Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Dragging kids to a better future
After years of persecution, things seem to be slowly looking up for the LGBT community in India, especially after the landmark Supreme Court ruling that decriminalised consensual sex between a homosexual couple. But we are still far from becoming a non-discriminatory society when it comes to the different genders. And the conversation around this subject needs to be sustained before we get there.
That's why a new concept announced at a city five-star comes as encouraging news. It's called The Drag Queen Story Hour, and the first edition involves Rani-Ko-He-Nur — Sushant Divgikar's drag queen persona — narrating stories to a bunch of children that are meant to educate them about inclusivity and diversity. The event will also feature the launch of Elphie Books, a series that's based on Elphie, the hotel's gender-sensitive mascot. We hope that other establishments, too, take a leaf out of this book.
Stories from Jharkhand at Cannes
While the red carpet look at Cannes will soon start making it to your Instagram feeds, here's some other news from the festival. Two films by Mumbai-based filmmaker Lal Vijay Shahdeo will be screened at Cannes tomorrow.
Lal Vijay Shahdeo
Rooted in the filmmaker's home state, Jharkhand, Phulmania talks about the practice of witch hunting that's still prevalent in the region through the story of a young woman who has to suffer stone pelting when she is declared a witch after her husband's death.
A still from Lohardaga
Lohardaga tackles the issue of unemployed youth taking to Naxalism and the agents that trick youngsters into it.
Making India proud
Ahmedabad-based Amitabh Shah, who heads volunteer youth movement Yuva Unstoppable (YU), has become the youngest Indian to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honour in the US recently. The Yale graduate started YU in 2005 at the age of 23 when he saw how his elderly 82-year-old nanny, Kamlaben, suï¬Âered and was abandoned by her son. He began volunteering at homes for the elderly, slums and orphanages with his friends, even though his family resisted initially.
Amitabh Shah with Paula Abdul
Today the organisation works with 100 top corporates and has transformed 1,000 government schools with better toilets, improved drinking water, scholarships, smart classrooms and value-based training. Besides Shah, the other awardees this year were Erick Schmidt (former Google CEO), Emmy-award winning musician Paula Abdul and talk show host Montel Williams. Previous recipients include US Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter, Nobel winner Malala Yousafzai, and actor Michael Douglas.
A landmark for FTII
The All India Council for Technical Education has released a list of institutions and approved courses under its newly constituted category for institutes offering courses in applied arts, crafts and design.
And the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, has become the only institute in this category in the country to receive the recognition, which extends to all four TV wing courses and the feature film screenplay writing course offered by the institute. "It is a landmark achievement," said an official statement issued by the FTII.
A love affair with Art Deco
Among the many heritage structures in Mumbai that speak of the multiple historical influences that shaped its architecture, Art Deco buildings occupy a unique place. After all, Mumbai has the second highest concentration of structures built in the architectural style from the 1930s after Miami. And for the last three years, Art Deco Mumbai, a dedicated team of individuals from diverse backgrounds, has been working towards advocating their conservation and chronicling their history.
On its third anniversary recently, the team shared some promising statistics — it has surveyed 1,390 buildings so far and documented 505 of them. The neighbourhoods the team has scoured include several locales in SoBo as well as Mahim, Matunga and Wadala, and surprisingly, it's Dadar, not Churchgate, that has the highest number of Art Deco structures in Mumbai.
The long and short of it
Taapsee Pannu gives one last look to her dress before the cameras roll at the shoot of a beauty product in Goregaon on Tuesday. Pic/Satej Shinde
RJ Salil and Archana Get Brownie Points!