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Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

Updated on: 22 September,2023 07:06 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

Pic/Anurag Ahire

Paws-ing for effect

A visitor clicks a photo of a tiger from outside the glass enclosure as it chills in the water at Byculla Zoo

We, the people

The commemorative procession by the Jain community
The commemorative procession by the Jain community

What makes our city stand out in this country? It’s not the urban infrastructure, healthcare, or Victorian and Art Deco ensembles. Not even the sea. It’s the people. Tuesday saw the end of the Jain community’s Paryushan festival and the beginning of Ganeshotsav, predominantly a Maharashtrian festival. So, when this diarist spotted six to seven customised vehicles (below) in Kandivali West, to commemorate people who fasted without disturbing the Ganesh pandal on their way, we were happy to see how this city celebrates all its people, religions and communities — in entirety.

Karvi blooms in Goregaon

Karvi flowers in bloom at the Conservation Education Centre in Goregaon East. Pic courtesy/Mayuresh Gaikwad
Karvi flowers in bloom at the Conservation Education Centre in Goregaon East. Pic courtesy/Mayuresh Gaikwad

People usually associate Mumbai with skyscrapers, local trains, and all things concrete or infrastructure-related. But the city also has unique flora to showcase. One such gem is blooming in the Aarey forest, specifically, at the Conservation Education Centre (CEC) run by Bombay Natural History Society in Goregaon East.Right now, roughly 80 to 100 karvi flowers (Strobilanthes callosa) are in bloom at the centre. “Recently, when I went on a trail at CEC, I spotted sporadic patches of karvi that grow on small shrubs. These shrubs remain in a vegetative state for several years and every eight years, the city witnesses mass blooming of karvi,” Vidushi Jaiswal (below), a freelance naturalist told this diarist. She added that the mass blooming of the eighth year takes place between August and September 2024. “The CEC area next year will look like a purple blanket of flowers, but for now, Mumbaikars can spot these small patches in bloom for the next 10 days,” the naturalist added. While August 2024 seems far away, this diarist is sure to make a beeline for a dekko at CEC.

Also read: Mumbai: 60 per cent idols immersed in natural bodies

It’s a colour splash

The thematic beautification at  Chembur. Pics courtesy/3 Art House
The thematic beautification at Chembur. Pics courtesy/3 Art House

Arts and culture platform 3 Art House is back with their Street Art Project. After two public artworks done earlier in Khar, they completed another in Chembur, on the outer façade of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited premises.

It was completed last month and showcases over 20 concepts including reducing plastic waste and planting trees. Founder Jasmeet Kaur Banat shared, “The more the children are [exposed to the concept of these] artworks, the more they imbibe and implement it in their lives.”

Comedy’s new spot in Juhu

Back in July, we had reported on this page about the shutdown of Bandra’s comedy hub, J-Spot. Even then, founder Pankaj Sharma (inset) had promised that they would return. Two months hence, they are ready to restart in the neighbourhood of Juhu. “We are located on Gulmohar Road, close to a captive audience at the college hubs of Mithibai and NMIMS,” said Sharma. While they were hoping to stay in Bandra, he revealed, “We saw the property recently, and felt it would be a great fit. Maybe in the future, we might think of returning [to Bandra].” With work underway, the venue is expected to be ready for the public on September 29, for their first comedy festival.

Cohen and the city

Kemps Corner Hotel in Book of  Longing. Pic courtesy/Vasvi Kejriwal
Kemps Corner Hotel in Book of  Longing. Pic courtesy/Vasvi Kejriwal

On his 89th birth anniversary, a trail along the bylanes of SoBo on Saturday will retrace the singer-songwriter and poet late Leonard Cohen’s time in the city. Vasvi Kejriwal (below), who will lead this poetry trail, shared, “I have been following Cohen’s work for a long time. Everybody knows him for his songs; but not many know that his journey began with poetry, and that he found his way back to it when he first arrived in Mumbai, in 1998, and was a frequent visitor till 2003.

Leonard Cohen. Pic courtesy/Wikimedia Commons (right) Vasvi Kejriwal
Leonard Cohen. Pic courtesy/Wikimedia Commons (right) Vasvi Kejriwal

He used to live in a low-budget accommodation called Hotel Kemps Corner in order to lead a nondescript life. That’s where he wrote many of his poems, and started sketching self-portraits. Mumbai was where he became one piece of the many.” Those interested can head to @freshmintpost.

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