Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The price you pay for a selfie
Milind Soman asks fans to do push-ups in exchange for a selfie with him at a press conference in a Vakola five-star. Pics/Shadab Khan
Luke's a rocking guy
Those who attended a recent festival in Goa were in for a rocking time, quite literally, as India's oldest rock band, Parikrama, collaborated with Mumbai's very own Luke Kenny. Kenny, who got on stage during the band's second set, belted out some classic rock covers, including songs by The Doors. "He loves to sing classic rock, which is where we vibe. It's great for fans, too, to see him in this avatar as many recently remember him as Malcolm from Sacred Games," keyboardist and Parikrama founder Subir Malik told this diarist.
But this wasn't a first, as Kenny and Parikrama first collaborated 11 years ago, during the band's 18th anniversary celebrations, which also featured the likes of Mohit Chauhan and Shilpa Rao. "Since the college circuit has become completely Hindi, we have started gigging with friends we usually jam with," Malik said, adding that they will also be playing with Kenny in Guwahati. But before that, there's Play for a Cause, which will feature Kenny and Parikrama adding a dash of classic rock to their simultaneous performances in Mumbai and Delhi respectively.
#MeToo trends again
Stand-up comic Utsav Chakraborty, accused of sexual harassment in the #MeToo movement last year, recently claimed that the allegations against him are false. He released several WhatsApp conversations and two audio clips featuring one of his accuser, comedienne Mahima Kukreja, and her sister Mansi, who's also her legal counsel, to back his claims.
Chakraborty has received both his share of support and flak for the statement and consequent sharing of personal conversations. In a new twist, as of yesterday, Kukreja has released a statement, too, standing by her earlier allegations and releasing a WhatsApp exchange with Chakraborty. We believe this isn't over yet, but everybody deserves to be heard, don't they?
Spreading the word about consent, use of contraceptives and family planning just got a digital upgrade, thanks to TikTok.
A still from one of the Tik Tok videos
The platform has launched a #CoolnotFool campaign, which comprises clips on family planning targeted at youngsters. It's been launched by Population Foundation of India (PFI) and Love Matters India. What's heartening is that users have commented on the videos, asking for more information on contraceptives.
"Youngsters need to have information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights, which leads to responsible adulthood. Using platforms that the youth engage with, we hope to break the taboo around these issues," Poonam Muttreja, executive director, PFI, told this diarist.
A super(hero) initiative
The third in the series of a unique and empowering comic books, Priya's Shakti, which features the first female Indian superhero and rape survivor, will premiere at the Merriweather Art District (USA) and at Sheroes' Hangout in Agra. Titled Priya and The Lost Girls, the book focuses on sex trafficking and is the definitive comic book on the #MeToo movement. Inspired by ancient mythological tales, it tells the story of Priya, who returns home to discover that all the young women in her village have been taken to an underground brothel city, ruled by a demon who gets his powers through fear and entrapment of women.
"The stigma that surrounds women trapped in the brothels makes it nearly impossible for them to get out of their circumstances. Priya is a female superhero of the #MeToo generation; she inspires teenagers to treat women differently, especially those who are victims of sexual abuse," writer Dipti Mehta told us. Ram Devineni, who did his research in Kolkata's Sonagachi, the largest red-light district in Asia, added, "Often, I would see the women crammed into small rooms and sleeping with their children in the same beds that they share with their clients. Sonagachi became the inspiration for the brothel city." The book will be released worldwide for free.
A fitting tribute
Instagram newbie Ratan Tata took to social media to pay tribute to all those we lost in the 26/11 terror attack. Sharing a picture of himself standing in front of The Taj Mahal Palace three days hence, he wrote, "Eleven years later, a lot has been said about the tragedy that commenced on 26/11/2008.
The memory of standing outside helpless and of the carnage and loss of life, are still fresh and painful... But most importantly, we remain proud of the spirit and the sense of unity displayed by Mumbai in all its power on that day. I will say it again: We can be hurt, but not knocked out." Words to live by, indeed.
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