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Mumbai Diary: Friday Frolics

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

In your face, CM!
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had a “close” call with Congress leaders earlier this week. Agitated over legalisation of slums built upto 2000, a group of city Congressmen - including some MLAs - went to the CM’s residence, Varsha, after the state cabinet meeting. They had no appointment but got their way and met the CM with their demand for regularisation of the slums.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan

The group upped the seriousness quotient of the encounter, saying that Congress candidates may not win in the coming Lok Sabha elections if the slums did not get legal protection from the state. The CM said the state’s hands are tied because of the court stay on the issue. But the partymen were insistent and got a tad too close to the CM for comfort.

The volume also increased and the CM had to ask why they were speaking so loudly. “It’s because you never hear us when we speak softly!” one of the Congressmen is believed to have said. Apart from the noise, we wonder whether Chavan also got an undesirable “whiff” or two, considering the group was too close for comfort. Mouthwash, anyone?

Muffled laughter
Our colleague from the world of PR, Vipul Bondal, quips: Karan Johar to interview Kejriwal next. The show will be called “Coughing With Karan”.

Hit with heart
We hear too often about hit-and-run drivers, so it’s good to come across instances when people stop to help - even if it means they go out of their way. Our colleague was riding his motorcycle to work, when an SUV accidentally hit the bike from behind and knocked him down, near Bandra.

The SUV immediately stopped and it turned out that its occupants were taking an elderly lady to a South Mumbai hospital. Nevertheless, they offered to take our colleague and his pillion rider to a nearby clinic, and one of them waited during their checkup and X-ray while the others continued to South Mumbai. Fortunately our colleague and his pillion are not seriously hurt. Neither is our faith in Mumbaikars!

We now know why, Dada!
Thanks to ESPN Cricinfo’s new book on the batting icon titled Sachin Tendulkar, the Man Cricket Loved Back, published by Penguin, we got to know about how Mumbai boy Tendulkar threatened to send Sourav Ganguly packing back home to Kolkata from the Caribbean tour in 1997, for not listening to his orders of going for a run the morning after a heartbreaking Test loss at Barbados.

Sourav Ganguly with Sachin Tendulkar
Sourav Ganguly with Sachin Tendulkar

While Friday Frolics applauds Dada for his admission on a spicy matter which could well be reserved for his autobiography - whenever that bombshell is released, that is - one of our colleagues remembers an interview he had with Ganguly at the Taj Samudra lobby in Colombo the morning after India beat favourites and then world champs Sri Lanka in a triangular series final in 1998.

After Ganguly spoke about his important hundred (Tendulkar got one as well), he enquired more than once as to what Tendulkar had to say to his interviewer about his innings on the sidelines of a victory party held after the match. Needless to say, Dada was chuffed when he was told that Tendulkar felt it was a significant innings. We now know why Dada was so keen to know.

For good measure?
Social media users have been fuming over what they see as a size-ist move. In what could be termed a “landmark” promotion, the bookstore chain of that name has announced an in-store discount lasting for just two hours on Saturday night. The discount will be as big as the buyer’s waist size.

The store’s spokesperson told us in response to the online furore that the promotion aims to offer customers a variable value discount along with a fun element. “It is no way intended to offend any sentiments of our esteemed customers.”

Sounds like good news for the “traditionally built”, except that we are not clear whether to measure in inches or centimetres. And the promo is mystifyingly titled ‘Hips Don’t Lie’. So will they accept a hip measurement as well? We can just see our bills shrink, never mind our waistlines!

Contributed by: Ravikiran Deshmukh, Clayton Murzello, Hemal Ashar, Vidya Heble

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