Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

Updated: Jan 31, 2018, 17:07 IST | A Correspondent

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

Gauri Lankesh

Salute, Gauri

Earlier this week, on January 29, the Gauri Memorial Trust in Bengaluru, celebrated the date as Gauri Day to mark the 56th birthday of the slain journalist Gauri Lankesh. The event was attended by the who's-who of India's activist leaders. Irom Sharmila, Teesta Setalvad, Umar Khalid, Jignesh Mevani (below, left), Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and Richa Singh recalled her tireless work in a series of fiery speeches. Actor Prakash Raj was also spotted in the audience. The afternoon witnessed the release of literary works while performances by Sheetal Sathe and Carnatic musician TM Krishna (below, right) was in sync with her fight for free expression in India.

Auction time

South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art Sale

Auction house Christie's will be participating in the Mumbai Gallery Weekend this week. On display will be highlights of its upcoming South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art Sale, an anticipated auction set to take place in New York on March 21. The auction includes rare works by SH Raza, Tyeb Mehta and VS Gaitonde, of which, 15 pieces will be open for public viewing over the weekend, from tomorrow till February 4 at Christie's representative office in the city.

Mommie's got you

Mira Rajput with daughter, Misha

Mira Rajput, wife of actor Shahid Kapoor holds their daughter, Misha close to her when they stepped out for a walk in Bandra yesterday.

Techno sounds in the desert

Anuj Vagale

Time was when Rajasthan was associated only with folk music of the Manganiyar variety. For, now, the state is gradually making a name for itself as a go-to destination for aficionados of contemporary music, what with festivals such as Magnetic Fields and Ragasthan becoming annual affairs. Now, there is another addition to that list -- District. And this fest takes it one step further by being a full-blown techno music party. It will be headlined by some of the foremost practitioners of the genre in the country, such as Ash Roy, BLOT! and Arjun Vagale (above). So, keep your dates free on March 2, 3 and 4 if you want to listen to some thumping beats in the midst of a castle.

Afterlives of monuments

Dr Mrinalini Rajagopalan

"We need to think of heritage in a different, more nuanced way and not as a colonial legacy. It's not to be perceived as dead weight lying around in the middle of our cities," says Dr Mrinalini Rajagopalan, architectural historian of modern India and Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, hours before her session at Bhau Daji lad Museum on Building Histories -- the archival and affective lives of five monuments in modern Delhi. The assistant professor of art and architecture, has just released a book by the same name that focuses on the afterlives of five monuments -- the Red Fort, Rasul Numa Dargah, Jama Masjid, Purana Qila, and the Qutb complex -- from 1857 to the present. The session will look at social spaces in architecture that are constantly changing. To explain this, she says, "Jama Masjid is the zenith of Islamic architecture, and in the 1930s it was a secular space to raise the slogan of anti-colonialism. We mustn't forget this unique aspect of its history." We couldn't agree any more to this historic reality.

It's time for the ajobas to join in

Screen grab of the Page 1 in Mid-day dated March 27, 2016
Screen grab of the Page 1 in Mid-day dated March 27, 2016

On March 27 2016, Mid-day's Page 1 story was about a unique educational drive in Phangane, one of the remotest of 206 villages in Murbad taluka of Thane district. Shedding their inhibition, 28 unlettered women aged between 60 and 90 years had come forward to give themselves the gift of education by enrolling in Aajibainchi Shala (grandmothers' school), an initiative of The Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust and Yogendra Bangar, a teacher from Phangane Zilla Parishad's primary school.

Two years on, thanks to their infectious zeal that touched the men of surrounding villages, the school's founders have set up AjiAjoba Shala in the neighbouring Shelari, which already boasts of 25 men and 25 women as students.

"We received excellent response from the first school. The self-esteem and confidence levels of our aajis have gone up, and the overall environment in their homes has become healthier. They come here for the sheer love of learning, and exchange of ideas," says Pawar. That, and as octogenarian Anusuya Savlaram Deshmukh had told this newspaper, "When we face the Almighty and tell him about our main achievement, our prime gain will be our signature... we don't want to die angthachaap (unschooled)." Here's to many more such noble achievements.

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