Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The big splash
Kids engage in some fun in the rain on Bandra's Carter Road promenade. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The Maker's Asylum team
Ironically, the team that did a fabulous job of being one of the first to make face shields at the height of the pandemic in Mumbai, are having to fold up because the lockdown is making the rent tough to pay. In fact, several of the team members of innovation hub Maker's Asylum decided to camp in the Andheri office while making hundreds of pieces of protective equipment that was back then in short supply. From a 200-sq ft space in Bandra to moving five times to settle at the Andheri outlet that became home to creative minds, Maker's Asylum has come a long way in the past seven years.
"We've shifted so many spaces, and the final kick has come from the pandemic," founder and chief learning officer Vaibhav Chhabra chuckled, adding that each space gave rise to great collaborations. "This time allowed us to touch base with maker's labs across the globe and realise we can create more impact digitally, so we want to focus on that," he told us while packing for Goa. "We've tied up with another lab there for a few months till we figure things out as Goa is emerging as a creative space for makers. But we're thankful to Mumbai for this journey," Chhabra signed off. Mumbai will miss these makers.
The suspense is over
Ravi Subramanian, one of India's bestselling authors, has added a new role to his repertoire, by launching a series of mystery-driven short novels titled Shortz. The series will see Subramanian as a collaborator, where he will work closely with authors from the thriller and suspense genres. To kick off the initiative by Westland, he has co-authored the first two thrillers, Insomnia and A Brutal Hand, with Jigs Ashar, a banker-turned-consultant.
Subramanian shared more about the series, "For those who love pace, Shortz are thrillers on steroids. I have conceptualised these books as a series of short, plot-oriented, fast-paced stories — the book equivalent of caffeine for an exhausted mind. It promises to hold you firmly in its grip till the last page." Both titles are expected to release this September.
The right kind of education
Rajshri Deshpande with children at the under-construction school
It's a case of going from the frying pan into the fire. One of the biggest problems that migrants who have returned to their villages during the lockdown are facing is that they have no source of employment there either. Actor Rajshri Deshpande of Sacred Games fame, who recognised the need, is doing interesting work through her non-profit called Nabhangan Foundation in Aurangabad.
One of its projects involves building a school in Pandhari Pimpalgaon, where she has enlisted the help of farmers who have returned from the cities to provide them with livelihood. Deshpande said, "We decided to turn this crisis into an opportunity to complete the construction of the school with community participation." But, she needs to raise funds for it and has started a campaign on ketto.org. Lend her a hand if you can.
Sing a new tune
Ganesha brings out the best in us. As Mumbai prepares to bid adieu to its beloved deity, the accent is not just on staying safe in the water like every year, but staying safe from Coronavirus. The visarjan chant is of course, Ganpati bappa morya, pudhchya varshi lavkar ya.
Yet, unu-sual times call for creativity, even when it comes to the divine. So, a mandal on Ridge Road, Malabar Hill, has us smiling in agreement with their apt visarjan line: Ganpati bappa morya, Corona la harvu ya, meaning Ganpati bappa morya, let us defeat Corona. Sound good, no?
Cool tools for the stage
The energy that a storyteller radiates during a performance is what the audience picks up on, says Sheena Khalid, a Mumbai-based theatrewallah. If you are an aspiring storyteller hoping to shake those performance jitters off, Khalid and Kommune have a special performance kit lined up at her workshop on September 5. "A storytelling performance requires a skill-set that's different from acting.
This workshop will help storytellers with tools to be more authentic, have a true voice, and help their unique personality shine through their performance. As most of us move to the online medium with no certainty of when live events will resume, we will also share tips on engaging audiences, both online and offline. We'll also focus on working with the musicality of a piece and harnessing rhythm to make performances effective," Khalid shared.
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