Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
The tide will run
A stray watches the choppy waters of the Arabian Sea from the deserted Apollo Bunder promenade near Gateway of India on Friday. Pic /Bipin Kokate
Irani's circle of friends
Rashid Irani after being discharged from the hospital on Thursday
All those who have known veteran film critic Rashid Irani are aware that his life revolves around human interaction — from heading to the local tea shop for chai and omelette, to hours of discussion at the Mumbai Press Club, and of course, going to the movies. Last month, Sunday Mid-day had featured him in a story on Mumbaikars who were facing the lockdown alone. It led to directors Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan reaching out to him. Recently, Irani was admitted to Parsee General Hospital following an illness. We are happy to hear that he has been discharged, and is back in his SoBo home. Mumbai Press Club president Gurbir Singh, who had posted about his recovery on social media, told us that there is an entire WhatsApp group of friends and well-wishers rallying around the film critic. He, Singh told us, is eager to go back to the club and watch films. "He doesn't have a laptop, so Kashyap is setting up a dedicated desktop for him at the club, along with a WiFi dongle. His friends and the film fraternity are looking out for him. They've also arranged a cab to take him to and from the club," said Singh, adding that Irani is part of a vibrant, throbbing community that's been united by the love for movies over the years. "Hopefully, watching films and writing will relieve him," Singh wished.
Life's a ride
Life might sometimes feel like a constant quest to find yourself. Or so it did for cartoonist, playwright and author Manjula Padmanabhan, when she was gallivanting across Europe in her 20s, "cutting off ties with her bourgeois Indian upbringing". Padmanabhan has now written a memoir about it that's aptly called Getting There (Hachette India). "Some people say, 'Why write a book about your own crazy, irresponsible misadventures?' The answer is because I made a pledge to myself, while I was still in the midst of the journey that I would write about it — if I survived. Getting There is a fulfilment of that promise. The earlier version of the book ends with a sudden, abrupt bump. This new edition glides down to a longer and more leisurely conclusion," she said.
Hang out with Archie and co.
The podcast series will feature Archie, Betty, Veronica and the gang
Love Archie Comics? This diarist has some exciting news for you. The publishers of the much-loved pop culture comic across generations have announced a new podcast series with Spotify. The world of old-school soda shops, jalopies and sock hops from the 1980s and '90s will come alive and take listeners through the adventures of Archieverse that includes his friends Jughead, Betty, and Veronica, among others. "The podcast and the audio space is so vibrant. Bringing the iconic Archie library of characters to the audio streaming platform is a perfect match," Jon Goldwater, CEO and publisher of Archie Comics, told us.
One for the cops
Every day, more names of people emerge who helped our frontline heroes. This diarist learnt about Ketan Rawal, general secretary, Vanity Vans Association, who had provided vans for free to help our cops. "Women cops told me of the hardships they faced — of having to stand in the sun for long hours, and drinking less water to avoid using public restrooms.
So, with help from NGO Project Mumbai, we offered 19 vanity vans to on-duty cops," Rawal shared. These vans were in 22 locations across Mumbai. Since Unlock 1.0 was announced, it was discontinued but Rawal has been receiving requests from hospitals, which will be his next mission.
Visual thoughts from Mumbai's celebs
Mumbai artist Gaurav Ogale's latest treat, Words x Visuals, gives you a peek into the minds of evocative voices through intuitive visuals. Collaborating with celebs like Rajkummar Rao, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Kalki Koechlin, spoken word poets and authors, it explores haiku, poetry, book excerpts, spoken word and even fleeting thoughts. "I have collaborated with artistes who resonate with me as a creator and whose practice is not confined to their primary identities. It's been the most rewarding experience. Every artiste has different sensibilities and visions. The artistes I worked with allowed me unfettered freedom to interpret their thoughts in my own way. It's been a soul-to-soul artistic collaboration," Ogale said about the project. You can follow @patranimacchi on Instagram to check it out.
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