Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A hero to save us
In the balcony of a La Kozy Mansion on Marine Drive on Monday, two men sip on chai with life-size models of Iron Man and Hulk for company. Pic/Atul Kamble
New world, new line-up
Like several cultural organisations and performance venues, the Jaipur Literature Festival has taken the online route, too, with an extensive line-up under the title JLF Brave New World. It was recently that author William Dalrylmple took to Twitter to announce that Turkish author Orhan Pamuk has accepted an invite for a web session.
Orhan Pamuk. Pic/AFP
"It is a great opportunity for us to bring authors who have not been on the Jaipur stage before. It's incredible that everybody has confirmed and it has been a great experience putting this together with Namita Gokhale. There's Margaret Atwood, Yotam Ottolenghi and Maaza Mengiste among others," Dalrymple told this diarist. The sessions go live every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday evening. While some of these sessions are themed around the lockdown itself, others will be on varied themes. "We had Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee talk about Coronavirus and being at the forefront of this battle, in one of the sessions earlier," Dalrymple said.
A touch of magic
Bhupesh Dave at HBT Trauma Hospital
If the past few weeks have been difficult for us, can you imagine what thousands of healthcare workers have been going through? Dealing with long hours and the fear of Coronavirus while taking care of patients can be taxing. The staff at HBT Trauma Hospital in the city were in for a treat recently, when magician and entertainer Bhupesh Dave caught them at lunch time to give them a dose of his medicine — laughter.
There were tricks, jokes, some dancing and lots of smiling faces. "All health workers are totally occupied in the Coronavirus war. Because there is tremendous pressure, they rarely get time to relax. So, when I came across Dave, I thought he could lift the spirits of our health workers. From what I hear, they had a great time and we want to take this initiative to other hospitals depending on their schedule," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (western suburbs), BMC.
Papa CJ's onscreen tryst
It was over the weekend that comedian Papa CJ held his first online show. Like others in the industry, he had been sceptical about the experience and the response. To his surprise, the show went well with a 400-strong audience, and the 20 he could see and interact with. He also overheard a client interaction that reaffirmed his faith in the new medium. He recounted his experience on social media.
"I've always said that comedy is like sex, best not done in front of a screen. Comedians are used to live interaction, and now they are stuck standing in front of a screen. But, despite my apprehension it turned out to be an amazing experience. I wanted to tell other comedians that it can work and work very well and to give them some hope and confidence," he told this diarist.
Chef finds inspiration in chocolate
In these times, inspiration seems to come from all corners and take different forms. It's what led city-based Devwrat Anand Jatengaonkar, executive chef, Travel Food Services, to reimagine Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in chocolate. Hand-crafted using two kgs of dark compound chocolate over 28 hours, Jatengaonkar used wooden tools to finish his masterpiece.
"His [Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's] stories of bravery are still passed down generations. His will-power and patience have been a great source of inspiration. In today's time, to beat the pandemic, it is important to draw from his life and actions. It's what led me to create this sculpture," Jatengaonkar told this diarist.
Get booked this Thursday
It's World Book Day on April 23, and while a book discussion in a physical group may not be possibile, there's no reason to not celebrate with your ilk. Bring Your Own Book is a book club with chapters in cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. They also run free libraries in several locations and a writer's club for aspiring authors.
When the lockdown began, the book club resumed its activities in online form and is now holding its first all chapter e-meet called BYOB Beyond Borders. Here, unlike their other e-meets, you can interact with readers from around the country and discuss some of your favourite books. Fill out a form and talk about the one book you are looking forward to read and why, in a three-minute video to register for the event. Registrations close at 7 pm today. Log on to facebook.com/bringyourownbook.
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