Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Actors Disha Patani and Tiger Shroff match steps with each other on the sets of a reality TV show at a studio in Malad on Sunday. Pic/Satej Shinde
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary salaam for Dongre's designs
Hillary Rodham Clinton is the latest foreign political dignitary to flaunt Indian handcrafted outfits by Anita Dongre (below). In the past, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Queen Mathilde of Belgium embraced easy-to-wear styles from the designer's collection. And as recently as last month, Canada's first lady Sophie Grégoire Trudeau wore a handwoven chanderi mul kurta from the indigenous label when the family visited Sabarmati Ashram and Akshardham Temple in Gujarat.
During the Rajasthan leg of her India book tour to promote, What Happened, the former Democratic presidential candidate was spotted in Dongre's creations; a sage green handwoven silk bandhani shrug, and a blue tunic with delicately printed floral and vine motifs.
The fact that India ranks a dismal 133rd out of 156 countries on the happiness index — much lower than its Asian neighbours of Pakistan (75), China (86) and Bangladesh (115) — should give us reason to pause and reflect. What is it about life in this country that has led to the low ranking? And what can we do to ensure that not just us, but those around us too feel like there is something worth smiling about? Well, a new app provides one answer to that second question. Called Happ Stuff, it puts focus on the fact that "happiness is not just an inside job, it is also an insight job". The app involves one-minute challenges — such as Happ-a-Minute, Attitude of Gratitude, Happiness Meter, Random Acts of Kindness and Happiness Journal — which are all aimed at releasing "happy hormones" like dopamine and oxytocin. Its purpose is to create self-generated insights and track progress on a self-paced happiness journey. Sorbojeet Chatterjee, the app's founder, says, "As entrepreneurs, we are expected to solve big problems. And I doubt if our society faces a bigger challenge than the overall depletion of happiness. And it is only getting worse." While that might be the case, here's hoping that his effort helps spread some cheer, especially today, the day the app is being launched, which not so coincidentally is the International Day of Happiness.
Look who's changed
Purab Kohli first entered the scene as a fresh-faced youngster in the TV serial Hip Hip Hurray, before later entering the world of Hindi films. But a photo that he had posted on one of his social media accounts took us especially by surprise, because Kohli looks nothing like himself in it. It was taken during the filming for Camouflage, a short film, and has Kohli sporting a beard and donning a head scarf in the style of Arabs, while sipping on a cup of coffee. Goes to show how being innovative with his or her looks are an everyday part of an actor's life.
A bow-wow moment
They are the original gully boys (and girls) of the city. Loyal, brave and adorable, Mumbai's stray dogs are integral to every street corner and neighbourhood in the city. And now, a soon-to-release e-book by Welfare of Stray Dogs' CEO Abodh Aras (in pic) is all set to put them in the spotlight. Titled My City, My Dogs, the book looks at the street dog heroes, their playgrounds and their favourite things. The visuals in the book have been created using a combination of photos by Hashim Badani and illustrations by Sumedha Sah. We are pretty sure it will be a barking success.
Nothing makes a tree more beautiful than the flowers that bloom on it, and in the spring of 2018, one such flower bloomed bright on the city's very own Kahani Tree. As Sangeeta Bhansali, founder of the children's bookstore, stopped at a book-signing event in the US, she had none other than Chelsea Clinton (in pic) sign a copy of the latter's new picture book, She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History, and dedicate it to Kahani Tree. Now, that's two powerful women engaged in building stories for a better world.
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