Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Reasons to Cheer

Updated on Aug 06, 2022 12:59 AM IST
At the time of writing this, Indian athletes have won 20 medals, including 6 gold, 7 silver, and 7 bronze at the Commonwealth Games 2022, currently taking place in Birmingham, UK
Din and posturing appear to have also taken center-stage following the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Asia tour with its controversial stopover in Taiwan, that has incensed China enough to have prompted it to fire ballistic missiles during military drills around Taiwan. (HT)
Din and posturing appear to have also taken center-stage following the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Asia tour with its controversial stopover in Taiwan, that has incensed China enough to have prompted it to fire ballistic missiles during military drills around Taiwan. (HT)
ByMalavika Sangghvi

At the time of writing this, Indian athletes have won 20 medals, including 6 gold, 7 silver, and 7 bronze at the Commonwealth Games 2022, currently taking place in Birmingham, UK.

It may not compare with the great quantities of medals bagged so far by Australia (132), England (118), and Canada ( 59), but for a country which bagged only 2 medals, a gold and a silver, in its first participation in the CWG in 1934, standing 12th in the overall tally, it has come a long way and of course, there are still days to go and medals to be won.

What speaks most about the progress made in the country’s overall performance are the interviews given by our athletes about their performances. The pride in their voices about representing their country and hearing its national anthem play while receiving their medal on the podium, is as moving as the humility and grace with which many of them who have not won gold articulate their disappointment and heartbreak and determination to continue pursuing the top prize.

Indeed, the voices of our athletes, sincere, heartfelt, and devoid of pride, pretence and posturing come as such a welcome relief amid the din and clamour that passes for the national discourse, these days.

***

Din and posturing appear to have also taken center-stage following the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Asia tour with its controversial stopover in Taiwan, that has incensed China enough to have prompted it to fire ballistic missiles during military drills around Taiwan. That an 82-year-old woman’s visit to a region could result in such a threatening show of muscle power and sabre- rattling makes one wonder at the kind of monumental sense of entitlement autocrats and authoritarian leaders subscribe to.

With Putin’s war in Ukraine paying havoc with life and limb and the world’s economy, it is not hard to see why, XI Jinping’s actions have once again made the Planet hold its breath and hope that it does not escalate in more war that nobody needs.

Speaking of which- hard as it is to believe- it’s the 23rd week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and though by now like the proverbial frogs acclimatized to slowly heated water in a pan, the horror of Russian aggression for the world has become an ongoing story, seldom making it to headlines, this week reports say that Ukraine appears to have scored a decisive victory against its aggressor by striking Russian garrisons and ammunition stockpiles in a counteroffensive in the south of the country and forcing Russia to bring in reinforcements and weakening other fronts as a result.

The fact that Russia has also agreed to lift its blockade of Black Sea ports allowing Ukrainian to export its grain gives reason to cheer. In a world where bad news often seems the only news there is, these small sparse slivers of victories bring in much needed hope and good cheer.

***

Hope and good cheer were seen in abundance last weekend, when 78-year-old singer song writer and folk icon Joni Mitchell who wasn’t able to walk or talk after a brain aneurysm in 2015, performed a full set at the Newport folk festival, to a wildly cheering audience. That the singer who had to teach herself to walk, talk, play the guitar and sing all over again, not only sang her classics but didn’t miss a beat or a chord and seemed to be having a whale of time while doing so, endeared her even further to the crowds and even to those unfamiliar with the genius of her music.

“To be able to recover to the point of being able to perform as a musician is really incredible,” says Dr Anthony Wang, a neurosurgeon at Ronald Reagan UCLA Hospital, told NPR. “Brain surgeons often use “return-to-work” as a marker of a successful functional recovery. But very rarely is that work quite so nuanced.”

***

Another bit of musical cheer, always so welcome in these times came in the form of an evening spent at Bandra’s Invincible Bar listening to Anushka Jagtiani singing some of her own outstanding compositions like rebirth, along with popular covers. Jagtiani an alumnus of LSE whose stage name is Anushka Jag is an Indian singer and songwriter who spends her time between Mumbai and Los Angeles and has completed several tours throughout the United States, Asia, and the United Kingdom.

Back home in India her videos have aired on prestigious outlets such as MTV and VH1 and she lists the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen Lady Gaga and yes Joni Mitchell as her musical influences.

Accompanied by percussionist Hardik Mehta and guitarist Hitesh Kumar, the evening saw a gathering of old friends, music lovers and Anushka fans, dance, sing along and partake of the bonhomie and good vibes all around evoking the pre-pandemic days, when such evenings were the rule and not the exception.

Her latest single, “Rebirth” is a song very much rooted in Anushka’s own spiritual beliefs about hitting rock bottom in the face of betrayal and then rebuilding life and emerging stronger. And could be a fitting anthem for our times:

‘Look at me comeback now

I’m ten times stronger

Found beauty in the stains

power in the pain

Tempered in the flames…

Rebirth rebirth rebirth

Rebirth rebirth rebirth

One with the universe

I wanna be one with the universe

I wanna give love like it never hurt

Rebirth rebirth…’

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The skywalk near Viviana Mall in Thane Praful Gangurde/HT Photo

    Locals flag safety concerns on skywalk nearly two km from CM Shinde’s residence

    Four days after a college student was allegedly molested on a skywalk at Manpada, local residents have raised safety concerns over another skywalk in the heart of the city which they claim is taken over by miscreants at night as there are no adequate lights and CCTV cameras. Interestingly, this skywalk near Viviana Mall is barely a few metres from former minister Jitendra Awhad's home and around two km from chief minister Eknath Shinde's residence.

  • Mumbai, India – August 16, 2018: A view of Ramtek Bungalow, at Walkeshwar, in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, Aug 16, 2018. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT) (HT PHOTO)

    Newly-appointed ministers lobby for posh Malabar Hill official bungalows

    With its private beach and a sprawling lawn, Ramtek bungalow in Malabar Hill leads the list, followed by Royal Stone, a colonial-style bungalow with wooden flooring located in Peddar Road. While Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar and revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil have requested for Royal Stone, forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, labour minister Suresh Khade and Vikhe-Patil are vying for Ramtek bungalow, the largest bungalow after Varsha, the official residence of the chief minister.

  • Mumbai, India - August 15, 2022: Two senior citizens died after the ceiling portion from the first floor of the ground-plus-two Moti Chhaya Building collapsed on Monday evening at Mulund (East), in Mumbai, India, on Monday, August 15, 2022. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)

    Mulund building collapse: Roof gives way, killing old couple

    Mumbai: Two senior citizens lost their lives after the ceiling of a residential structure in which they resided came down on Monday evening. The deceased were identified as Devshankar Nathalal Shukla (93) and his wife, Arkhiben Devshankar Shukla (87). According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) disaster control cell, the incident took place at around 7.46 pm, on the first floor of the building.

  • The police had to resort to lathi-charge in Shivamogga.

    Violence erupts over Savarkar, Tipu photos in Shivamogga, Section 144 imposed

    Karnataka Police on Monday imposed curbs under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Shivamogga town after a clash between two groups over banners featuring Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue V D Savarkar and 18th Century ruler Tipu Sultan. A senior police officer familiar with the matter said tension broke out after a banner featuring Savarkar was put up at Amir Ahmed Circle, in Shivamogga, as part of Independence Day celebrations.

  • A policeman salutes the national flag, in Bengaluru. (PTI)

    In a first, Tricolour hoisted at Idgah Maidan amid tight vigil

    In a first, the national flag was hoisted amid tight security on Monday morning at Idgah Maidan in Chamarajpet. The Tricolour was hoisted at the Idgah Maidan by assistant commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban) MG Shivanna. Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, member of Lok Sabha from Bengaluru Central constituency PC Mohan, additional commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Sandeep Patil and deputy commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Laxman Nimbargi were also present in the event.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now