Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Bach ke rehna re baba
A parked car and a signboard come together for an ironic message as a motorist drives down Lokhandwala in Andheri during the lockdown. Pic/Rane Ashish
Turn the tide
The present pandemic might be one of the biggest concerns facing the world right now, but there are other issues that remain crucial to ensuring a better future. One of these is minimising plastic waste. That's why the United Nations Environment Program has started an initiative called #TideTurnerPlasticChallenge, which is being implemented by WWF India, Million Sparks Foundation and Centre for Environment Education.
WWF India volunteers clean plastic from a street before the lockdown
"The idea is to have young minds as change-makers since they can take the mantle forward. The challenge is divided into three stages — reading and learning about the issue, implementing behavioural changes, and bringing about actual societal change," Vaibhavi Shitut Amle of WWF India said.
The country is facing a shortage of masks during the pandemic and city-based design studio Nudes, run by Nuru Karim, has now stepped in to lend a helping hand.
The firm has been working in coordination with the University Of Southern California (USC) to create 3D-printed masks and face shields, which are certified by USC's Keck Medical College. Karim (in pic, below) told this diarist that the masks are meant only for health workers at the frontline, and not for the general public.
"It's impossible for a single office to realise this project, and that's why we are trying to unite the entire 3D-printing community. It takes about four hours to print one mask, and a shield takes an hour. But if you use the laser-cutting technique, it takes only 15 minutes," he said, adding that these masks can be sanitised and reused unlike disposable ones.
Laugh despite the lockdown
This might be a depressing time for most people, but the country's comedy community has joined hands to spread some humour at this challenging hour. Around 85 stand-up artistes have come together for an initiative called Stay Home for India, which comedian Kaneez Surka kick-started. They streamed live sets on YouTube over the weekend to raise money for two charities, Give India and covid19.org.
Punya Arora, one of the participants, said, "I haven't heard of [a comedy event] on this scale before, and it's nice to see everyone getting involved because no one is being forced here. It's totally up to each individual. Comedy for a cause is always a great initiative, and humour plays an important role at a time like this, when everyone is stressed and anxious. Even though a lot of us are privileged, people's mental health is getting affected nonetheless, especially because the news isn't great right now, considering how we have never dealt with something like this before. And even though laughter is momentary, that release is important to us as human beings."
Raising a toast
Sanjeev Kapoor is one of the country's first celebrity chefs, and has mentored many of the younger generation of notable culinary experts. No wonder then that they wished him en masse when Kapoor celebrated his birthday over the weekend. Of them, Saransh Goila's association with Kapoor goes back all the way to 1991.
"He is my mentor, guru, idol and the person who taught the entire country about regional food, which is currently trending, way back in the '90s," Goila said.
A book a day keeps loneliness away
Books can be a man's best friend, and more so at this hour when all of us are isolated in our homes. With this in mind, publishing house Seagull Books has decided to offer one book a day for people to download free of cost on their chosen device. Bishan Samaddar, editor at Seagull, told this diaris.
"Our readers help us exist. They inspire us. But with bookstores shut, we asked ourselves how we can give back readers so that their connection with us endures. Also, literature always helps at a time when we are away from our friends and family."
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