Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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Upside down

Children swing on makeshift swings from a foot overbridge at Bandra Station East.

Hear it from the green lovers 

Dekha-Undekha volunteers collect data in Dadar’s Mancherji Joshi Five Gardens. Pic Courtesy/Waatavaran, Mmm

After BMC rolled out Greening Mumbai, a citizen’s handbook for greening initiatives from balcony gardens to large scale plots, youth initiative Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic (MMM) gathered feedback from the citizens about the handbook. “BMC suggests forming mandals for various greening tasks. Our feedback was inspired by our recent initiative Dekha- Undekha in collaboration with NGO Waatavaran [promotes healthy and sustainable living] to get data on the local species of flora and fauna found easily in local parks but are unbeknownst to most. We proposed these mandals take up the task of collecting this data,” said Harpeet Bhullar from Purpose Climate Lab of MMM. They also suggested making mandals a BMC incentive-based initiative. 

Flowers, flowers everywhere

A moment from the show. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Last weekend, the city witnessed a Matunga flush with a carpet of colours from across the country as proud plant parents reached Ruparel College to showcase their plants in full bloom for the 61st annual Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers Show. Founded by the 65-year-old National Society of the Friends of the Trees (FOT), the two-day gathering saw plant lovers from across the country flying in for demonstrations, workshops and exhibitions. “We are one of the first plant shows of Mumbai,” beamed Sakina Gadiwala, general secretary, FOT. “Ours is a show open to all — whether it is the general public, corporate offices or government organisations. It is an educational gathering, where demonstrations included lectures on the art of Bonsai appreciation, facts of mushroom cultivation, art of Bonsai, Ikebana and a workshop on microgreens,” she said. There were 99 participants (41 participants from Mumbai in the garden competition where judges visited offices and houses of individuals to assess gardens, and over 65 others from across the country who exhibited at the show) and more than a hundred trophies and felicitations. “There were also 16 special non-competing exhibitors,” she told this diarist. 

Sakina Gadiwala

Say yes to kindness

Performers at the open mic event

Third year media students of Wilson College are on a quest to spread awareness against cyber bullying. A team of five has created an initiative @noharshtags to bring out heartfelt stories and messages by victims. “We are only students and we do not have the bandwidth, time or monetary backing to research and talk about cybercrimes. But what we can do is talk about cyber bullying. Our motto is to request young people to be kind,” suggests team member Shivani Nair. Their first event took place last Sunday, where they collaborated with the literature community, Majlis Studio, to invite poets to speak on cyber bullying. She added, “This week, we will introduce influencers, who are also victims, as human books to share their stories.” 

Silent readers

Charvi Garg; (right) The first silent reading session took place last Sunday at the park

Versova Reads added another chapter by its inception to the growing silent reading groups of Mumbai. “When I was in Bengaluru, I frequented Cubbon Park. It was then that I came across Cubbon Reads. It became my sanctuary. Upon returning to Mumbai, I longed for a similar safe space,” said 23-year-old curator Charvi Garg who co-founded the community with her brother Ujjwal, “We aim to cultivate a community where individuals could comfortably coexist in silence.” The reading sessions will be hosted every Sunday at Prabodhankar Thackeray Udyaan- BMC Park.

For the OGs of Aarey Forest

Not all revolutions have to be armed, some are musical. While the debate over the shrinking space for Aarey Forest’s indigenous residents continues, the Mumbai collective of Swadesi has joined hands with Warli artiste Prakash Bhoir on their latest single, Adivasi. As the title suggests, the song is a narrative of the struggle and integral role the original inhabitants play in the forest’s ecosystem, said rapper MC Mawali of the Swadesi team. “After ‘The Warli Revolt’ this song is the second collaboration with Prakash Bhoir. It tells the story of the moolniwasis [original residents], who over time, are losing their culture. In this song, they come together to bring back their threatened locality, express their feelings, and dance over their struggles,” he said. 

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