Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

Updated: Dec 21, 2016, 10:34 IST | Team mid-day |

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mythology in Marathi

For those interested in mythology, this episode will pique the imagination. Residents of Maharashtra’s Sangli district, must have been surprised that an Odia man spoke to them about the Vedas and Puranas in chaste Marathi for close to 40 minutes.

And we are not talking about the symbolic opening sentences that many celebrities mouth to strike a chord with the audience while quickly segueing into English or Hindi. Mythologist and author Devdutt Pattanaik kept his audience at a memorial lecture in the town spellbound as he spoke in their language about how appreciating the importance of the Vedas and the Puranas is an interconnected process.

Born and raised in Chembur, Pattanaik wove in a bit of mythology to answer a question about his mother tongue: “Between Devaki and Yashoda, who would you call Lord Krishna’s mother?”

Storytelling goes online
It’s been a good year for those who don’t find the idiot box amusing any more. Netflix was launched earlier this year in India and now, a video streaming app from Amazon is available across mobile operating systems.

Mini Mathur
Mini Mathur

Among a number of award-winning original shows that are exclusive to the app’s catalogue is a series called The Storytellers. An initiative of Roshan Abbas-led Kommune, which is an ideating platform for artists and performers, the series celebrates the good old art of face-to-face storytelling in the age of solitary communication with gadgets.

Each session spans about five minutes, where the speaker shares a personal, moving story that has never been told before. Some of the speakers that have shared their experiences at the sessions include Mini Mathur, Sandhya Mridul, Ishita Sharma, Tess Joseph, Gaurav Kapur, Shamir Reuben among others.

For a safe childhood’s sake
In a city starved of open spaces, it is not uncommon to see children running off to a busy road to catch a ball or find a hiding spot behind a parked car. But that does not make play any less dangerous, and to instil a sense of road safety in children, Safe Kids Foundation organised a cartoon-sketching workshop recently.

The workshop; a participant’s creationThe workshop; a participant’s creation

A non-profit dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood injuries, the organisation roped in architect and artist Manish Rangnekar to teach kids the basics of preparing a storyboard in a cartoon strip-like format. It seems the initiative met its purpose with the children touching upon themes like wearing seatbelts, not using cell phones while crossing the road, etc.

Kirron’s political wordplay
At the recently concluded municipal elections in her constituency of Chandigarh, BJP MP and actress Kirron Kher said what many members of the party have been feeling but are perhaps afraid to admit.

She said that not only businessmen, but even common people are bearing the brunt of cash crunch. However, the so-called digression from the party line ended when she quickly followed it up with ‘give PM the 50 days he has asked for,’ and then came up with something to the effect of no pain no gain. Seasoned politico, we say.

Museum in the mountains
The Everest base camp in Nepal, which is the preferred route to scale the summit, was recently in news for a pop-up hosted by well-known chef James Sharman.

And it seems, the tough-to-access Tibetan entrance to the summit is looking to up the ante with a helipad, hotel and mountaineering museum.

These facilities at the base camp are expected to attract thousands of visitors throughout the year. The centre will also stock climber supplies, repair equipment and basic medical amenities.

A new wave

Pic/Shadab Khan
Pic/Shadab Khan

Farah Khan waves to the audience at the launch of a singing reality show at a Juhu five-star yesterday, as co-judges Anu Malik (left) and Sonu Nigam look on.

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