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Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Pushing through a Crisis

An autorickshaw driver pitches in to help a woman with her broken-down car, at Goregaon East on Monday. 

A tough Habitat to break

Participants at Monday’s open-mic. Pic Courtesy/Vivian Castelino

With the city gradually unlocking itself in phases, a semblance of normalcy returned yesterday to The Habitat, a cultural venue in Khar West, when it held its first physical event after the second wave of the pandemic. A poetry open-mic was conducted there. Attendance was limited to 15 people, which is about 25 per cent of the capacity, under the condition that they have got at least one dose of the vaccine. “We also had a surprise act by stand-up comedian Bhavish Ailani,” said The Habitat owner Balraj Ghai, adding that such events will now be held regularly, with the plan being that poetry sessions metamorphose into general open-mic ones with comedy and music, too. They will all wrap up by 4 pm, though, but Ghai isn’t worried about that. “At least I’ll have my own evenings free now,” he laughs.

Sweden calling for artist duo

Jitish and Reena Saini Kallat

City-based artists Reena Saini Kallat and Jitish Kallat are each set to display their first solo exhibitions in Sweden, at Norrtälje Konsthall. The exhibitions will be on display from June 19 to September 26. “It is a great pleasure for me to show these two contemporary international artists in Norrtälje, when the city is filled with summer guests and tourists from all over Sweden and the world,” shared Helén Hedensjö, director, Norrtälje Konsthall. Much like their studio space in Byculla, where Jitish occupies the ground floor and Reena’s works are showcased on the first floor, their exhibitions titled Epicycles and Deep Rivers Run Quiet respectively, too, will be presented on two different floors of the Swedish institution. “When Hedensjö invited us to hold simultaneous solo shows on two floors of the institution, after the initial hesitation, we felt the exhibitions would, in a way, mirror the adjacency of our two studios. While our works probe the world in divergent ways, Hedensjö was looking to draw attention to our shared affinities and interests by creating a dialogue between the works,” Jitish told this diarist.

Bracing for clubfoot

(From left) Dr Shakuntala Prabhu, Dr Rujuta Mehta, Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, twins Riddhi and Siddhi who were treated for clubfoot, and Dr Alaric Aroojis

Clubfoot is one of the most common musculoskeletal birth deformities in the world, affecting around one in 800 children. Considering the fact that if untreated, the condition can cause long-term physical and emotional disability, the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital For Children in Parel recently launched India’s first brace bank, titled W-riddhi. Clubfoot braces help in the alignment of the feet. Dr Rujuta Mehta, head of the paediatric orthopaedics department, shared that the launch comes days after International Clubfoot Day. “We launched it with the idea of recycling braces as babies outgrow them. This reduces the carbon footprint of the brace. A refurbished brace would cost half the market price and help those from underprivileged communities,” Dr Mehta added, encouraging parents to donate 
used braces.

The write India-Swiss connect

What role does linguistic and ethnic diversity play in affecting gender, sexuality, race and other facets of identity in two very different countries, India and Switzerland? This is a topic that authors from the two countries will address through an interaction series titled Language and Diversity Dialogues, put together by social venture Belongg Literature Collective (BLC) and Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.  “One of the common things in Indian and Swiss literature is diversity of language and culture. So, we wanted to focus on how language meets diversity,” shared partnerships and community manager, Lasya Nadimpally. Head to @thehouseofbelongg to tune in.

With love, Kuhad

Here’s some good news for Prateek Kuhad fans who have been waiting with bated breath for the popular singer-songwriter’s new release. Kuhad has now announced that his new EP is set to drop in early July. He also shared that the first single from Shehron Ke Raaz, the EP, will drop later this week. And from the looks of the snippet he’s shared on his social media handle, the music seems like a celebration of love and relationships. Well, we could all do with some of that goodness right now.


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