How the Lounge team is feeling this week

From Dutee Chand’s coming out story to the passing of film historian and director Vijaya Mulay, Lounge takes on the biggest updates of the week

When Dutee calls for love

Dutee Chand’s coming out story hasn’t been an entirely happy one. When the current national champion in women’s 100m announced she was in a same-sex relationship, she was hailed as an icon for the queer community, with hope that her candour would help other sportspersons and ordinary Indians overcome stigmas against homosexuality that continue despite its decriminalization. However, subsequent events revealed that brave as her choice to come out was, her hand was forced by her sister, who was reportedly blackmailing her, while some media organizations showed utter disrespect for her partner’s privacy by digging up her name and photograph. This is no way to treat a hero. —SB

Adieu to a childhood memory

For someone who grew up in the 1980s, the 7-minute animation film, Ek Chidiya Anek Chidiya, was like a ray of sunshine on Doordarshan. One would leave aside everything the minute the scene of the little boy running around in the garden, asking his sister about the differences between ek (one) and anek (many), started playing. With its lilting tune and beautiful take on the hunter and the doves story from Panchatantra, this film—directed by the film historian and director Vijaya Mulay—left an indelible imprint. Which is why, when news came in on 19 May that Mulay, aged 98, had died at her Delhi residence, it felt like a personal loss. With award-winning films such as the Tidal Bore, and acclaimed books such as From Rajahs And Yogis To Gandhi And Beyond to her credit, Mulay directed Ek Chidiya Anek Chidiya in 1974, when she headed the Centre for Educational Technology. It went on to win the National Film Award for best educational film. With its message of unity in diversity, the film continues to be relevant, especially in the divisive times we live in today. —AB

Room for some change

For the first time in the country, World Heritage sites will have baby feeding rooms on the premises. In a progressive move, the Archaeological Survey of India has decided to introduce these rooms at the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The idea was first initiated in 2015 when close to 351 bus depots in Chennai were chosen to be equipped with feeding rooms. —AB

Elton shines on the silver screen

Elton has arrived, and he’s sparkling—quite literally. No one expected the Elton John musical biopic Rocketman (starring Taron Egerton) to be understated, given that costume designer Julian Day has reimagined the singer’s flamboyant personal style with unabashed maximalism. Take, for instance, a costume worn by Elton at his Dodger Stadium concert in 1975—it’s recreated using 140,000 Swarovski crystals. Or the Devil costume featuring a red jumpsuit with heart-shaped wings, paired with a headdress and sunglasses. There’s an overabundance of crystals, and high fashion brands like Gucci and British eyewear maker David Cox have starring roles. “Rocketman tells Elton’s life through song and dance, so there’s a fantastical element that lends itself well to costume creation," Day told Vogue. Whether you like the movie or not, the hyperbolic sartorial sensibilities are a feast for the senses. Rocketman releases on 31 May. —SD