Mumbai diary: Saturday Dossier

Updated: Aug 17, 2019, 09:18 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Gopal Shetty, Nitin Gadkari and Vinod Tawde
Gopal Shetty, Nitin Gadkari and Vinod Tawde

Lost for words

(From left) MP Gopal Shetty, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, and Minister of State for Education Vinod Tawde, at a ceremony in Borivali West on Friday. Pic /Sameer Markande

Vegan ivory comes to Mumbai

The buttons are made using the corozo nut of the fruit found in the forests

The upcoming fashion week in Lower Parel will introduce a new, sustainable product on ramps, thanks to a collaboration between Pro Ecuador and sustainable fashion label. The collection will have buttons, embellishments and accessories made using a vegan ivory called corozo, which comes from a native wild palm that grows in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Called Tagua in the South American country, corozo had been the go-to material for buttons since the 1860s, till the appearance of plastic around the 1940s. Ecuador is the only place that produces and exports corozo blanks, which are used to make eco-friendly buttons. "The corozo nut that is extracted from the fruit is collected by the local communities that live in the forests. In the process, no irrigation water, fertilisers or chemicals are used, and each blank is handmade by artisans.


It's purely vegetable-based origin makes it a vegan product," Cristina Chiriboga, acting trade commissioner of Ecuador in Mumbai, told this diarist. It is also used to make jewellery and when powdered, can used as a natural exfoliant. Due to its colour, and malleable and resilient nature, it is considered a vegan ivory. What's more, it's durable, light-weight and can be dyed to any shade.

Rich literature

Shunali Khullar

Here's another book for your to-read list. Four years after Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother, city author Shunali Khullar Shroff is back with a title that dives deep into the affluent society of Mumbai. "There are so many things happening in our society today that I simply had to write a book about them. The emotions, facets, and complexities that define womanhood, the different types of women who exist here, and the societal norms of marriage are a few things I wanted to explore with this book. The plot follows the journeys of these women," Shroff told this diarist. The launch in a bookstore in Bandra West next week will see director and producer Karan Johar release the book, after which Shroff and Johar will also engage in a discussion.

Emmy nomination for Kalyan Varma

Kalyan Varma

Bengaluru-based wildlife pho­t­o­grapher, filmmaker and conservationist Kalyan Va­r­ma, known for his riveting documentaries, has been nom­i­n­ated for this year's edition of the Emmy Awards. The docu­mentary in question, called Big Cats, is a short video that captures weeks of travelling in wild jungles as Varma and his team search for the swamp tigers — man-eaters known for their swift movements. Varma, who quit his job as an engineer to pursue photography, has also done a year-long project to document the human-elephant conflict in Ka­rnataka, besides being a co-founder of an annual festival that focuses on nature photography and conservation. Our congratulations.

United we stand

Humsafar still
A still from the video

India is a country of diverse people and despite the divisiveness that seems to be prevalent at present, our history largely tells a story of tolerance across the ages. This was reinforced earlier this week, when a video emerged, in which some prominent voices from the LGBTQI community stood in attention as the national anthem played. The video starts with the lines, "On September 6, 2018, Section 377 was finally repealed. This year, the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates its new era of Independence.


Here are a few who have inspired this change," before it goes on to show Ashok Row Kavi of Humsafar Trust, Arif Jafar of Bharosa Trust and filmmaker Onir, among others.

TLC for strays


Given the increasing number of animal cruelty cases that have come to light in the recent past, it's crucial to make people understand the importance of doing what they can for the stray canines. Doing their bit, TikTok has joined hands with NGOs GiveIndia and World for All to launch an animal welfare campaign aimed at spreading awareness around animal safety, adoption and cruelty. The campaign kicks off on Monday with an event in Andheri East, where there will be an open-to-all workshop that will see animal lovers and caregivers give talks on the importance of adoption of strays and homeless animals rather than buying expensive breeds, as well as details of where one can get help for injured strays.

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