Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
I'm with them
A Mumbai family makes the most of a cloudy evening at Carter Road in Bandra on Tuesday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
An artiste's wish
"What will I be remembered for?" That is a thought that crosses the minds of many artistes, who put their lives into entertaining people. Storyteller Mehak Mirza Prabhu has captured this insecurity, through the character of an artiste whose life flashes by in front of her eyes moments after her death, in her latest composition. The story musical, titled Ek Raaz Batau Main, has been put together in collaboration with musician Mohammad Muneem, with sound design by Vibhas Sawar and art by Brahma Media.
Explaining the thought behind it, she said, "Every artiste thinks whether their life will be applauded after they're gone. This thought had been with me for years, from back when I was fighting clinical depression. It came back to me during the lockdown. I had also read that after a person dies, s/he retains consciousness for a while. All of this came together in the story of the artiste who sees her life crashing and wonders what people will make of her death."
Theatre junta's rude shock
Over the weekend, theatre professionals were in for a bit of a shock. Danish Husain, Atul Kumar, Quasar Thakore-Padamsee, Jehan Manekshaw, Sunil Shanbag and a few others were banned from Facebook without as much as a message explaining their inability to access their accounts. They were quickly traced back to the group, The Mumbai Theatre Circuit, where they were all registered as admins.
The group, with over 20,000 members, is a space for theatre artistes to share news and views within the community. "I got blocked on Saturday night and my account was restored on Monday, late in the afternoon. Theatre critic Vikram Phukan reached out for a comment on Monday but hasn't heard anything," Thakore-Padamsee told this diarist.
Danish Husain and Quasar Thakore-Padamsee
Kumar had a similar experience and said, "None of us know what happened. I got to know because one of the artistes called me up to check if my account had disappeared, too. I had to write a complaint to them [Facebook], confirm my phone number and provide an ID proof. But there were no reasons given as to why it was blocked in the first place. I plan to write to Facebook seeking an explanation". We hear that the Delhi Theatre Circuit group with its creator actor Vivek Mansukhani also encountered a similar fate.
Ready to return to work?
While Gen X (between 40 and 54 years old) and boomers (55 and above) are more willing to return to work, Gen Z (less than 25) and millennials (between 25 and 39) prefer to wait out the crisis, a recent survey by job portal LinkedIn has revealed. The study, which is based on the responses of 1,351 professionals between June 1 and 14, aimed to understand how India's workforce feels about returning to work.
Around 38 per cent of Gen X participants and 29 per cent of boomers said they will willingly return to the workplace as soon as they are allowed to, whereas 29 per cent Gen Z participants and 32 per cent millennials said they will work remotely until they feel safer about being around others. A reason for this, HR expert Abhijit Bhaduri states in the survey, is, "Younger workers are adept at using digital means of communication. Senior professionals may find it challenging to hire and manage remote teams."
Loaves for a cause
The lockdown has given rise to a number of bakers around us, but what sets Chembur resident Aparajit Subramanian apart is that he's baking for a cause. The 26-year-old who co-owns a start-up in Pune has started a venture called Banano, through which he takes and delivers orders for different kinds of banana bread. Part of the proceeds will go towards helping individuals affected during this time.
"I've always loved baking. When the lockdown started, I came back home and began baking. At the same time, we started seeing a lot of daily wagers struggling. We kicked off an initiative called Lend A Hand to raise funds to feed families. While gifting loaves to my friends, they suggested paying for it and I thought the money can be used to help the weaker sections of society," said Subramanian. If you'd like to make a difference, call 9987105319.
Giving back to the dabbawalas
This newspaper has consistently reported how more than 5,000 dabbawalas have suffered a setback due to the lockdown. We had reported in these pages that in order to reach out to the men who are considered Mumbai's lifeline, Radio City had launched a fundraiser in April.
The initiative, Dabbewale ka Dabba Bharo, which saw the participation of celebrities, digital influencers and citizens, has been able to garner R21 lakh in the past three months, and the amount was recently handed over by the radio station to the Mumbai Dabbawala Association. Let's hope that the men who have served the city for decades emerge stronger from this crisis.
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