Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Updated: Jul 25, 2020, 07:35 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

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

A team of labourers in sync at Fortis Hospital, in Mulund West
A team of labourers in sync at Fortis Hospital, in Mulund West

Frame work

A team of labourers in sync at Fortis Hospital, in Mulund West, on Friday. Pic/ Sameer Markande

Swift mention of India


After a surprise announce-ment, Taylor Swift fans, including this diarist, were frantically waiting for her latest album Folklore to drop yesterday. Having spent over an hour giving the record comprising 16 songs a listen, we couldn't help flashing the broadest smile as the lyrics in the track titled Seven revealed, "Pack your dolls and a sweater/We'll move to India forever." It led to Indian Swifties raving about it on Twitter. "Okay so who's gonna tell her she doesn't need a sweater if she comes to India!" one user exclaimed. And after persistent demands, we wonder if this is a clue that the pop icon might finally do a tour here? Only time will tell.

Farewell to the revolutionary Indian dance icon

a scene from Kalpana; Amala Shan- kar. PICS courtesy/wikimedia commons/sreenanda shankar on IGA scene from Kalpana. Pics courtesy/wikimedia commons/sreenanda shankar on IG

Renowned dancer Amala Shankar, the wife of the late choreographer Uday Shankar, passed away in Kolkata at the age of 101 on Friday. Remembered by most as a revolutionary woman who has been instrumental in disseminating her husband's unique style, a fusion of Indian dance forms and Western influences such as ballet, Amala Shankar met him when she was only 11 in Paris, and went on to join his troupe.

a scene from Amala Shan- kar. PICS courtesy/wikimedia commons/sreenanda shankar on IG
A scene from Amala Shan- kar. PICS courtesy/wikimedia commons/sreenanda shankar on IG

Speaking to this diarist, Kolkata-based dancer Paramita Saha, co-director of Sapphire Creations Dance Company, recalled watching Uday Shankar's film, Kalpana, in the late '90s and being mesmerised by Amala Shankar's grace. "I went into the Uday Shankar dance festival and they were screening the film. As a young college student and a budding dancer, watching Amala Shankar tell stories through her body and movements was a fabulous experience for me.

Paramita Saha
Paramita Saha

Her whole presence was so evocative and stylish," said Saha, adding that her demise is a huge loss for the industry. "The husband-wife duo pioneered the shift in the way dance was perceived in the country. As dancers, we are infinitely grateful to them. It's up to us now to preserve that legacy. But, I feel that as long as India keeps on dancing, she will be alive," she added.

Sivagami is back

Anand Neelakantan
Anand Neelakantan

Fans of the Bāhubali series, here's some good news. Author Anand Neelakantan has come up with the second title, Chaturanga (Westland Publications), in the three-part series. Chaturanga, which acts as a prequel to the film Bāhubali: Before the Beginning, will be unveiled today in a Facebook Live session with actor Sonali Bendre Behl.

Ramya Krishnan as Sivagami
Ramya Krishnan as Sivagami 

Explaining the idea behind the title, Neelakantan said, "Post my first book in this series — The Rise of Sivagami, where an orphan girl starts building rage within her to unfurl the secrets of the Mahishmathi empire — I started planning the prequel. It captures the journey of Sivagami, and how she goes to live under the king who killed her father."

Metro salaam for Andheri

A screenshot from the clip posted by Mumbai Metro
A screenshot from the clip posted by Mumbai Metro

For those of us used to the daily hustle-bustle of public transport, the last four months have been eerily silent. And, the team behind the Ghatkopar-Versova Mumbai Metro 1's Twitter handle seems to be tapping into this nostalgia, to remind the city that things will go back to normal. In a clip titled Mumbai Metro One Soundscape on Friday, the team created a sensory ride from "Pashchim Drutagati Marg" or WEH station to Andheri, replete with the sounds of passengers moving around and announcements such as "doors will open on the left", and "change here for the Western Railway line". "As Andheri is one of the busiest stations and connects to Mumbai's lifeline, the suburban local, a lot of people will relate to it. We're all waiting for our lives to go back to normal. These interactions with our commuters also show us the importance of the Mumbai Metro," an official told this diarist.

Stitching in solidarity

One of the women paints a bag
One of the women paints a bag

Some stories resonate with readers who are willing to help others in these trying times. Take for instance, Vadodara-based artist Parul Dhruva, who, along with her 80-year-old mother Indira Shah, and sister, Charla Desai, has been running an initiative called Art Area to provide for the families of eight women, who lost employment during the lockdown in their hometown Kanjari, Gujarat. To help amplify the project, a mid-day reader shared yesterday's story on the Corona Quilt Project with Dhruva, who has been looking for all possible ways to support the women.

arul Dhruva, Indira Shah, Charla DesaiParul Dhruva, Indira Shah, Charla Desai

"They reached out to my mother two months ago as they had lost their jobs. My mother then decided to help them using their skill of stitching, and they have been making eco-friendly refrigerator bags and other utility stitching products. The proceeds from the sales go directly to them," said Dhruva, adding that they deliver the products across the country. Head to @artareaindia on Instagram or call 8735021350 to lend your support.

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