Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

Updated: Dec 18, 2019, 16:50 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

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

Anil Kapoor at a special school in Juhu
Anil Kapoor at a special school in Juhu

It was a field day

Anil Kapoor attends a sports meet for special children at a school in Juhu on Tuesday. Pic/ Anurag Ahire

But first, the Preamble

As the anti-CAA and NRC protests spread across campuses around the country, an innovative engineer, Bangalore-based Sowmya Rao turned to the web to do her bit. Rao created a Google Chrome extension that can be installed on your browser and shared it for free. The extension opened up the Preamble of the Indian Constitution with every tab, lest the visitor forgot the values enshrined in it. The extension can be downloaded on the Chrome store, and Rao is also inviting feedback from users.

Saying yes to the web


A recent report that tapped into the online habits of young Indian women has revealed that 44 per cent of them in metros access online content in order to be 'job-ready.' The survey, which was conducted in 12 Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, included respondents aged between 18 and 35 years. Younger women (18 to 23 years) browsed content related to education, career growth and skill development while the latter group (23 to 35 years) accessed more video content related to personal well-being. While 40 per cent feared irrelevant comment, being trolled or followed, a staggering 80 per cent of respondents accessed content in Indian languages and 70 per cent share videos or articles. 

How to stage an act

(Above) A Mirror Crack’d PIC/HELEN Murray
A Mirror Crack'd Pic/Helen Murray

The popular Agatha Christie novel, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, is being re-imagined for an Indian audience in more ways than one. Once adapted for stage by writer Rachel Wagstaff, the city's own Ayeesha Menon is behind the Indian version.

The rehearsal space
The rehearsal space

The production that opens on January 30, 2020, has names like Shernaz Patel and Sonali Kulkarni in the cast. However, this diarist learnt that the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre was unavailable for rehearsals. So, they went ahead and created a full-size mock-up of the set, to ensure the team could rehearse elsewhere.

Ayeesha Menon. PIC courtesy/ncpa
Ayeesha Menon. Pic courtesy/The Masons

"The total required floor space was 13m x 12m with a clear height of six metres. Since the space of required dimensions was not available in the vicinity, the decision was to create the space within the NCPA campus," Nayan Kale, general manager of the technical department, NCPA told this diarist.

Music matters

Plastic Parvati at Control ALT Delete
Plastic Parvati at Control ALT Delete

When crowdfunded festival Control ALT Delete was first held in 2011, it gave the city's independent music circuit a genuine avenue to take matters into its own hands without any interference from brands and sponsors. The event has gone from strength to strength since, and has now announced the dates for its 12th edition next January. Like always, they are asking Mumbai's music fans to open up their hearts and purse strings to support the cause. What do you get for your money? "Around 40 artistes playing for two days across five stages divided into different genres like metal, rock, hip-hop, electronica and synth-based music," organiser Pratika Prabhune told this diarist. 

Boys in ballet

Balyogeshwar Prajapati of Ballet Boyz
Balyogeshwar Prajapati of Ballet Boyz

Perhaps the one space that has been ahead in terms of inclusivity is the cultural one. This applies to dance as well. And while popular belief is quick to attribute certain dance forms to specific genders, like ballet, the truth is, it's as much a passion for men as it is for women. No, the image of a slender woman pirouetting isn't representative. In that same vein, Ballet Boyz India launches as the country's first unit for boys in ballet in New Delhi, and it's a welcome move that is looking to include within its folds ballet and modern dance lovers — professionals, as well as those eager to learn. In fact, they have even made an open call for online auditions. And we think that is groovy. 

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