Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier


The perfect cocktail is made of celebrities, a good cause and alcohol. Celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala and actor-producer Sohail Khan will come together to take over Hakkasan’s bar in Bandra this Saturday. The two will battle for the title of The Bitter Bartender with cocktail weapons of their choice — a Hakkatini and Lemonberry martini. Fifteen per cent of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to Akshara Foundation of Arts and Learning (AFAL). Karachiwala told us, “There’s no better feeling than giving back to the community. We look forward to an evening of banter and delicious cocktails, where like-minded individuals come together to support a great cause.”

And it’s a date!

Browsing through our weekly art feed, this diarist was delighted to learn that the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale will take place from December 12 to April 10, 2023. Founding member, Bose Krishnamachari (in pic) told us, “Everybody wants to come and celebrate it. People are really waiting to come and see each other,” he said. The festival will be curated by Singaporean artist Shubigi Rao, who noted, “To envision this biennale as a persistent murmuration in the face of volatility comes from my unshakeable conviction in the power of storytelling.”

Flying high in the Big Apple

Every celebrity dreams of having their face on billboards across the city, and Sushant Divgikar (in pic) may just have lived the dream. They became the first Indian transgender to feature on a Times Square billboard at New York City as Rani KoHEnur, the co-host of House of Pride. “I am so happy that I could make it in real time to see myself on the third largest billboard in Times Square,” Divgikar told this diarist, adding, “As a child this was one of my dreams and I’m just blessed that I could witness this in my lifetime.” This is the latest in a productive year for Divgikar. Earlier, this diarist wrote about them being picked as the first and only Indian from the LGBTQiA+ community to be invited to participate in designer RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles. Done with the foreign adventure, the actor is currently touring the country for Rani of the Kittyverse. “I am elated and over the moon,” they admitted. It would not have been possible without the support of admirers and loved ones, they reminded us. Having already been a part of an Audible show, there are talks of a Bollywood debut for Divgikar later this year.

BMC’s steps to a successful life

In a world where eyeballs and attention are everything, any surface can become your billboard. The BMC office of G/South ward (Worli) has proved this with interesting messages painted on the stairs of its office. Some were sensible; others philosophical, while a few were prosaic. It was surprising to see the communication on the edge of the stairs, but the messaging was effective nonetheless. One step had these words of wisdom: ‘Please avoid reading messages on the mobile phone when climbing stairs.’ Another stated: ‘Climbing stairs fights obesity and Type 2 diabetes.’ And a third one read: ‘There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.’ The texts are especially apt in today’s times where there is a yearning for instantaneous success. Perhaps the top stair on a flight said it best: ‘The best view comes after the hardest climb.’ Now, who can argue with the life advice inside this BMC office?

Dolphins by the bay

A rare sight of the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin off the Mumbai coastline
A rare sight of the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin off the Mumbai coastline

One does not always imagine dolphins when thinking of the city’s coastline. Co-founder of the Coastal Conservation Foundation, Shaunak Modi reminds us they are a regular presence. On World Oceans Day (June 8), Modi revealed that the foundation is currently conducting a rapid assessment survey to understand the patterns and pockets used by the Indian Ocean humpback dolphins along Mumbai coastline.

“These are a coastal species of dolphins found in near shore waters from Colaba to Vasai,” Modi explained. While there is still much to be discovered about their role, the researcher admitted that the presence of these dolphins in Mumbai is a welcome sight. Modi said it was important to take into account these ecologically important species when undertaking work. With a grant from the Mangrove Foundation in place, the research will extend post-monsoon to learn more about these hidden residents of the city.



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