Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
Is that a bone?
A pup carried by its parent in Bandra seems curious as two little children use a folded umbrella to grab its attention. Pic/Shadab Khan
Just a rupee
While we can only dream of the September Garden this year with memories of hot dogs, piping hot chana and stalls selling kitschy knick-knacks at the Bandra fair to commemorate Mother Mary's birthday, resident and veteran journalist Marcellus Baptista reminisces about the good old days of the fair from decades ago when a rupee was his prized possession to enjoy each day of the event. "Every paisa was used diligently; 25 paise for an amusement ride, another 25 paise for a batata vada, yet another for a soft-drink or an ice-cream and what was left, used for a game of hoopla. Those were the days of the September Garden with king and queen, and fancy dress contests, the jam session with jive music and songs on request with messages like "To the baby-faced girl in red, meet me at the graveyard,"' recalling how a day missed at the fair meant saving that one rupee for the next day — a definite double whammy, isn't it? Don't know about you. But we're missing the fair, a lot more.
No sign of freedom
If you love the viral signboard_wala as much as this diarist does, here's news. The city-based Instagrammer who shot to fame for posing with hilarious placards, was recently detained. Why? For attempting to click a photo outside a popular TV channel's office. "We were just standing on the footpath when the security guards told us to leave. When we tried to reason with them, they called the cops. We decided to drop the plan and leave, but were taken to the police station. We were interrogated for five hours, made to write a two-page maafinama, fined '1,200 and charged with IPC section 110. The signboard [in pic] had no malicious or defamatory content towards any individual, community or political party. We immensely respect the police task force that works round the dock but it was unfair to hold us back for hours. Do youth with signboards and freedom of speech threaten those in power so much?" Nilraj Kadam, who runs the account, told this diarist.
Beyond the stage
The lockdown has taught theatre makers that the medium has moved beyond the stage. How do you create a play for the online medium, while also keeping alive the audience interaction? Thespo's latest session by veteran theatre personality, Sumit Roy of Kolkata's 50-year-old English theatre group, The Red Curtain, will help young theatrewallahs nail that tomorrow. "While many theatre productions are doing shows online, most of them are pre-recorded and streamed. To us, that is teleplay, not live theatre. To be called theatre, performances need to be streamed live, and need to engage with the audience. So how do you adapt all the elements of standard theatre to a live digital play and interact with them such that it makes them want to turn their camera on and react as that they would from the proscenium? These are the techniques we will discuss," Roy told this diarist. The Red Curtain, he admits, has raised more funds in the last three months than the last three years, adding that one no longer needs to travel to the theatre because now it can be watched from anywhere in the world. "We will learn how to make geography history. No longer do you need to travel to the theatre because now it can be watched from anywhere in the world," he adds. Sounds exciting, right? Aspiring theatre makers, are you listening?
Two sides to love
A new survey conducted among 25- to 35-year-old Indians by dating app QuackQuack reveals that while 56 per cent of men are fine with the idea of a date bringing her friend along, 77 per cent of women prefer a private time. Also, 81 per cent of the men, and 50 per cent of the women, said they would be okay with dating someone older. "Indian women are also absolutely clear that they want the men to make the first move," the app's founder, Ravi Mittal told us.
Heads and nails
The nails being taken out by Tarun Bhansali (centre) and others
The pandemic has brought out the do-gooder in many of us. A group of Dadar residents are busy clearing nails at the Shivaji Park maidan. Tarun Bhansali from the group shared, "There are several nails across the maidan that have been hammered into the ground to hold mats or tarpaulin in place for events at this nursery of Indian cricket. We are trying to locate and remove them, so that youngsters do not trip or injure themselves. Currently, we are taking advantage of a relatively emptier maidan." They even got a special device made to prise out the nails, giving resonance to the area-specific catch line, mouthed by many a chuffed Dadarkar, "Proud to be from Dadar, Mumbai 28."
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