Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

Nov 13, 2017, 09:52 IST | Team mid-day

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

Pic/Ashish Raje
Pic/Ashish Raje

There's a lot in a name
Actor Raveena Tandon puts attention to detail during a panel discussion at the launch of a clinic for adolescents, at a Colaba five-star yesterday.

From Russia, with love
Russian Film Days, a festival showcasing Russian cinema, is back in India for its third edition. While the travelling festival arrives in the city today, the inaugural ceremony was held in Delhi over the weekend.

And who better to flag it off than the head of the Indo-Russian Friendship Committee? For those who may not know, the post is held by Hema Malini, who has been a much-loved figure in Russia.

The event was also attended by actor Randhir Kapoor, known for his regular presence at Indo-Russian cultural events, and Kseniya Ryabinkina (in blue in pic), who played the trapeze artiste in Mera Naam Joker. No doubt then that the evening was as much about creative exchange as about nostalgia.

Past forward at city museum
The seafood fare at Trishna in Kala Ghoda is famous for being a conversation-starter. Three years ago, one such meal set the wheels rolling for one of the most ambitious projects attempted by a museum in the country.

The limestone, dated AD 90, with Roman inscriptions
The limestone, dated AD 90, with Roman inscriptions

"I remember the discussion started at Trishna over Bombay duck with Neil [MacGregor, former director of The British Museum]," recalled Sabyasachi Mukherjee, director general, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), at a press conference held last week to throw open the India and the World, the museum's latest presentation.

Curated in collaboration between National Museum, New Delhi and The British Museum, the exhibition presents the monumental timeline of India and its presence in the international milieu using nine stories and 228 objects. While the objects might be several millennia old, their resonance in the current cultural and political scenario is clear. One such object is a limestone Roman imperial inscription (AD 90).

These inscriptions were especially used to commemorate buildings, with the name of the emperor responsible for it inscribed in stone. The name on this object had been erased by the successors, which mirrors the constant fight between political parties today to grab credit for development. History does repeat itself, no?

Not that funny
There seems to be an avalanche of western celebrities who have been accused of sexual misconduct recently. Louis CK, a top-rated comedian, is the latest addition to that list. He has, by his own admission, been more than a bit too forward with a clutch of women.

But an Indian stand-up comic, Abhishek Upmanyu (in pic), has now extended that crime to his fraternity as well, with a tweet that says, "There are a lot of Louis CKs in the Indian stand-up comedy scene also. The only difference is, Louis CK is funny." Upmanyu's allegation is ambiguous and unsubstantiated, but we nonetheless thought that we are just going to leave it out there.

Keeping it positive
The latest edition of public art collective St+art India's annual festival has taken life in Sassoon Docks, where artists have put up installations and vibrant murals to revive interest in the neighbourhood.

Of all the works of art, this diarist spotted a striking mural by street artists Do and Khatra (whose real names are Nikunj Prajapati and Siddharth Gohil), which involved graffiti made using symbols and positive words in different languages. This was all tied together with a painting of two hands forming a heart.

This mural, we found out, is part of Instagram's #KindComments movement, which encourages users to think more about how they can make the platform a positive space for everyone.

Tanuja Babre, programme coordinator at iCALL Psychosocial Helpline, TISS, who was at the unveiling, said, "With technology and social media playing a larger role in how we communicate, initiatives like these contribute to fostering positive self-esteem and compassion in emerging adults, which is crucial for a positive self-construct."

Adopting an idea
The best kind of social media trends are those that start a pertinent conversation. One such initiative began late last week, to celebrate World Adoption Day.

It involved people from across the world drawing a smiley on their hand and taking a photograph of that picture. Celebrities like Mandy Moore joined in as well, with a tweet that was a paean to her adopted son in a TV show (although, in her case, it seemed more like a plug for the show than genuine intent).

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