Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Sewing equal rights
"Everyday couture" might sound like an oxymoron to the cynics among us. But not to Karishma Swali and Monica Shah, the duo behind JADE, a couture-driven label. The family is readying to celebrate a decade in the business with a collection titled Oneness, to be presented this evening at Colaba's Taj Mahal hotel in the company of Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director at Christian Dior.
On Wednesday, Chiuri is also scheduled to visit the school of hand embroidery at Byculla, launched as part of the Chanakya Foundation. Long before the revival of traditional embroidery skills came under the spotlight, Karishma's father Vinod Maganlal Shah was combing the corners of the country to build a team of master hand embroiderers. They became part of Chanakya's founding team in 1984, a crafts manufacturing unit responsible for creating couture embroidery for Christian Dior, Gucci and Maison Margiela.
Maria Grazia Chiuri. Pic/Getty Images
Today, they boast 400 in-house artisans, in addition to 20 ateliers. "The embroiderers are all men, and we want to change that with Chanakya School of Hand Embroidery," says Karishma about the initiative that's focused on providing women from low-income groups with quality training in hand embroidery and a taste of global culture. "The vision to work with women came from Maria Grazia Chiuri, who will be visiting the school on Wednesday," tells Karishma.
Short takes from the shortlist
Early this month, the JCB Prize for Literature announced the shortlist for its debut edition. The list features five novels — Half the Night Gone by Amitabha Bagchi, Jasmine Days by Benyamin, Poonachi by Perumal Murugan, All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy and Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup — in the running for Rs 25 lakh.
A still from Latitudes of Longing
The winner will be revealed tomorrow and to build on the excitement, the organisation has released trailers for each of the titles on their YouTube channel. Each video made by The Jamun Collective captures the essence of the plot with a narration that serves as an introduction to a book. In a world where you find heads buried in cell phones for pocket-sized entertainment, we like the idea of a video that may lead you to pick up a book.
One for the road
Mumbai-based Advait Deodhar has just returned from the Euro NASCAR Finals as the first Indian to have won a European racing championship. The 28-year-old, who has been touted as one of the most consistent among competitors, won the race on the popular Circuit Zolder, a 4.011 km motorsport race track in Belgium last week.
"I'm over the moon. It has been three tough years and finally I made my European debut this year. It's been fantastic winning a European championship as a debutante. I look forward to seeing what the future holds," Deodhar told this diarist.
Gandhi for kids
This Gandhi Jayanti marked the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the Father of the Nation. And to commemorate the occasion, a special animation film produced by the Films Division of India, which comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, has been released. The four-and-a-half-minute film is set to Vaishnav Jana To, known as one of Gandhi's favourite hymns.
Depicting a beautiful relationship between the Mahatma and children, the film depicts kids living up to his ideals of compassion for fellow beings — humans, animals and plants — honesty, cleanliness, utilising every minute of one's time and respecting all faiths. To drive home the relevance of Gandhi's principles, the film even shows the ephemeral pleasures of materialism through visuals of kids playing video games and taking selfies. Made by Pune-based Girgit Studios, the short film sure packs a punch.
100 + 2, and counting
In October 2016, exactly a century after the city got a stunning cultural venue, and two decades after it fell into disuse and shut down, the Royal Opera House (ROH) made a comeback and how! Restored to its former baroque glory by conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah and her team, the opera house — the only surviving one in India — has become a hub for the performing arts and literary events. And as the restored venue celebrates its two-year anniversary in October, several social advocacy programmes have been the focus this month.
The celebrations will culminate in a private music performance by a Sufi folk fusion band next week, with ROH owner Maharani Saheb Kumud Kumari Gondal and honorary director Ashish Doshi among other guests in attendance.
Dip, Dip, Dip
Nitin Gadkari, it seems, carries his own tea. The union minister decided to make his own cuppa right in the midst of the audience at the India's Coastline — Engine and Wheel of Economic Growth Conference at a Parel five-star on Monday. Pic/Ashish Raje
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