Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
We've got your back
A group of boys help an enthusiast as he attempts a backflip at Juhu beach on Monday. Pic/Anurag Ahire
Trust in stories
One of the storytelling sessions
On International Literacy Day today, two initiatives that take the storytelling route to inclusive education caught our eye. One, across the seas, in London, where the National Literacy Trust has, on its website literacytrust.org, created Family Zone, a collection of free resources to keep kids engaged with stories to read, hear and create activities out of. Closer home, Pratham Books has taken its One Day, One Story initiative online with celebrities like Saif Ali Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Chitrangada Singh, among others, joining reading champions in virtual storytelling sessions. Through community radio stations, literacy platforms and social media, they'll reach out to 25,000 children across India in over 28 languages. "It's wonderful to see the enthusiasm of our volunteers, who join us every year to spread the joy of reading on International Literacy Day. This year, especially, we hope these stories bring some cheer to all," wished CEO Himanshu Giri. We hope so too.
Mercury belonged to Parsi Zoroastrians
We have all heard of Elvis Presley impersonators. But only a few in India have seen a musician dressed like Freddie Mercury, the front man of iconic rock band Queen. Last weekend was his birthday, and Live Aid, a Freddie Mercury tribute band, performed an online gig where the set list had hits including I want to break free. Mercury was of Parsi origin; his impersonator from Live Aid, Jaffery Sequeira shared, "We played at a Parsi wedding, and it was a lot of fun because the people felt a sense of belonging." This diarist wishes that he'd been invited.
Let's celebrate this revival
A brand new magazine on disability, sexuality and intersectional feminism looks set to create waves. Founded by Delhi-based Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College graduate Anusha Misra, Revival will amplify first-hand voices from the community and change existing narratives about a variety of subjects. "As a differently-abled woman, it's my journey of self acceptance and healing that led to the launch of Revival. Growing up, several patriarchal thoughts restricted me from living an authentic life. The entire system around me desexualised disabled women. Existing digital stories looked at success stories of disabled people for inspiration porn, putting the onus on our community to inspire and educate others. Non-disabled people labelled us using terms we never asked for," she told this diarist. Misra added, "Our magazine, which includes five disabled women and men on board, asks these tough questions, speaks our own truth and reclaims spaces that rightly belong to us." More power to her.
Butter chicken rap
Misheard lyrics are often a lot of fun and chef Saransh Goila made full use of that with a video he recently put up, where he dons a hip-hop avatar. He plays a Drake track called Nonsense in the background that has the line, "My head is spinning, from smoking chicken," where the last two words sound deceptively like "butter chicken", Goila's signature dish. He told this diarist that he is a fan of rap music and finds the burgeoning Indian scene exciting, with special mention for Naezy, Raftaar and Badshah. "I hope that I get to collaborate with them in some way, someday," he added. Are our desi musicians listening?
Ranveer takes to the streets
If you think that the organised F&B sector has had it bad during the pandemic, spare a thought for small-time vendors who have been a source of sustenance for millions of Indians over the years. These people are now faced with abject penury, but some help has now arrived in the form of Ranveer Brar. The celebrity chef recently crossed 1 million followers on Instagram, and he's launched a campaign called #MakeMillionCount to celebrate that milestone. He aims to provide online training modules for street-food vendors from across the country, some of which Brar will conduct himself. The vendors will also receive sanitisation kits that include a mask, gloves and an apron. "Street food is the backbone of any cuisine and culture. These hawkers are not mere food vendors, but a significant piece of our culture that we cannot afford to lose to history. They are our memory makers, our gossip mongers, and more than anything, stand testament to India's resilient nature," Brar said. The campaign goes live on Ketto.org today.
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