Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A canine rests while a cop walks on the deserted Girgaum Chowpatty on Thursday. Pic/Ashish Raje
Bring out the audio story
Children's book publisher Karadi Tales has launched Katha with Karadi featuring audiobooks, storytelling and events at 5.30 pm every day, for the next two weeks. Some will feature books read out by celebrities like Usha Uthup, Nandita Das, Soha Ali Khan and R Madhavan.
Nandita Das, Shobha Viswanath and Usha Uthup
Talking about it, Shobha Viswanath, co-founder and publishing director, Karadi Tales, said, "The current generation of children is new to Karadi Tales audiobooks, even though their parents may have grown up with them. It is a great time to offer them a sampling of the wondrous stories that our narrators and musicians have brought to life".
City-based researcher, animation filmmaker and entrepreneur Debjani Mukherjee is known to infuse novelty in her work — from live projection and sand art in the theatre piece Jam that was directed by Shivani Tanksale, to her short film Awakening of the Goddess, which is now set to get a screening at Bangladesh's Liberation Doc Fest as well as The Lift-Off Sessions Film Festival this year.
A still from Mukherjee's film
The three-minute animated documentary themed on the nine kinds of gender-based violence is powerfully layered with audio clips that people sent to her on social media.
Mukherjee told this diarist, "I didn't even know some of them and they shared their stories with me. It is encouraging to see it getting recognition. I've also always wanted my work to go to Bangladesh since I hail from Bengal."
Tune into talent on Insta
If you're a music enthusiast looking to boost your productivity, here's some good news. The Indian Performing Rights Society Limited (IPRS) has introduced a new digital series called IPRS CreativeShala that lets you pick the brains of experts in the music industry.
It will comprise jamming sessions, masterclasses, interviews and workshops by noted composers, musicians and lyricists, among others, streaming live every Thursday and Sunday on Instagram at 7 pm.
"Creativity is a process of constant learning and evolving. We are committed towards ensuring a better future for music and its creators. We've been working on this project for some time now, however the current situation created the urgency to implement this on a war footing basis. It is the right time to focus on your skills and be prepared to present your best when opportunities resurface. Our aim is to learn while having fun," singer and IPRS board member Mayur Puri told this diarist. The session today features playback singer Priya Saraiya who will be in conversation with Puri.
Locked down with love
Finding love in the time of crises is a storyline we're familiar with. But with lockdowns imposed around the world, writer Vibha Batra started thinking about how far would someone go for love. That idea led to her writing the book My Corona Love Story that has been published by Juggernaut and is now available for free reading on their website. The story revolves around Riyanshi, who goes on a solo trip to Paris and is ultimately stuck with a rude stranger during the lockdown.
About the title, Batra told this diarist, "I had to write something topical. The virus was exploding all over Europe and that's why I set the story there. At the end of it, the message is that given the situation right now, we need to keep our judgments aside, and see people for what they truly are."
We have known this all along, but now an online music platform's survey has made it official. Female artistes are woefully under-represented in the Indian independent music circuit. In 2017, for example, the top 10 venues across the country booked only six per cent women compared to 94 per cent male musicians.
The disparity is similar when it comes to festival appearances and standalone tours. There has been a slight leveling of the playing field, with venues featuring 17.9 per cent female performers last year. But, there is a lot that still needs to be done.
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