Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Yeh Shaam Mastani
This gentleman makes the smart choice of enjoying fresh air from the sun roof of his car since stepping out is risky for senior citizens. Pic/Atul Kamble
Missing Wimbledon build-up? Think Martina!
Tennis players and fans the world over would have been gearing up for Wimbledon had COVID-19 not forced the cancellation of the third Grand Slam of the year.
In this scenario, celebrating one of the greats in the sport is a good option.
Of the highly successful women players in tennis history, Martina Navratilova stands out.
Until 1987 (when she won her eighth singles crown), the Czechoslovakia-born legend didn't know what it was to lose a singles final at Centre Court. Then she lost to Steffi Graf in the 1988 and 1989 finals before her last championship win in 1990.
To end up with nine Wimbledon singles titles was nothing short of incredible. No wonder she compared playing at Wimbledon to a love affair. "I loved Wimbledon from the first time I knew about it and like in a relationship, where you love that person more and more, the longer it goes, hopefully it gets better," she once said.
We love the greens of Wimbledon too, but this year, we've got the blues.
Art in medicine
Agra-based doctor Saanchi Malhotra is using the pandemic to create new and unique art. Malhotra, 28, got a MBBS degree in 2015, and has been a radiologist since the last two years. Currently working as a radiologist at her own diagnostic centre, Malhotra has started a new Instagram page, the_radiologist_eye, where she mixes radiology with art.
Speaking to this diarist, she says, "I have loved drawing for as long as I can remember, but I hardly ever got the time during my medical graduation and residency. Thanks to the 'me-time' that I got during this pandemic, I decided to rekindle my love for drawing. I'm trying to illustrate the amazing beauty in radiology, the patterns and shapes that we see in different pathologies that affect the human body. Apart from making the black and white world of radiology more attractive for doctors, I hope that my page resonates with my non-medico friends too and helps spread health awareness in a beautiful way."
Title Waves in Vikhroli soon
At a time, when shuttering of bookstores is common, it's almost heartening to hear of new ones springing up in the city. Bandra's Title Waves, which has become a cultural hub of sorts, is now branching out to the eastern suburbs. Trushant Tamgaonkar, executive director, told this diarist that the flagship store will soon be opening a new outlet at The Trees, a residential complex in Godrej One, Vikhroli.
"It might feel like we are going against the tide [by launching this outlet], but we are very excited and positive about this. We are currently planning and designing the store. It's an experiment for us, too, and so, we have decided to start with a smaller outlet," Tamgaonkar told this diarist, adding, "People who love bookstores, will always come to one. It's their safe space and we want to remain loyal to this tribe of readers."
Tune in to hear quarantine covers
Namit Das and Anurag Shanker
The talented Namit Das wears many hats, including that of a singer and an actor. Das and his bandmates, Shivang Kapadia, Ralph Menezes, Bharat, Harmish Joshi and Anurag Shanker, have been covering old Hindi songs during the lockdown, but with a twist. They take retro songs such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's much-loved Piya Re or Madan Mohan and Kishore Kumar's much-hummed Zaroorat Hai, and adapt them to modern times.
"I have grown up listening to these songs and the intention is to introduce a younger audience to these classics," he says. Das's melodious vocals and the group's mastery with instruments will make you come back for more. The members record their individual parts from the comfort of their homes, before it's mixed and available on Das's social media handle.
For Anavila Misra, social responsibility starts in her Khar lane
Community is core to Anavila Misra. And this emotional response to support local communities starts right in her lane; the BMC sweepers and garbage collectors, the lone vegetable vendor and kelavala, and the Khar Post Office that's literally a minute's walk from her design studio. "They [Khar Post Office] are part of our community circle. For the last nine years, we've been using speed post to send and receive our fabrics from clusters based in remote villages. Private courier services don't reach there!" Misra tells the diarist.
Postmaster General-Mumbai, Swati Pandey and designer Anavila Misra, and the staff at the Khar Post Office
The designer, along with her team of two tailors, created and donated 200 face masks to the staff at post offices based in Khar, Andheri and Bandra on Friday, and shares plans of masking the rest of Mumbai's brave women—constituting 30 per cent of workforce—and men who have been working throughout the lockdown. "I don't believe in selling face masks," she says matter-of-factly. The top layer is linen while soft mul-mul lines the inner sheet, and fabric is used to cover the itchy elastic fasteners. Here, the designer adds that she has retained the organic texture and colour of linen. "They are quite happy since the masks match their khaki uniforms. I've used printed linen for the women staff as it compliments their sarees beautifully," she says. While on the topic of the six-yard, Swati Pandey, the Postmaster General, Mumbai, shares Misra's love for sarees. "She [Swati Pandey] knows quite a lot about textiles, and is especially interested in linens," Misra laughs.
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