Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
For whom the bell tolls
Actor Ronit Roy inaugurates artist Paramesh Paul's exhibition on the Nandi bull, at an art gallery in Kala Ghoda on Tuesday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
A bit of chick chat
The first time that this diarist watched Tungrus (2017) - a short documentary on a Mumbai family with a pet rooster - he and his friends laughed uncontrollably for almost the entire 13 minutes of the delightful film's duration.
It's a simply told story about the travails that the family goes through as the bird grows into a full-blown rooster after entering the household as a tiny chick. But director Rishi Chandna opts for such a chilling ending that all our laughing turned instantly into a deathly silence. And the sort of impact that the film has on viewers has now been recognised at the Ennesimo Film Festival in Italy with a special mention, and at Belgium's Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival where it won the Best Short Documentary Award. Our heartiest congratulations.
Tracking the past of city's tram heritage
It might be hard to imagine in today's day and age when Metro work has made traffic a nightmare, but Mumbai was once a place where trams rolled lazily on the streets. In fact, it was on May 7 in 1907 when the city got its first electric tram. And a social media page, Mumbai Heritage, took us back in time to the occasion with old photographs and nuggets of information about Mumbai's tram heritage. Did you know, for instance, that Mumbai became India's first city with double-decker public transport when such trams were introduced here in 1920?
Fact vs fiction
A safe space for the desi queer to share their stories, Gaysi family posted eight LGBTQ parenting myth-busters on Instagram yesterday in light of International Family Equality Day. Each slide featured one myth - being raised by homosexual parents will make the kids homosexual, for instance - accompanied by evidence supported by research studies. "Here's hoping for some change in laws and understanding of what makes a family. Not heterosexuality, just love," they wrote, making a point we wholeheartedly support.
Planting the seeds of a better future
It's no secret that Mumbai's green patches are decreasing at an alarming rate given construction work for residential housing and public transport projects. But with the monsoon drawing near, there is a chance to make some amends. That's what the folks at ROOTS, a nature club based in the city, have set out to do with a tree plantation campaign. The idea is to adopt the guerilla gardening method, wherein they will disperse thousands of seed bombs across the city's outskirts and state just before the onset of rain. And the organisers are thus calling on Mumbaikars to save the seeds of fruits that you are enjoying these days - be it mangoes, chikoos or jamuns - by simply washing them in water before air-drying them, and then contact them once you have a few. The number to call is 9820613334.
A name-changing launch date
Author Amish has carved a niche for himself with his brand of mythological fiction that includes books like The Immortals of Meluha and Sita: Warrior of Mithila. So much so, that his fans wait with bated breath whenever he announces that he is working on a book. But this wait turned out to be much longer than usual with his next release, earlier titled Raavan: Orphan of Aryavarta. The good news for fans, however, is that he hosted a Facebook Live conversation with film critic Anupama Chopra yesterday where he first apologised for personal reasons having come in the way of him finishing the book, and then revealed that it will definitely get launched in July, with pre-orders starting from June 1. Curiously, he also said that he has changed the title to Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta. And when Chopra asked him why, Amish said that Raavan was actually born in a place close to Delhi, and the author initially believed that Raavan felt as if his motherland had abandoned him, hence the word "orphan" in the title. But later Amish felt that it was Raavan instead who had rejected India, leading him to include "enemy" in the name. "I felt that 'orphan' would have robbed Raavan of the agency he showed in rejecting his motherland," Amish said.
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