Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Kya kare, kya na kare?
Actor Varun Dhawan's expression seems to mirror what all of Mumbai is feeling indoors. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Taking the fest online
The British Council and Art X Company have decided to move the third edition of Festival Connections: Lead, Govern, Scale, Repeat online. The festival, which aims to create conversations around cultural festivals in India, was supposed to be held in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. Now, two webinar sessions on March 20 and March 27 will include speakers from the four cities and experts from UK.
"Through the use of technology, we're working to ensure that important industry conversations in the cultural sector continue to be supported, without endangering any of the participants," said Rashmi Dhanwani, founder, Art X Company.
The theatre comes home
After cancelling all concerts, performances and events at its premises till March 31, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) has decided to post videos of its Meet the Maestro series in Indian music, lectures, dance workshops, Symphony Orchestra of India season highlights, among other events, on their social media pages.
"We at the NCPA strongly believe in the role of art as a unifier in trying times. So what if you can't come to our theatres; we bring the theatre to you," the centre said in a statement. A lecture-demonstration by dancer Darshana Jhaveri, assisted by Dr Jayashree Rajagopalan, and a Meet the Maestro episode with santoor virtuoso Pandit Shivkumar Sharma are currently available on their Facebook page.
A pandemic can inspire creativity and education from the most unlikely of places, as this diarist discovered while browsing through the pages of some of the city's popular cultural establishments. Take the curatorial team at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum for example. Like most of their ilk, the physical space remains shut until further notice, and so they have been doing their best to give audiences the museum experience and access to their collection online.
Using inspiration from the vitrines and dioramas displayed at the museum, the team posted interesting ways to remind people of simple rules to curb the spread of the virus. "These displays are on the first floor, as part of the section that highlights the history of Mumbai. We will continue to share content like digital tours, quizzes and similar posts where history meets humour while the museum stays shut to the public," added Ruta Waghmare-Baptista, assistant curator. We could sure do with more of it in such times.
Baba urges, say namaste not hello
In these times, artistes across the world are using the online medium to create and share new work. Baba Sehgal has now joined the club with a new video, Namaste. In it, he talks about using the traditional Indian greeting in place of a handshake and a hug and keeping yourself safe, urging you to avoid crowds, exercise and eat healthy.
"I was watching the news where I saw Prince Charles do the namaste and then Trump did the same, and I began writing a song. From start to finish, the video was produced in 10 hours," Sehgal said. "The idea was to create awareness and urge people to be careful. I don't want them to turn vegetarian even though I ask them to avoid bakri, gai, and eat healthy, because it rhymed with dal-sabzi," he told this diarist.
Nowhere to fly
Earlier this week we reported on these pages that comedian Kunal Kamra was put on Vistara's No Fly list, too. This, after being banned from four other domestic airlines. The comedian recently tweeted at Air Asia enquiring if they had banned him too, but received no response to his query.
"I have been told that Air Asia has also banned me, but it doesn't matter to me. My self-respect and self-worth would not allow me to fly Air Asia anyway. I am totally okay with it," he told this diarist.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe