Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The gym life
While Mumbai is under lockdown, a man works out at an open gym in Matunga. Pic/Shadab K Khan
Parents, take the online route
In a lockdown, when parents and children are stuck at home dealing with an unexpected situation, a lot of anxiety comes into play. It's what led Chennai-based NGO Nalandaway Foundation to launch Art for Wellbeing - A Parent's Guide.
It's an online platform that helps parents and children alike identify emotions, and work with coping strategies and easy art-based activities that take the load off. Soon after the launch, their website crashed twice in two days due to traffic.
"We are transferring our anxiety to kids. They are intelligent and aware but unable to process these restrictions, and parents lack skills to engage and explain the scenario to them. There are proven methods where art can help with coping and our objective is to provide them with a self-resource, keeping in mind the developmental needs of all age groups. It is a combination of activities to break the boredom and methods to cope with stress," Sriram Iyer, its founder told this diarist, adding that there are five age groups so far and the activities meant for 15-year-olds are suitable for adults too.
Tune in with the community
Social eateries have started a live music series called Social Indoors so that music enthusiasts don't miss out on their dose of groovy tunes. It features the likes of Ankur Tewari, Aditi Ramesh and Tejas Menon, who performed a set online on Sunday.
So far, there are plans to host this every week. "We put a premium on bringing communities together. Given the fact that we are dealing with unusual circumstances currently, we are teaming up with some great names in music for a live music series on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Called #SOCIALIndoors, we will go live every week from Thursday to Sunday at 5 pm. With this series, we intend to resume good old community listening in a fun way," Divya Aggarwal, of Impresario Handmade Restaurants, told this diarist.
So many magazines to read
Magzter, a subscription-based digital newsstand with magazines from around the world has stepped in to offer some respite during these trying times. The popular content provider announced a month's free access to anyone who wants to read on Android and iOS platforms.
"During social distancing, magazines and newspapers are the most reliable sources of information. We felt this was a way to dispense accurate and factual information to everyone. Also, people want to read varied aricles for relaxation. Magazines on the other hand want a platform to put content out. So, this is a win-win for everybody," Gautam Ramdas, co-founder, Magzter, told this diarist.
"It's not just us; Zoom has made video conferencing free as have other ventures. We wanted to do our part," he added.
Singing a santised tune
Mumbai-based singer and composer Omkar Patil has taken note of the rampant usage of hand sanitisers in the light of the pandemic, and their shortage. He uses music as a medium with no words to pay tribute to them in a track titled How to use hand sanitiser for live performance. A bottle of sanitiser here is a stand-in for a mic as Patil hums a tune. It ends with him saying 'Go corona' in a tone that is catchy but serious.
"The line was always in my head and I wanted to produce something that was objective. Tours and shows have been cancelled, and I always have a hand sanitiser in my bag and there is a whole process of sanitising involved in stepping out of home, so this idea made sense. The message is serious but the take a little lighter," he told this diarist.
Music is a source of solace during trying times, and it's fitting that a music streaming platform has come forward to provide support to artistes whose earnings have run dry due to the lockdown across the world.
The firm is reaching out to people to donate money to selected music charities, and they will match each donated dollar till there is a collective amount of $10 million. They have also introduced a feature that allows musicians to raise funds from fans. Log on to https://covid19musicrelief.byspotify.com/en-us.
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