Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Updated: May 16, 2020, 08:14 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

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

Pic/Suresh Karkera
Pic/Suresh Karkera

The lonely road

A woman walks along markers, as a bird swoops in, along Dadar TT once a busy market place. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Thanking COVID warriors in a song

Kiddie song
Kiddie song

In an effort to acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices of health workers and others on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, New Delhi-based husband-wife duo Reet and Gaurav Dhingra have launched a song titled Thank you India. It features students of Kolkata-based Akshar School, an inclusive institution for special children, guitarist Akshay Chowdhry and flutist Aniket Chaturvedi, and is arranged by Nalin Vinayak of IdeaMultimedia Studios. "Working on this music video was a new and exciting experience, especially because we had to do it completely at home. The lockdown actually led us to be creative with the limited resources available to us at home for production," Gaurav, owner and founder of SpacePepper Studios, told this diarist. Reet added, "Since the lockdown began, we knew that while most of us are at home with our families, there are people out there fighting the real battle against COVID-19.  That was the whole idea behind Thank you India and we hope the audience is also able to feel the same sense of gratitude as we do. We are glad that we were able to collaborate with the wonderful kids from Akshar School, who made this even more special." With the video posted on their Facebook page, they will also contribute a proportionate amount to the PM Cares fund based on the number of shares they receive.

A note of relief

Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar

As the lockdown continues into the fourth phase, many sections of the society including the performing arts, are staring at financial uncertainty. After announcing a financial package to help authors and composers, whose livelihoods have taken a hit, in April, the Mumbai-based Indian Performing Right Society Ltd (IPRS) decided to disburse relief funds once again, amounting to R17,500,000. This is expected to benefit 3,500 people in the music fraternity.

Rakesh Nigam
Rakesh Nigam

Speaking to this diarist, CEO Rakesh Nigam said this is the most challenging crisis that humanity has faced in recent times. "We want to reach out to members of our fraternity who are going through financial crisis," he said. Chairman Javed Akhtar added that the fact that IPRS was established to "help the music fraternity to flourish" is even more relevant today. "I humbly urge everyone to come forward and help others in whatever capacity
they can."

Speaking up

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The alarming rise of domestic violence cases under lockdown across the world have been in the news. And so Mumbai-based doctor Sakshi Singh, who dabbles in acting, decided to take matters into her own hands. In a video she uses the emoji feature to tell the story of a daughter while on a phone call with her father. "I have been raising awareness about and speaking up against the issue of domestic violence. I was approached by an ad agency called Aageyseright and I knew I had to do it," she told this diarist. 

Insider's view

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All of us might feel like lockdown veterans by now, but the residents of Wuhan were among the first in the world to experience what living under restrictions feels like. But what really happened in the city in the period that it was shut down? Acclaimed Chinese writer Fang Fang has now revealed some insights in a book called Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City (HarperCollins India), translated by Michael Berry. Check out the e-copy that launched yesterday, or the audio version which will be available May 26 onwards.

Whipping it up for Rihanna

Rihanna as aamras
Rihanna as aamras

Little did Deepraj Surve, Kandivli-based student, know that he would become a social media sensation overnight. If you have spotted the Rihanna as Indian food/snacks thread, you know what we are talking about.

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Surve has painstakingly reimagined the celebrity's costumes as tandoori chicken, kaju katli, samosas, even vada pav, and the ubiquitous Maggi. "The celebrity fashion as food hashtag was trending on Twitter and so I did my take on it. I did not expect the kind of response it received," Surve told this diarist. "I am grateful that aspiring artists like me have a platform for our creativity," he added.

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