Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Shiny, happy Kajol
The actor paints a colourful picture at a shoot for her upcoming film in SoBo on Sunday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
They've got the moves like Jackson
Dancer and actor Shantanu Maheshwari and his crew Desi Hoppers recently competed on NBC's dance reality show World of Dance, judged by Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, Neyo and Jenna Dewan. The boys (Macedon Dmello, Niraj Lama, Rohan Virus and Mohit Antony) were thrilled at the opportunity to rehearse at Centre Stage LA, the same studio where Michael Jackson would rehearse for his live performances. "It was a dream-come-true, surreal experience for the entire crew, and very overwhelming to have got a chance to actually dance it out at the same place as our idol. All of us credit our mentor and the founder of the crew, Palki Malhotra, for supporting us through all those rigorous late nights," says an elated Maheshwari.
Norway's Versova connect? Beach clean-up
After the Versova beach clean-up drive made global headlines, similar word comes all the way from Norway. There is a coastal clean-up week being held in the Scandinavian country. Fifty participants will be scouring beaches there to pick up nasty bits of waste polluting the sea. And their effort can be encapsulated with one local word, "dugnad", which loosely translates to volunteer work done together with other people. Now, 50 people might not sound like a lot at first. But it does when you do a quantitative comparison of Norway's population (roughly 53 lakh) with that of a country like ours.
EDM from a yogi
When it comes to cutting-edge electronic music, there are few places in the world better than France, the land of the mighty Daft Punk. And now, Mumbai will host a practitioner of the genre from the European country later this month. But Stellar OM Source isn't your everyday electronica musician who espouses a party-hard lifestyle. Instead, she is deeply interested in yoga, having spent a length of time in India learning it. Yoga and EDM together? Seems odd, but we like the sound of it.
The disabled take centre stage
A recent evening in Vikhroli saw a disabled comedian giving the challenging issue a light-hearted spin. But Nidhi Goyal (left, in pic) was just one of the attractions at the event, which also featured a panel discussion featuring people doing a stellar job when it comes to raising the concerns of the disabled. They included wheelchair-bound motivational model and model Virali Modi, and athlete Kartiki Patel. There were also fun-filled games and activities such as making Braille pendants. We would like to see more such initiatives to further the conversation around the issue. After all, this is one cause worth fighting for, definitively speaking.
Mumbai loses a Filipino friend
"The Philippines lost one of its tireless advocates of built heritage conservation." Last weekend, this post by ICOMOS, an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the conservation of the world's historic monuments and sites, announced the passing of revered architect Augusto 'Toti' Villalon at the age of 73.
Not only was Villalon one of the torchbearers of the movement in his country, he was also deeply interested in Mumbai's heritage. This diarist met him in 2013 while he was in the city during the early days of the UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination for its Victorian Gothic and Art Deco ensemble. His astute observation of our architectural styles was salute-worthy. "These buildings are not Victorian Gothic but Indian in spirit," he remarked as we walked past a few examples that overlooked Oval Maidan. He was thrilled that Mumbai's heritage was still "lived-in", and felt that the city's biggest challenge was to encourage the youth to warm up to the subject. Villalon, who had visited the city at least six times, had a soft spot for its entrepreneurial fabric. "Your people built this city!" he had said. So, long, Toti.
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