Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
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Strays follow a man who walks along the promenade at Worli with the Haji Ali Dargah in the background. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Raising a toast to the Ustad
(From left) Nastya, Purbayan Chatterjee, Rickraj Nath, Jazim Sharma and Shikhar Naad Qureshi performing Sar-e-Bazm in the video
On the birth anniversary of the late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan today, city-based sitar virtuoso Purbayan Chatterjee will release a special tribute on his YouTube channel, Yun Sar-e-Bazm, a ghazal based on Khan's raga Gaurimanjari.
With lyrics by Asthana Saher, it will feature vocalist Jazim Sharma, Rickraj Nath on the guitar, Shikhar Naad Qureshi on the djembe and Nastya on the violin. The song was recorded last year and about Khan, Chatterjee told this diarist, "He touched many lives with the divinity of his music. For me, with every passing day, his music is like a beacon, shining at the horizon of all that is bold and beautiful."
Quarantining and chilling
At a time when people are looking for respite, a dating app has revealed that its matches globally shot up by 10 per cent since March and that conversations have increased by 20 per cent.
In India, 33 per cent men and 42 per cent women prefer texting while 27 per cent men and 21 per cent women are relying on phone calls. And do people feel like something good has come out of this pandemic? Thirty per cent are glad they get to wear pyjamas to a virtual date.
Rights for all
Parmesh Shahani's bestselling memoir Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)longing in Contemporary India (Sage Publications India), first published 12 years ago, is set to release in a special anniversary edition later this month. It will include new introductory chapters from noted academicians.
Talking about it, Shahani told this diarist, "As you read this edition, our community continues to have conflicts — around religion or caste, or terms we want to call ourselves. What kind of world are we going to create together now that Section 377 is gone but we have a regressive trans act? How do we find the connectedness between trans rights, Dalit rights, Adivasi rights, and the rights of other minorities and move ahead together? I believe that we need the modus vivendi of this book's conclusion now, more than ever."
Actor Shruti Seth tweeted a glimpse of snaking queues outside grocery stores in the Lokhandwala area of K Ward on Monday. "One day a week for groceries is a terrible idea," she posted.
Speaking to this diarist, Seth said, "We received a circular stating that grocery stores in the area will only open on Mondays, between 9 am and 5 pm. When I stepped out to go to the ATM, there were long queues outside every single shop. People panicked. By the look of it, they must have waited for hours. I'm sure they must be in real need of groceries, which is why they have risked this. This may lead to hoarding. I think the authorities are trying their best but the situation needs to be reassessed. Aditya Thackeray has responded to my tweet, assuring that the issue will be resolved. Let's hope we get through this soon and safe."
Days and nights in lockdown
City-based Studio Tamaasha is documenting the ongoing lockdown through a docu-fiction series titled 21 Din, 20 Raat. Here, eight actors turn narrators and bring us stories of real people around them, sharing their doubts, questions, joys and secrets. "During these unprecedented times, we felt a need to document the inner emotions of ordinary people. What was the experience of a migrant worker trapped many hundred miles from home?
Sudhir Pandey in the first episode of 21 Din, 20 Raat
How does a struggling actor keep his sanity? How does a writer respond to his personal life through writing," Sapan Saran of Studio Tamaasha and director of the first episode (two have released), told this diarist. Calling it a document of our times, she revealed that, actors stuck to lockdown protocol while conducting interviews and shoots at their own homes. They were then put together by a video editor.
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