Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Who will be aunty no 1?
Senior citizens engage in a game of ludo clad in masks in a residential building on Sayani Road on Monday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Creating new symphonies on screen
The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) on Sunday released its first online recording. Karl Jenkin's Air, originally written for SOI's music director Marat Bisengaliev, came alive on screens through musicians from their homes.
"We are going through the quarantine, which is really challenging period. That's why NCPA decided to stream its archive videos online. SOI is getting together, despite being confined by online recordings, to put up great works by composers. The task isn't easy but it is exciting," Bisengaliev told this diarist. "In the pipeline is the Cantus Insolitus by Jenkins and a piece by Leroy Anderson recorded by students of the SOI academy," she added.
Scripts in the time of lockdown
Playwrights, now's the time to sharpen that script. The Sultan Padamsee Awards for playwriting has started accepting entries for the year. Instituted in the memory of the legend by the Theatre Group, the competition has been a regular feature in the city's cultural calendar. Participants can send in 60-to-120-minute long scripts till May 1, and the winning entries will be performed at the Tata Literature Live — Mumbai LitFest 2020 in November.
Ayesha Sayani, who currently coordinates the awards, told this diarist, "The competition was started to encourage Indians to write plays in English. The quarantine period has given people time to write their scripts." Gurcharan Das's Larins Saheb, Geive Patel's Princes, Dina Mehta's The Myth Maker, Cyrus Mistry's Doongaji House, Ram Ganesh Kamatham's Ultimate Kurukshetra, Vinnet Bhalla's A Farming Story, Ramneek Singh's Parvati's Dark Children, Satinder Chohan's Lotus Beauty, Faezeh Jalali's Shikhandi – The Story of the Inbetweens, Sneh Sapru's Hello Farmaaish and Bettina Gracias's Watching You, have been among the winners of this award.
Baba moves from ice to rice
Vanilla Ice's popular song is something we've all heard. Then came Baba Sehgal's 1992 Indian version, Thanda thanda paani. He had recently released an all new Coronavirus version called Rice rice arbi.
"I had made arbi at home and was out of atta, so I made rice to go with it and had some curd. It turned out to be an interesting mix and then the words rice rice arbi took on new meaning," he told this diarist revealing that it has been his own way of documenting the lockdown and connecting with people. "Everybody is going through the same things right now. We are all cooking and cleaning and trying new recipes at home," he said adding that ever since he has been receiving versions of the song from listeners on social media.
Pick your podcast
With time at hand, IVM Podcasts has put its hosts to the task of making recommendations as part of the IVM Smart Guide that aims to make people smarter while spending time at home. Ramya Ramamurthy, Tripti Khamkar and Cyrus Broacha among others list their five picks of podcasts and shows.
Except Broacha takes the opportunity to turn this into a comedy episode of its own — from recommending Modern Family to watch with your children, to Pamela Anderson's work as a "runner" in the series Baywatch.
It's Insta playtime for all
Mumbai-based theatre group D for Drama had recently launched an Instagram theatre festival that looks at various aspects of the craft. From theatre makers like Akarsh Khurana discussing the process of writing his META-winning play Dhumrapan to Gitanjali Kulkarni revisiting a monologue from her popular play Gajab Kahani. Yesterday, playwright Abhishek Majumdar known for his works Kaumudi, Edigah Ke Jinnat and Pah-La, joined in with his first ever Instagram session.
"It's a freewheeling discussion about my work as a playwright and director. I chat about craft, method, research and teams to anyone who is interested in theatre," he told this diarist, ahead of the session not before revealing that he has never been on Instagram before.
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