Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Ankhiyon se goli maare
Shilpa Shetty takes aim at a member of the press during the launch of a luxury couture label at Bandra on Friday. Pic/Atul Kamble
A choral summer
NCPA's upcoming western music event comes with a Christian twist. Mumbai's musical landscape is packed with budding musicians and though they cover many genres, chapel music is not one of them. In that light, The Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir's first performance in India is going to be something truly novel.
Trinity Laban's highly skilled students churn out about 100 performances a year and are gearing up to join hands with NCPA's SOI Chamber Orchestra, under the aegis of acclaimed conductor Ralph Allwood. All in all, it looks like this year, Christmas has come early for Mumbai!
If there is one song that encapsulates the sense of belonging that Mumbaikars feel about their city, it is Bombay Meri Hai. The 1969 track captured the true essence of what life here is all about. And now, five decades later, there is another song being launched today that is dedicated to this metropolis. It's called Bombay, Let's Go Aaram Se. And interestingly, the two people who have composed it — Lydia Hendrikje Hornung and Dario Brandt — are both German nationals who teach at a music school here. The track is heavy on electronica and has a video with a modern, edgy feel. In fact, it is a far cry from the folksy and distinctly brass-band vibe that Bombay Meri Hai had. So in a sense, the two tracks are also a reflection of how far the Maximum City has come from the days when people sat at home and listened to the radio for music, or put on an LP, what with there being no Internet to speak of.
Dipendra Manocha (right), the president of DFI, accepts the award
Reading it right
The joy of reading is such that it shouldn't be denied to any person, even if he or she is visually impaired. And these days, thanks to advances in technology, accessible books have come to the aid of the print disabled. And one organisation that is doing stellar work in this regard is DAISY Forum of India (DFI), of which the Mumbai-based Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged is an integral part. And the fact that they launched India's largest collection of online accessible books, Sugamya Pustakalaya. has now bagged them an award in the "Initiative" category at the 2018 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing at the London Book Fair. Kudos to them.
Twitter gets a Tamil touch
Emoticons have entered our lexicon to such an extent that digital conversations can sometimes feel incomplete without them. In fact, they convey complex feelings like love, anger and sadness in just one tiny image. Recognising the role they play, Twitter is launching a special emoticon (in pic) to celebrate Puthandu and Vishu, the new year celebrations for Tamils and Malayalis, just for today and tomorrow. The social media giant's move also points to how important a market India has become for it. The number of Twitter users here, after all, is projected to cross the 30-million mark this year. That's more than the population of some countries.
Pic/SAS Records Management
Remembering the first man in space
It was the International Day of Human Space Flight on April 12, the 57th anniversary of the day when Yuri Gagarin (in pic) became the first human to journey into outer space. The iconic milestone in the history of mankind was quietly celebrated in Mumbai when Consul General of the Russian Federation, Andrei Zhiltsov, director of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture, Vladimir Dementiev, and other delegates and academics gathered at the bust of Gagarin at Nehru Science Centre in Worli.
Installed in 2011, the bust is one of the few icons in the city that remains a marker of the Indo-Russian relations. But old-timers would still remember the day when the cosmonaut, hugely popular in the city, arrived in Bombay a few months after his space expedition in 1961. A massive number of people — some estimate it to be over a million — gathered at Shivaji Park to get a glimpse of the man. The only other science icon to have such a mass appeal that this diarist can think of was Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Surely, we could do with more such heroes.
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Angry commuters tear out window from Madgaon-Mumbai AC train