Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Updated: Apr 26, 2020, 07:37 IST | Team SMD | Mumbai

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

Pic/Uday Devrukhkar
Pic/Uday Devrukhkar

High on music

A senior citizen spends alone time on the terrace of his building in Jogeshwari East on Friday, playing the flute. Pic/Uday Devrukhkar

Zumba for horses

Zumba for horses

Locked down at home and stuck between school and college, 18-year-old Shivalika Rupani, whose mother Reyna is the Mumbai head of the holistic health organisation Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN), has come up with a plan that'll benefit two groups at the same time.

Rupani is conducting Zumba classes through the week—two classes and two batches—proceeds of which will be given to the horses in Alibaug being taken care of by Welfare of Stray Dogs. Abodh Aras of WSD says that horses are also going hungry, even in Murud and Kashid. If you want to contribute, log on to the SHARAN website (

Classical music with a modern twist

 Namit Das and Shruti Vyas

Actors and spouses Namit Das and Shruti Vyas have taken to entertaining their Instagram followers through hilarious videos during quarantine. Das, who is also a singer, has an impressive collection of vinyl records at home. The duo is posting creative videos on social media, where Vyas is dressed just like the classical greats from his LP album covers.

For instance, one video has her imitating Hindustani vocalist Lakshmi Shankar's meditative gaze, and as the camera pans to her, you realise that she is holding a broom (jhadu) instead of a tanpura. "Indian classical music is considered to be serious business. One is generally expected to close their eyes and immerse themself in it. What's missing is humour and fun," says Das. He credits his "lovely wife" as the one who came up with the idea of emulating these classical greats.

A snippet from the video featuring Shruti Vyas dressed as Ghulam Ali. Pics/@namitdas, Instagram
A snippet from the video featuring Shruti Vyas dressed as Ghulam Ali. Pics/@namitdas, Instagram

From Das's father Chandan Das to Prabha Atre, Ghulam Ali, and Kumar Gandharva, the couple has collaborated with each other to shoot videos highlighting many incredible artistes. "I hope it strikes a chord with young people, and makes them curious about exploring the music of these classical gems," adds Das.

Support the artisans

Support the artisans

While buying a handwoven tasar silk saree or ikat cotton stole might seem like an indulgence we could easily forego in times like these, an initiative by Tata Trusts is urging us to spare a thought for the artisans and weavers, who are struggling to make ends meet. The trust has opened up its platform Antaran ( for you to browse through their collection of sarees, fabric and home furnishing, and directly buy these products at wholesale prices from the artisans. Each product displayed on the site has contact details of the creators, too.

"Artisans of Antaran clusters are enterprising. While the lockdown has brought work to a standstill, their spirits are high. They have reorganised their efforts to photograph and upload stock on hand to offer supportive customers who pay now and get delivery later. It shows their positive attitude," said Sharda Gautam, head of craft, Tata Trusts.

Make space for recovery

Make space for recovery

With COVID-19 cases rising in the country, Dr Miniya Chatterji, director for Centre of Sustainability at Ajay Piramal-led Anant National University, has submitted a detailed implementation plan to the PMO on how to convert the existing infrastructure into recovery facilities with ICUs.

The transformation will be implemented free of cost within days by Chatterji and her team. Kerala is the first state to adopt the plan. "Community halls and conference rooms are ideal to set up wards to quarantine and treat asymptomatic, mild, moderate, and severe patients. In Kerala, we are transforming a hall into a 20-bed recovery facility that will cater to the NRIs who are soon to arrive from Coronavirus-affected countries. This is especially needed to replicate in districts without ICUs, hospitals, or near airports across India," she says.

Kersi's Heavenly Indian XI

Kersi's Heavenly Indian XI

With no cricket being played in these lockdown days, what can a much-loved Parsi cricket historian/statistician like Kersi Meher-Homji do to live it up Down Under?
"Select best World XIs, best World Cup XIs, best ODI XIs? But that's been done to death.

Done to death? That gave me an idea. Why not select a Best Indian Test XI from immortal cricketers who are not alive," he tells us from his Sydney home.

He put together a bunch of probables and possibles for his immortal team and came with a formidable outfit that could match the brilliance of any other deceased World outfit. So, here is Kersi's Heavenly Indian Test team: Vijay Merchant, Dilip Sardesai, Vijay Manjrekar, Vijay Hazare, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (captain), Polly Umrigar, Vinoo Mankad, Dattu Phadkar, Naren Tamhane (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Nissar, SP Gupte. 12th man: Rusi Surti.

Our in-house cricket nut gives Kersi's choice a thumbs up but wanted Sardesai to bat in the middle-order just like he did so successfully in the 1970-71 series in the West Indies. He decided against confronting 'chief selector' Kersi, who would put forward a sound argument.

After all, Kersi has been in the cricket media for almost 50 years now.

Well picked, Kersi.

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