Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
A young boy practises mask safety even with his soft toy while playing in the balcony of his Nehru Nagar home on Tuesday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Snaking around in Worli Koliwada
On August 27, this paper ran a report about Worli Koliwada gaon (at one end of Worli Seaface) residents expressing alarm after a portion of a boundary wall of the Indian Navy's facilities had caved in. This is the site of INS Trata. Repairs are underway at the wall, and a watchtower belonging to INS Trata next to it is also being strengthened.
Locals feared that snakes would crawl out and enter the residential enclave from an unused plot exposed because of the broken wall. On Monday, snakes were spotted slithering in the plot. The buzz is that workers repairing the watch tower seem to have vanished because of the reptiles! Though the latter cannot be verified, mid-day has been sent videos of snakes on the plot. Well, all one can say is hiss-tory is being made at Worli Koliwada.
Founded on September 15, 1883, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) turned 137 years old. The society is one of the largest NGOs in India. Commenting on the milestone, Debi Goenka, honorary secretary, shared, "We are happy that we have survived for so long, and today, when we are facing the twin crises of climate change and COVID-19, we are confident that with the help and support of our members, staff and the public, we will continue to play an important role of conservation, based on the bedrock of scientific research."
Photography meets poetry
Traveling Souls, print on canvas
Time and again, Mumbai has served as inspiration to artistes — from Manto to MF Husain. In a new exhibition titled Traveling Souls, artist and philanthropist Akshita Gandhi makes the city her muse with digitally reworked photographs, accompanied by poems written by friend and author Anukrti Upadhyay.
Anukrti Upadhyay and Akshita Gandhi
The show has been curated by NYC-based Anna Mikaela Ekstrand, and presented by ATO Gallery and Cultbytes. About putting it together, Gandhi told this diarist, "I photograph annually during the monsoon and work over it. This year, I browsed through my photographs taken over the years of iconic landmarks of Mumbai and started to work over them. Each piece has movement over static structures. Anukrti wrote poetry inspired by the rains and I created art."
In rare form
Bhanu Athaiya, fashion sketch for Eve's Weekly, 1953. Pic courtesy/Prinseps
Having launched an online gallery, this November looks like a busy month for premier auction house Prinseps. They are returning to the auction market with sales from the rare estates of artist and Academy Award-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya and master painter Atul Bose, in two separate online auctions.
The online gallery comprises luxury items such as jewellery, carpets and Art Deco furniture — a notable piece here is a 16-ct antique cushion-cut Burmese ruby, priced at R56 lakh. The auctions, on the other hand, are of great importance considering the Athaiya sale has on offer artworks that haven't come into auction for nearly 70 years and Bose's haven't been in the market in over 50 years. About its significance, founder Indrajit Chaterjee said, "There is a belief that a purely online auction may or may not be that vibrant. But we believe the works in the two upcoming auctions will see both collector and museum interest — these are rare works that are in the market for the first time from artists who are important contributors to both modernism and the art movement in India."
Join this squad for a cause
A volunteer hands a sanitary pad
The lockdown gave rise to the formation of the Pad Squad, a group of volunteers spread across Mumbai and the country who distribute sanitary napkins to thousands of women. With the all-India Daan Utsav or Joy of Giving week coming up in October, the squad is urging citizens to pitch in for their Pad Peti initiative. "All you have to do is place a cardboard box in your society, neighbourhood or nearby shop so that people can donate pads. It will be collected by our volunteers and distributed in slums, and also in villages," shared Moumita Roy, a volunteer, urging students in particular to consider this as a fest, and join in.
Roy also told us that the group has started a free helpline to educate women in villages and slums about menstrual hygiene. Women can dial 8047104234 in case of any menstrual or sexual problems, and they'll get a call back from a gynaecologist. If you'd like to lend them a hand, call 9870344428.
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