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Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier


A worker carries a huge pile of gunny bags on his head on a street in Masjid Bunder on Wednesday.

Pic/Sameer MarkandePic/Sameer Markande

The Orion Racing Team of students from KJ Somaiya College of Engineering is feeling a need for speed. The team’s formula style racing car, Lemnos, under the mentorship of Godrej & Boyce will make its debut with the Formula student electric competition in July. Prajwal Gupta, captain, told us, “It takes three months to design, four months to manufacture and two months to test and build a prototype. Due to the pandemic, it took nearly two years to complete.” The car, Gupta revealed, can hit one to 100 kmph in 3.8 seconds. With a debut at Austria’s Red Bull track in July, the team is looking to achieve their best position in the competition. Gupta added, “We also plan to launch a driverless formula style electric racing car by 2024.” 

A spiritual apocalypse

Washington’s art in its pre-installed state at BandraWashington’s art in its pre-installed state at Bandra

Sculptor Lekha Washington is ready with her new labour of love in Nevada’s Burning Man Festival where she will be the only Indian among 55 honoraria artists chosen to showcase their works. The product designer will be exhibiting a 20-feet fire art piece called The Apocalypse is Breathtaking. “The installation aligns with the architecture of the temple at Burning Man. People visit the place to make offerings. They can light candles on this huge tree and make a wish,” she told us, adding the tree that she made from steel and brass also has a mangled web of steel covered in brass, a fabric-like innovation that is unusual in sculpting. She is working with a few flame artists from San Francisco who will top off the surface with multiple candle-like structures. 

Lekha Washington

Say it with a pink ribbon

Say it with a pink ribbon

Children’s author Paro Anand took to Facebook to speak about her recently diagnosed breast cancer only to rouse women to the need for regular health check-ups. The writer told this diarist, “I spotted shocking data at the hospital on the day of my mammogram. Nearly 85 to 90 per cent of cases of breast cancer are detected in the third stage or even later. Regular health check-ups can lead to early diagnosis and sometimes, prevent tragedies.” Anand, who is currently recovering from the malignancy, noted that often people postpone check-ups in the fear of finding out about a disease.

The feminist world of Rashid Jahan

A moment from Mehfil@PrithviA moment from [email protected]

When Rashid Jahan, a gynaecologist by profession, picked up the pen to speak her mind in the 1930s, her seniors and contemporaries in Urdu literature were unhappy. She was the first feminist Muslim writer whose literary activism often intersected with her medical field. “Back then, Muslim women were not allowed to write. So, Jahan wrote using the pseudonym of a man. Her writings were severely criticised for their unabashed take on discrimination against women and the marginalised,” shared Jameel Gulrays, founder of Katha Kathan, who moderated a session on her works at Prithvi Theatre on Tuesday. He added, “As we discussed her works like Chor and Parde ke Peechhe, we realised that while forms of oppression might have changed in actuality, the issues she discusses remains contextual to this day.” Gulrays told this diarist that Jahan inspired young Ismat Chughtai in her college days.

Jameel GulraysJameel Gulrays

See you at the summit

Charmi Dedhia

Fashion industry professional from Mumbai, Charmi Dedhia, is among the three Indian women representing the country at Switzerland’s 100% Women initiative, which was launched by Switzerland Tourism to encourage women to embrace adventure sports. Dedhia, along with Alpine skier Aanchal Thakur and fitness enthusiast Shibani G from India, joins women from 25 countries in an attempt to create a world record for the longest women’s rope team on the 4,027 m-high Mount Allalinhorn. Dedhia, 39, a self-confessed yoga and travel enthusiast, calls Switzerland her true love. “I’m not a trained athlete by, but I’m happy to try different things. It will be my first-ever climb on a 4,000 m peak. We hope to successfully make a record and send a clear message of team spirit among women across the world,” she said. Our best wishes.



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