Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Updated: Apr 11, 2020, 08:50 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

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

A Mumbai police officer indulges in prayer at a locked temple in Dadar
A Mumbai police officer indulges in prayer at a locked temple in Dadar

May the force be with you

A Mumbai police officer indulges in prayer at a locked temple in Dadar on Friday. Pic/ Ashish Raje

Painting for a cause

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Quarancharity, an initiative launched to help those who don't have access to basic resources, has roped in city-based artist Sameer Kulavoor for a unique fundraiser. Founder and travel writer Pri Shewakramani says that Kulavoor will be drawing for the first 10 people who donate R10,000 and above to the charity. "While we've been tying up with chefs, fitness enthusiasts, musicians and other influencers to conduct workshops to raise funds, we realised Sameer's skill can't be taught in one workshop," she added. The first 10 people can send a picture of an object or pet that's dear to them and Kulavoor will sketch it and send it to them. "I did a similar exercise recently. Looking at that, blogger Scherezade Shroff told me about the fundraiser. We've seen what's happening to the marginalised sections of society. This was a way to spread awareness," Kulavoor said.

Are you game?

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The lockdown is bringing back all kinds of games. First it was bingo, and now it's a new version of name-place-animal-thing. The Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan started the game, tagging Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), which took on the challenge and passed it on to others, including Dr Bhau Daji Lad City Museum. The results have been fun and informative. Speaking about the game, Urvashi Jhangiani, digital marketing manager, CSMVS, said, "You are tagged with a letter and have to provide a name, place, object and flower starting with it. When it's adapted for the museum, it has to be from its collection. We got the letter 'a' so we chose the shield of Emperor Akbar from our Sir Ratan Tata Art collection for the name category; an Ashokan edict for object; a Paithani saree with asawari butis from Sushila Asher's collection for flower; and a painting of Akabane from the series Fifty Three Stations of Tōkaidō by Hiroshige for city — all from our collection." She added that museums are trying to make things livelier for people to engage them and promote a community feeling. "Since this was a game everyone recognises, it was nostalgic and educational."

The online show must go on 

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After receiving a great response in its first week, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is back with another week of its initiative, NCPA@home. Till April 16, viewers can catch performances by Zakir Hussain, Mud Morganfield, Girija Devi, Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company and the New York Round Midnight Orchestra, among others on NCPA's YouTube channel. Speaking about this initiative, KN Suntook, chairman of NCPA and co-founder of Symphony Orchestra of India, said, "As an organisation dedicated to the performing arts, our aim is to keep the cultural diet of art lovers a healthy one in these difficult times. We are grateful for the support that
we have received from the artistes in making this online endeavour possible."

Lit fest takes the virtual route

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If you're bummed about missing fests, Manjul Publishing House has just announced that it is putting together an online literary festival this weekend. Viewers can log in to talks, discussions and workshops ranging from mental health to Indian mythology on the publishing house's Instagram handle. Notable speakers who will be part of the fest include Devdutt Pattanaik, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Allan and Barbara Pease, Rajiv Malhotra, Dr Chris Winter and Deepak Bajaj. "We strive to showcase the best of literature in India and the world, through Manjul and Amaryllis imprints. This festival is our attempt at creating a more intimate conversation between our authors and readers," said chief executive officer Vikas Rakheja (in pic).

Hark, it is Noah's Ark

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Last week, social media was filled with photos of peacocks strutting their stuff at Khareghat Colony at Hughes Road in SoBo. Residents claim the birds are regular visitors, thanks to the Tower of Silence nearby. Those living at Godrej Baug on Malabar Hill have also spotted peacocks frequently, and they have now shared images and videos. After the peacocks, SoBoites have recently reported hearing and seeing many more squirrels! We heard that a local resident from Colaba spotted two squirrels at his window recently and was ready with his mobile phone camera but the furry critters proved too fast for him, scurrying away from his view. With an extended lockdown likely to be enforced in the city, we are pretty sure that doughty SoBoites won't give up on being on the lookout for their new neighbours.

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