Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
No net gains
The poor are left to protect themselves in tents on a skywalk in Powai on Monday. Pic/Sameer Markande
Paisa vasool with Pant
At a time when uncertainty hits most industries around the world, writer Meghna Pant's first-ever podcast on Audible hopes to bring some clarity on money matters. Titled Show Me The Money, the podcast is a personal finance audio show that addresses the basics of saving, investing and spending with experts and top investment houses such as SBI, HDFC, and DSP. The recording began last December and about the importance of the show now, Pant told this diarist, "The deepest learning from this pandemic is that life is unpredictable and we need to be prepared for anything. And the only things that can help us tide over tough times, downturns and job losses, are our savings and investments. What are smart financial decisions? How can women, millennials, artists, freelancers and influencers become richer? What's worth spending on and what's not? The idea is to give people money advice that actually works, while they're sitting at home in their PJs. All for free!"
Party all night
This diarist watched DJ Ivan offer his friends a treat when they were starved of their fix of weekend dancing recently. A bunch of them were on a video call when one person directed them to a mammoth set that the city-based musician was playing live on Instagram, where he started spinning old-school electronic tunes around midnight and went on for seven hours straight. The friends logged in to the music from home, showing how the definition of partying in Mumbai has changed during the lockdown. "This is for those who are missing the club right now," the gracious DJ said.
Some signs of the times
Although we're all finding ways to comprehend the current scenario we're living in, an emoji that accurately represents what we're going through can always help. So, the New York-based creative agency &Walsh has launched hundreds of emojis that can be downloaded for free — because they were "frustrated by the limitations of the current emoji set." Too scared to text your crush? Just send them the "Be My Quarantine?" emoji. Tired of people reminding you to wash your hands? Show them the graphic depiction of bubbles emerging from your hands instead. And if you can't deal with anything or anyone at the moment, simply send the banner that says, "Hello I Am Going Insane". We understand.
Why you should swing into this auction
After the pandemic struck artist Raju Sutar took up the brush up in a bid to help with relief work. It started off with 30 paintings that he posted on social media, appealing to followers to pay R500 or more for each. "I asked them to pay the money to either the Maharashtra Chief Minister's (CM) Relief Fund or any other COVID-19 fund. The paintings were sold out in 20 hours and some people paid more than R3,000 for them," he told us. This is what led him to kick-start an auction on Instagram. The circular paintings, each 3.5-inch in diameter, are inspired by the popular card game Ganjifa. "I've posted four paintings so far. Each day, one painting goes under the hammer and I take bids till 10 pm in the comments section. The winner is declared after that and they need to send the money to the CM's Fund. I'll send the artworks to the winners by post once the lockdown ends," he said, adding that R23,000 has been raised so far.
A mindful debut
Singer, actor and speaker on mindfulness, Raageshwari Loomba Swaroop is set to make her literary debut next month as her book Building a Happy Family (Penguin India) will be launched digitally by Oxford Bookstore. The title comes with a foreword from Dr Shashi Tharoor and the author focusses on the impact books, music, art and positive reinforcement has on the lives of children. "I always believed that parenting is about bringing up the parent and not the child. I wrote the book so we adults can re-visit our childhood through our children's unique eyes," Loomba Swaroop told this diarist. In doing this, she also stated that we will magically realise that these "little masters" are our greatest teachers in mindfulness. About the motivation to delve into mindfulness per se, the London-based author added, "I starting collecting notes on it soon after my recovery from facial paralysis. It's been 20 years since then. But when I started the journey of being a mother, in my mind first, I knew I wanted to be a non-judgemental and easygoing mother. Mindfulness made me realise that for it to happen I would first have to start by being non-judgemental and easy going with myself and everyone around me."
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