Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Never going to let you go
A girl shows her love for her brother at Juhu beach over the weekend. Pic/Anurag Ahire
Butterflies are making quite a flutter this month. We had reported that September is being celebrated as Big Butterfly Month. Now we hear that enthusiasts, researchers, biologists and other experts from all corners of India have started a National Butterfly Campaign. Sharan V, a butterfly enthusiast from Tamil Nadu, and part of the core team, told us they have started a virtual poll to select the country's national butterfly. Butterfly Man of India, Isaac Kehimkar, shared that it's a way to steer the direction towards butterfly conservation. "We have a national bird, a national animal; why not a national butterfly?" May the best butterfly win.
Look who's in the zone
Are you one of those who's been trying to drown the noises around you and achieve your goals in the pandemic? Veteran actor Ashish Vidyarthi is hosting a 40-minute workshop, The Zone, later this week to help deal with the chaos and turbulence around and within. "We pick sounds all around us and repeat the negative words until they transform into our lived reality. This session reminds you that your commitments have no relation to external factors. If you've made one, you've got to fulfil it anyway. The Zone is the capsule we live and travel in, that keeps us safe. What we allow into this capsule or throw out depends upon us," he told this diarist, adding that participants will learn how to set targets without being bogged down, and be open to learning from experiences. "It will guide them, especially in these COVID times, to create allies out of adversities and not simply wait for things to change," he said.
Decoding the art of the matter
A conversation with Vaibhav Raj Shah, who's started a platform for conversations called Art History Plus, reinforced how literature and art sometimes suffer from the same problem. People fail to simplify it. That's why he's started a series of conversations online where he takes his time decoding a single piece of art, including by the likes of MF Husain, Raja Ravi Varma and Sudhir Patwardhan. It's like a conversation where the speaker talks about his favourite novel, expect that with Shah, the discussions are about paintings. "I do long-form interviews and sometimes discuss one artwork for two hours," he told this diarist. The YouTube channel where these talks are accessible is called Art History Plus. The videos involve a deep-dive per episode into seminal paintings. Art doesn't need to be perceived as high-brow. That's what Shah is trying to establish. The Instagram handle is @arthistoryplus. This is a time when conversations around art are changing, because it's not just about the experience of visiting a gallery to consume paintings anymore. Experts can also talk about their favourites to decode them for laymen, like Shah is doing. Listen in.
Waste not, want not
The world seems to be riddled with problems right now and plastic waste remains one of the biggest ones. But humanitarian organisation Project Mumbai has started an initiative that seeks to tackle it during the pandemic. It's called The Mumbai Plastic Recyclothon. The equation is simple. Every kilo of plastic that Mumbaikars donate for recycling will get one kg of groceries for a family in need of it. That plastic will then be used to manufacture amenities like benches in municipal gardens and pencil boxes for children. "The drive is from October 3 to 8," Shishir Joshi, founder of Project Mumbai told this diarist. Log on to projectmumbai.org to contribute.
All about music
India Music Summit is a three-day music congregation that takes place in Jaipur's Fairmont Palace around this time of the year. It has shifted online in 2020. The line-up features big names including Rashid Khan, Parveen Sultana, Usha Uthup and Prasoon Joshi. But the digital format means that the curation for this edition includes conversations, debates, interviews and, of course, live online performances. There is also a tribute that will be paid to Pandit Jasraj, who passed away recently.
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