Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Who's the hot-dog of SoBo
An Alaskan husky and a stray exchange glances as the former's parents jog down Marine Drive Promenade over the weekend. Pic /Shadab Khan
Wow, it's a win
Mumbai Comic Con 2019
India's cosplayers and pop culture fans have reason to cheer. Last weekend, we got news that Comic Con India had won Silver for Festival Of The Year at the 2020 WOW Awards Asia. Its founder Jatin Varma was thrilled about the win. "We are thankful to every person who worked over the last year to make the festival happen — our teams, volunteers, sponsors, partners and most importantly, the fans, this one's for you." Like most other people, Varma had his concerns about the pandemic: "It is difficult to turn experiences around at the digital version of Comic Con.
We hope things move towards normalcy by the year end; even if it means hosting events at different times than our regular season. For now, we'll try to take a few elements of the event online and connect with the fans until things get better."
Blast from the Internet's past
Navi Mumbai-based artist Indu Harikumar recently took us on a nostalgia trip, scrolling back to the year 1995 when Internet services were rolled out in India. In a post on Instagram, she detailed how hers was the 19th family in Mumbai to get a connection. "I was 15 or 16 then. I remember that odd sound while trying to connect. It was also expensive as the phone would be occupied. If someone called you, you'd get disconnected," she chuckles, reminiscing about her first Internet friend. "It was quite shame-inducing as not everyone had the Internet, so they'd be like, 'Why do you want to meet someone online?' That's [reaction] unthinkable now," she said. She added that it gave her a voice as a teenager, and led her to her first published work in a foreign magazine. "Things have changed so much since then. In a way, that time taught us to wait and be patient." True that, we feel.
Can't beat them
One sample. 853 entries. That was the equation for Flip the Beat, a contest that digital music distribution service Tunecore recently organised, where participants had to create original music based on a short track that popular producer Ritviz had given them. The winning entry came from the duo Autoplay. It was their first original work, and they submitted it two minutes before the deadline since it took time for them to shoot an accompanying animated video on their phone. But better late than never, since it's a catchy composition, and gets them a whole host of prizes in terms of cash, promotions and gear. Ritviz said, "This contest was a fun way for musicians and producers to show what they are about." And while Autoplay have proven their mettle, special mention also goes to Awedhi and Andhadhoon. Our congratulations.
Picking up the brush for a cause
Samir Patil with an art work
While the pandemic doesn't seem to leave us alone, citizens seem to be going out of their way to battle it. One such Good Samaritan is Malad-based computer and IT consultant Samir Patel, who's picked up the brush to raise money for the PM Cares Fund and National Defence Fund. Patel, who also runs a certification institute, has created 51 paintings and hopes to auction them. "I have always loved painting. With the institute shut, I got time to brush up my skills. I feel that we haven't raised enough funds for those who need them. Hundred per cent of the proceeds from sales will go towards the two funds," he told this diarist. Check www.sam-arts.com if you'd like to support this cause.
Under one umbrella
Achyut Palat with an umbrella he painted at the workshop
Two people sharing one umbrella is a sign of togetherness. An an initiative held last weekend on Independence Day, extended that metaphor to include the entire country. Called #UnityMovement, it involved a masterclass where famed calligrapher Achyut Palav (in pic) encouraged people to paint on umbrellas and use the colours to signify India's harmonious nature. Bookaworkshop, a global platform that hosts live masterclasses, organised the event. Nidhi Agarwal, who runs it, told this diarist, "Achyut has a unique take on umbrella painting and the idea was that we wanted to connect Indians with each other. All participants expressed their own idea of patriotism through art."
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