co-partner at Raasta and Yeti-The Himalayan Kitchen said. We like.
Walking the funny talk
There couldn't be a better time to learn the art of making people laugh. Comedian Aditi Mittal recently announced on her social media handle that anyone looking to foray into the world of writing and talking funny can sign up for her Zoom classes. A couple of batches are already full, and the slots for June 6 and 7 are filling fast, she told this diarist. "I frequently get messages asking me, 'How do I become a comedian?' So, back in 2015, I started these workshops and the response has been overwhelming. Seven or eight of the participants are now working comics. In this day, the value of ha-ha has really gone up and people want to understand what goes into the craft. At the end of the workshops this time, we'll do an open mic once the lockdown ends," she said, adding that participants will be guided on what goes into coming up with jokes and keeping the audience hooked. Half of the proceeds from the classes will go towards COVID-19 relief work and those interested can drop her a message on her social media handles.
Roast for relief
While there are several creative ways in which people are raising funds for COVID relief, comedian Danish Sait is letting himself get roasted. Conceptualised by Vamsidhar Bhogaraju, it features fellow comedians Aravind SA, Sumukhi Suresh, Sanjay Manaktala, Darius Sunawala, Satish Perumal, Sundeep Rao, and Sait's sister actor Kubbra Sait.
"For a good cause, I am happy to get roasted by anybody and everybody as long as we raise enough money," Sait told this diarist adding that he initiated the thought, while bringing the line-up together was a joint effort with Bhogaraju.
Calendar with a difference
A page from the calendar to be launched
The Color Positive Fashion Pageant held in January this year, crowned six winners from the LGBTQi+ community in different categories. Now, a calendar conceptualised by Bollywood stylist Jafer Ali Munshi, photographer Nirali Madhusushan Shah and Color Positive's Savio Mascarenhas featuring the winners, will be launched online on Sunday.
The calendar (from June 2020 to May 2021) will aptly begin with the pride month. "Jafer, Nirali and I, with my team, have worked really hard to make this big for the winners. We groomed the contestants for six weeks before the show and managed the entire event. It's wonderful to see that we have given them a new platform and are able to manage a launch in such times," Mascarenhas told this diarist.
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