Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Agree to Disagree
Zoya Akhtar and Kiran Rao seem to have plenty to debate over while a guest listens in at an event held at a Juhu five-star on Sunday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Art plays it's part for Kashmir
What is the purpose of art? If it is to make the world a better place, then Kashmir is one region where it's desperately needed. And that's where the Urdu rock band Alif steps in. The Pune-based outfit's lead Kashmiri singer, Mohammad Muneem who was a poet to begin with, sources his material from the strife that is a permanent feature of his home state. Later, he discovered the musician inside him and went on to form Alif. Their lyrical material is a direct reflection of the situation in the conflict-ridden area, and they released a new single on Saturday, called Kya karie korimol. "It's a satire on the things that a Kashmiri girl's father is compelled to do when he is marrying her off," Muneem told this diarist. It's available online, so log on for a light-hearted look at a situation that's anything but funny.
Mixing it up
A new property, aimed at identifying the city's best mixologists, saw 10 finalists in the last leg of the competition, held on October 25, where bartenders from the city's finest restaurants battled it out. And it was Adama Balsamo, the young Italian mixologist helming the bar at CinCin, who ultimately won Beluga Cocktail Masters India 2018. Speaking about the win Balsamo told this diarist, "I have learnt more from losing than winning. It teaches me to keep going. Winning in India makes it all the more special because the special ingredient that helped with the win was coconut."
Many books have been written about Mumbai, across the realm of fiction and non-fiction. But this Saturday, the release of Bombay Vignettes - a book compiling the writings of late city historian JRB Jeejeebhoy - offers a multifaceted look into the city's history through printed and manuscript sources. It touches upon the issues of rash driving, contemplates the importance of communities with subjects including writer Rudyard Kipling, and lawyer and activist Sir Pherozshah Mehta.
Ten years, and counting
In 2008, the Gaysi Family was started as a blog to provide a voice and safe space to the LGBTQ community from the South Asian subcontinent. At a time when the general attitude towards the queer community was shrouded in misconception, the personal opinions, coming-out stories, poems, erotic fiction, and book and movie reviews published on the forum helped create a positive dialogue. As Gaysi celebrates its 10th anniversary in November, the platform is full of intriguing artworks that are now counted among its highlights. This one by Osheen Siva, is accompanied by a poignant verse that speaks of the landmark Supreme Court verdict on Section 377: "Empowerment is more a journey than a destination/ Empowerment is when a story finds its home/ Empowerment is acceptance through those stories/ Empowerment is a win in the court/ Empowerment is newer, tougher fights/ Empowerment is strength to continue."
(From left) Shama Dalal, Ketaki Sathe and Anupama Kapoor
Inclusivity,ads and the market
Recently, city-based architect Robin Chhabra hosted a panel discussion at his newly opened co-working space in Bandra in a bid to bring to light a women-centric approach to branding and marketing strategies shorn of stereotypes. The panel consisted of marketing gurus Rutu Mody and Shama Dalal, gender diversity professional Anupama Kapoor, and marathoner Ketaki Sathe.
But those who attended vouch that the high point of the event was when marketing and advertising professional Suraja Kishore said, "As a father of a 15-year-old daughter, I have to often tremind her that the Bandra she's being raised in is not India. Women play so many roles and have several avatars in the subcontinent. The more we abstain from stereotyping them through ads, the more successful we will be in not only creating the right culture for our brands but also fulfilling our responsibilities as influencers."
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