Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
The home stretch
With the lockdown partially lifted, these enthusiasts in Matunga are back to following their fitness routine. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Kid rock goes online
The concert first took place in 2013
Over the past eight years, the WE concert, which is organised by the Salaam Bombay Foundation to raise funds for children, has become an annual event in the city's cultural calendar. The brainchild of Mrinalini Somani — daughter of founder Padmini Somani — the concert features students from across the city, who come together to help underprivileged kids get training in different forms of art. And like all other events this time, the concert, too, has taken the online route.
Speaking to this diarist, Somani, who is coordinating the event that goes live on June 13, said, "It started off as a small thing with friends to make a difference, and since then, the show has grown a lot, from the first performance at blueFrog to NCPA and Royal Opera House. But this time, a physical show didn't make sense, so we thought of doing it online. This has allowed us to reach out to children from across the world; we'll have 50 performances, as opposed to the usual 20 to 25." And because it's online, Aditi Parikh, vice-president, communications, says the involvement of the performers in raising funds is even more as it's a show by the children, for the children. Log on to the foundation's page on Facebook to watch the event and lend your support.
Let's hit the road
If you've been itching for a long drive or just been sulking about missing that summer trip, Khushil Shah, a 19-year-old student of KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, might have a fun solution for you.
Shah and his brother Hitansh have built a website that simulates the first-person view of a driver in a car. From Mumbai to Los Angeles, there are more than 23 cities to choose from, and once you log in, you're in for a smooth ride.
A view of Marine Drive on the web app
There are radio frequencies to tune into, and if you don't want that, then just keep an ear out for the bustle of the streets. Shah, who made the app after his exams, said, "My father had got a forward about a similar app. Inspired, I built this in five days using a free server and YouTube videos of cities across the world." Log on to musicaldrive.herokuapp.com/index.html to take a trip.
Actors, it is time to get fit
According to actor Makarand Deshpande, to be good at the craft requires routine — the kind that we seek when we hit the gym. And so, Deshpande is in the process of setting up what he terms Actor's Gym, a three-phase workshop, with five sessions in each.
Speaking about the 90-minute sessions, Deshpande said, "Anyone who wants to be an actor goes to a regular gym to build their body and get in shape. I feel, what they also need is to build the emotional spine for each character. These workshops are aimed at bringing actors closer to themselves, training them to approach a character, and demonstrating regular exercises and a routine to build their imagination, focus and emotional memory."
A chain of support for artists
Last month, we had reported in this page how artists Purvai Rai and Ayesha Singh started the Instagram page Art Chain India to help fellow creators sell their artworks. Now, the duo have been joined by independent curator Radha Mahendru (inset) to help the community apply for various opportunities by collating resources to guide them on creating CVs and portfolios. They will also get industry experts to offer guided reviews to the artists.
"Art Chain India was started to first provide monetary support and then, expand it to offer peer support. The Review Chain is the first step towards it. We started getting a lot of queries and realised there is a major information gap in this sector. There are pockets of information that some artists have due to experience but it isn't available to all. So, we wanted to organise, collate and share not just our experience, but also the knowledge of industry experts. The idea is to also open this up to artists working with any visual medium," Mahendru said.
Spot your fave bookstore
We love technology, but most bibliophiles like us will swear that there's nothing like stepping into a bookstore. And as India starts to unlock in phases, Penguin Random House India is collating an ever-growing list of bookstores that are opening their doors for readers or are starting delivery, on its blog. We were happy to spot popular addas like Happy Book Stall, Title Waves, Kitab Khana and Granth The Book Shop from Mumbai.
Title Waves in Bandra, which is open for delivery, was on the list
"We know the importance of the bookstore, the feeling of browsing, and accomplishment of a choice. So, when the bookshops re-opened, it was natural for us to celebrate this good news," said Niti Kumar, SVP, marketing, digital and communications.
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