Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Feb 10, 2018, 08:31 IST | Team mid-day

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

Paavani Ojha and Kabir Beotra took over Shashi Tharoor's account for a day
Paavani Ojha and Kabir Beotra took over Shashi Tharoor's account for a day

Making the Internet a safer space
As odd as it may seem, a certain #metoo in the virtual world gave people everywhere a chance to belong and have their voices heard. It manifested on a grander level when celebrities coloured the red carpet black at the Golden Globes this year and filled social media with #timesup. The need for a safe space to share opinions, and make people aware of issues like body shaming, bullying, mental health and more have called for the need for a safe Internet.

On February 6, a few teenagers who have been working with Young Leaders for Active Citizenship celebrated Safer Internet Day as part of an initiative with Instagram India. These counter speech fellows took over the feeds of popular Instagram accounts to spearhead positive conversation.

So while Aditi Kapoor and Kartikeya Uniyal used Barkha Dutt’s account to spread awareness on bullying, Prarthana Bhatta drove home the importance of educating girls and ensuring their safety on their way to and from schools through a video she shared on Malala Fund’s (Malala Yousafzai’s organisation that supports education for girls) account. On the other hand, Kabir Beotra and Paavani Ojha urged Shashi Tharoor’s followers to understand the urgency of making the Internet a safer space for all. Young netizens, #wehear-you.

Pic/Bipin Kokate
Pic/Bipin Kokate

Here comes the showstopper
You can take a supermodel off the ramp, but not the ramp walk out of a supermodel. Ujjwala Raut makes heads turn as she makes a stylish entry into a Kemps Corner bookstore for the launch of a title yesterday.

A Jewish attraction
This diarist has always been curious to catch a glimpse inside the Magen David Synagogue, purely to gaze at its interiors, which we were told, are quite spectacular. Built in honour of Bombay’s most famous Baghdadi Jew, Sir David Sassoon, it was completed in 1861.

Cruch

Finally, when we did get the opportunity to step in while on assignment, it took our breath away. What was doubly heartwarming to spot were the hordes of Jewish tourists from other countries who, going by their conversations, had come by to retrace their roots. A true homecoming, this.

London calling
Young Indian designers slowly seem to have found their way to the top fashion weeks of the world. While last year we saw Masaba Gupta showcase at London Fashion Week, this season, city-based designer Vidhi Wadhwani (inset) will be there at the fashion week on February 16.

Vidhi sketch

Keeping with the global standards, Wadhwani will showcase her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, titled Solstice, at the event. The line will also be ready for immediate purchase, a strategy seen among big fashion houses too, to help kill the copy market.

Vidhi Wadhwani

The collection will feature structured dresses, deconstructed jackets, sheer skirts, soft layers, cutwork, geometric appliqué and block-printed organza in monochromes and metallic.

Fairies do exist
We have heard of marketing gimmicks, and then we have heard of Book Fairies. A global initiative aimed at fostering a culture of reading, it involves people anonymously dropping books at popular public spots. And the person who finds it is then expected to upload a picture on Instagram with #ibelieveinbookfairies.

A book drop at Bandra Bandstand in October last year
A book drop at Bandra Bandstand in October last year

We now hear that the India chapter of the initiative has teamed up with Penguin Random House India to promote Bheem – Destiny’s Warrior, by Jyotin Goel. So, if you’re walking around in the Kala Ghoda area on Saturday, or in Bandra or Juhu on Sunday, keep your eyes peeled for the title lying around randomly. And pick it up if you do spot it, because it’s yours to keep.

Harvard gets some Indian laughs
The India Conference, a student-run conference hosted at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, kicks off today. And among the 100-plus speakers, ranging from business leaders, journalists, entertainment professionals, government officials to philanthropists, is stand-up artiste, writer and director Anuvab Pal, the only Indian comedian to be invited to perform at the Ivy League school.

Anuvab Pal

Pal will also be part of a discussion on news media. In a panel skewed towards television journalists, it would be a refreshing change for the audience to hear Pal’s take on the notion of the blurring difference between news and eye-grabbing content. Ace designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, filmmaker Hansal Mehta and writer Amish Tripathi are among other speakers at the conference.

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