Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A youngster plays with a chameleon in Powai on Tuesday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Booked in the longlist
When Avni Doshi's debut novel The Girl In White Cotton (HarperCollins India) released in India last year, it made waves in the literary circuit. The novel, a deeply riveting account of a fragile mother-daughter relationship, is making its UK debut this month with the title Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin UK) but more importantly, it has also made it to the longlist of the prestigious Man Booker prize. Doshi, who's based in UAE and had lived in Mumbai, is part of a list comprising works by 13 authors.
"It's surreal to see my name on that list, alongside writers I admire so much. I worked on this novel for so long and often wondered if it would ever get published. So to be on the Booker long-list is really beyond anything I could have imagined," Doshi shared. The shortlist will be announced on September 15. We wish her the best.
Get your own label at the museum
When you walk into a museum, labels are your ticket to demystifying the artefacts around you. And now, you can create your own. Dr Bhau Daji Lad (BDL) Museum has started a contest called Craft Creative Labels, inviting those above the age of 10 to browse through their collection online, select five objects, frame their own descriptions stating why those are special, and send it in by August 2.
The top five entries will be displayed at the museum. "Under the lockdown, we have attempted to translate the on-ground museum experience into an online one. The contest is a part of the same. The idea is to make objects more personal. Art historians and curators would have a different perception of the objects from that of the public," said museum director Tasneem Mehta, adding that children, adults and even families can come together to create the labels. Her word of advice: "The labels should not just state facts about the object, but also detail an intriguing story or a personal interpretation in 100 words." Head to their Instagram page to check out the rules.
In the hunt or staying put?
As cities begin to unlock in phases, and businesses adapt to the new normal, India's workforce is showing renewed optimism, according to a recent LinkedIn survey. The study, based on responses from 1,303 professionals from June 15 to 28, revealed that 66 per cent of them will spend more time job hunting over the next two weeks and 68 per cent will invest in up-skilling themselves.
Another interesting trend shows that individual confidence about job security was higher among decision-makers. Only one in four seniors said they would increase the time spent on job hunting in comparison to 45 per cent of their juniors. HR expert Prabir Jha explained the trend: "It must be understood that retaining a job in the present times is in itself a strong confidence booster." He added that many people are willing to take up to 50 per cent cuts for an assured job. "This means whoever retains a job today knows that their role matters to the organisation."
Enveloped in sibling love
In order to spread some cheer amid the gloom, and considering a lot of siblings cannot meet each other for Rakshabandhan this year, India Post, Mumbai has created a special envelope in bright hues of purple, blue, green and yellow.
These water-resistant and self-adhesive envelopes also come with an illustration of a pair of siblings celebrating the festival. Swati Pandey, postmaster general, India Post, Mumbai, said all Rakshabandhan mails will be treated on priority this year. "In these sombre times when celebrations seem next to impossible, we decided to add a burst of colour to brighten people's moods. This is our way to lend a hand to share your wishes with your siblings without having to step out of home," she added.
The lockdown has dealt another blow to Mumbai's vibrant F&B scene. The trio of Pankil Shah, Sumit Gambhir and Abhishek Honawar (inset) of Neighbourhood Hospitality team, which was running SoBo's Bombay Vintage, that opened in place of Kurry Klub, has decided to pull out from the management, citing the pandemic and its fallout.
The friends, who also run Woodside Inn and The Pantry, had done up the menu, seeking inspiration from the city's communities like Goans, Bohris, Parsis, Kolis, among others. Confirming the news, Gambhir said, "We knew this would be a tough one as Bombay Vintage is dependent on tourists. After a point, landlords would expect rentals, but it got difficult." The call on the eatery's future will be the other owners', he said, adding they had a good run.
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