Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
Stuck in a rut
A biker struggles to get his vehicle out of the sand at Marve beach on Friday. Pic/Sameer Markande
Dream big, and rebel
Each story in the book by Elena Favilli (right) is accompanied by full-colour portraits illustrated by female artists from across the globe; (above, left to right) Mina Mehta illustrated by Meel Tamphanon and Asma Khan by Paola Rollo
Elena Favilli has taken an unusual route into the literary world. In 2011, the award-winning author created the first iPad magazine for children and, five years later, co-wrote and released Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls that became the most crowdfunded literary project in history. Now, she's back with a third volume in the series.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls:100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World (HarperCollins India) comprises 100 biographies of women who left their birth countries, including India — it features chef Asma Khan, yogi Indra Devi, cricketer-commentator Lisa Sthalekar, orthopaedic surgeon Min Mehta and spy Noor Inayat Khan. About the title, Jes Wolfe, CEO of Rebel Girls, the digital media company Favilli founded, shared, "The stories within humanise the concept of immigration, encouraging empathy while shining a light on some extraordinary women who left their birth countries to seek opportunity elsewhere. Learning about women like Asma Khan and Min Mehta gives our readers the confidence to be fearless in pursuing their dreams, wherever they may lead."
Capturing cancel culture
The year is 2020, and it has been "cancelled". Simply put, cancel culture is the boycott of a public figure or symbol in response to problematic behaviour. But it is a complex subject and a new series called Cancelled by Boundless Media (BM) unpacks it all. Starring Guneet Wahan, Ritik Ghanshani and Chinmay Chandraunshuh as Gen-Z'ers trying to save the world from online bullies, it opens a debate: Are the bullied also bullies?
Natasha Malpani Oswal, founder- creative producer of BM said that the aim was to show how much damage trolling can cause in a darkly comic way. "Cancelled will spark a real conversation." With the first episode uploaded on their YouTube channel, four more will be released on a weekly-basis.
Putting on the final show
In their last leg, the campaign Biodiversity by the Bay, aimed at putting the spotlight on Mumbai's ecosystems, is hosting leading comedians to champion the cause. Organised by citizens' collective Ministry of Mumbai's Magic (MoMM) and DeadAnt, the event will see Daniel Fernandes (in pic)release a special episode of his podcast today and Anu Menon do a comedy show tomorrow. Ravina Rawal, founder and editor, DeadAnt, said that they've reached a million people, and a MoMM spokesperson shared, "The campaign hopes to showcase the work we've done so far, from public consultations about Mumbai's parks, to a video series on the city's indigenous youth."
This is the fest part
Innovation is the key for the music industry right now, considering the restrictions in place, and life in the new normal. And innovate is exactly what Jehangir Jehangir has done with From the Island. It's a festival that's spread over three months and features indie biggies including Nikhil D'Souza and Ankur and the Ghalat Family. The curious part is that all the gigs will take place from within Island City Studios in Khar, which Jehangir runs, before being streamed for an online audience. Jehangir told this diarist, "We needed places to perform for artistes in the city. That was the fundamental vision behind this event. It just felt like something that needed to be done. I know that things are slowly opening up right now, but still, you can't have more than a certain number of people at a venue."
And the unpaid award goes to...
Iconic TV satire comedy show, The Week that Wasn't has just won at the Asian Academy Creative Awards for the best comedy programme in India. Helmed by humorous duo Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Vijayakar, the show is now in its 14th year. When this diarist contacted Vijayakar, to congratulate the team on the big win, he was elated. "We promise we haven't bought the award, and it is genuinely deserved. We are poorly paid, so we can't afford to buy it," he joked, adding how most of the team has remained the same over the years, and with the digital medium catching up, they have had a great response from viewers globally.
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