Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
Three mannequins reflecting the pensive mood of the country, find themselves in an unusual location — the roof of a shop — in Malad on Tuesday. Pic/Nimesh Dave
It doesn't ad up
A kerfuffle has been brewing on social media recently, regarding an advertisement for Tanishq, the jewellery brand, which showed a Hindu girl married into a Muslim family being thrown a baby shower according to the norms of her own religion. People trolled the brand on social media, accusing it of promoting Hindu-Muslim marriages. The brand withdrew the advertisement yesterday with a statement citing that they didn't wish to hurt sentiments and wanted to protect their staff's well-being. Ad guru KV Sridhar Pops felt that this was an unfortunate development.
"Hindu-Muslim marriages in India are not controversial and have been taking place for 800 years. Tanishq has done a lot of courageous ads on women's issues earlier. If they have withdrawn something, it's not that they don't believe in it," he told this diarist, adding that the current socio-political climate — especially after the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya — might have prompted the move. Either way, we think it's disappointing especially at a time when corporates hesitate to stick their neck out in the first place.
A Regal affair
An iconic Mumbai landmark turns 87 today. Regal Cinema in Colaba opened its doors to film buffs on October 14, 1933. Over the years, it has stood like a rock even as multiplexes put a nail in the coffin of single-screen cinemas. It was in fact the first ever cinema hall in the city to be built in the Art Deco style, Atul Kumar, founder of Art Deco Mumbai, told this diarist. He shared, "It stands next to the Maharashtra State Police Headquarters, which is a Victorian Gothic structure. So, it's pretty iconic to have two buildings in such different styles beside each other." Here's hoping that it stands tall for many more years.
Striving for equal music
The International Day of the Girl was celebrated this week, and to mark the occasion, the NGO Plan India organised an initiative where they brought together 22 change makers who are women. These people — who included musician Kamakshi Khanna and chess player Tania Sachdev — took over the social media handles of corporate organisations and the embassies of countries including Canada, Mexico and Ireland.
There, they hosted workshops and held discussions to highlight how important it is for girls to be given the space and opportunity to share their ambitions. Khanna, for example, hosted a virtual workshop where she guided participants on the basics of singing, such as the different scales. She told this diarist, "Music education isn't easily accessible to everyone, and only when we can share our knowledge will we become more equal. That's why we have to put effort into such initiatives."
Sculpting a new path
Ace sculptor and architect Arzan Khambatta has been named Play Ambassador of the NGO Toybank that employs play interventions to keep at-risk children on track with their mental and behavioural development.
Khambatta will be supporting the organisation in ensuring the kids' well-being during the pandemic, and about the honour, he told this diarist, "I have been associated with them for the last three years and have seen their dedication and vision to make the less fortunate children of our country happy through play. I have always hoped that we don't grow up, and are able to protect our childlike innocence. I hope I am able to be of help to them in numerous ways to attain their noble vision."
Cafe Arpan is an eatery in Juhu that employs people with developmental disabilities as staff members. Yash Charitable Trust launched it in 2018, and after being shut during the lockdown, the place is now open for operations again. Speaking about how difficult this intervening period was, junior server Aayush Bhansali said, "I missed working, and had been waiting for positive news that the café will open." That piece of good news has now arrived, so pay this heartwarming eatery a visit when you are in the neighbourhood.
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