Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Tweets and Treats
A coppersmith barbet — Mumbai's city bird — aims for a snack from the branch of a tree in Sion. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Singapore on a platter
Colin Chia and Chef Malcolm Lee
The Singapore Food Festival that's moved to a digital avatar this weekend is offering Mumbaikars a rare chance to savour the best of the country. It features masterclasses by Michelin-starred chefs such as Julien Royer of Odette, Malcolm Lee of the Peranakan cuisine restaurant Candlenut, bartending honcho Colin Chia, and Emmanual Stroobant of Saint Pierre, who said, "The food there is a reflection of my culinary journey, and how I straddle the line between East and West."
The festival also involves virtual tours of cultural places like Katong and foodie hubs including Kway Guan Huat. Log on to singaporefoodfestival.sg/ if you'd like to hop on to the culinary train.
Make a bow-wow effort
It's not just humans who are dealing with the blow of the pandemic and the lockdown. Over 200 dogs, cats, horses and ducks, among other animals, at Navi Mumbai-based Phoebe's Farm might be displaced if the animal homestay is not able to raise enough funds to stay afloat. Ever since founder Manoor Sachdev and his wife posted that they might be forced to wind up operations by October-end, social media groups of animal lovers in the city have been abuzz, trying to gather support.
Sachdev, a canine behaviourist, who named the farm after his first pet, Phoebe, a Basset Hound, told this diarist, "The lockdown and Cyclone Nisarga wreaked havoc on the 10-year-old human-friendly pet resort, hitting revenue sources. The animals will be displaced from the home they're living in if we aren't able to achieve the amount, but I'm not ready for that. I'm fighting hard as Phoebe's was started with a lot of passion, love and care." If you would like to lend your support, head to their Facebook page for the Ketto fundraiser, or call them on 9833955040.
Canvas for the young
Journey by Debasish Dutta. Pic/Tao Art Gallery
Mumbai Midtown Arts Collective has joined hands with Tao Art Gallery, Gallery Art & Soul and The Priyasri Art Gallery to launch a digital exhibition, Restart Art, that offers a platform for 30 artworks by 15 young artists.
"Being of the old-school opinion that art sells when witnessed in person, the pandemic has been a huge learning curve for me. This is the first time that the three galleries have collaborated to ensure that emerging artists stay optimistic even as the art scene changes drastically. It is rare to have artworks in this price range, but the artists' efforts have allowed us to put out a good collection," Tarana Khubchandani, director, Gallery Art & Soul told this diarist. The artworks are priced under '25,000.
Slow road for travel
If you like this diarist keep wondering if travel will ever be the same, it's going to be a slow road, according to the Institute of Risk Management India Regional Group's recent webinar.
Panelists from top travel agencies predicted that 75 per cent of pre-COVID travel will be back only by the summer of 2021. Apart from a surge in domestic leisure travel, agencies may move to increase efficiency with leaner staff. Travel insurance will find new opportunities to boost business, too.
Stand by our bookstores
A screenshot from the video with Stephen King
Ashok Banker drew our attention to a post that he had recently put up on social media. It was a delightful parody video of Ben E King's Stand by me, called Don't stand by me, that features some of America's top authors, including Stephen King, who form part of a band called Rock Bottom Remainders. The band was created by Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist David Horsey.
This entertaining video where most sing off-key, is a noble initiative by the group to encourage people to support indie bookstores and booksellers hit due to the pandemic. This is one idea that we wish was replicated by India's authors for our bookstores as well.
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