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Mumbai Diary: Friday frolics

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

Solo, so high
ONE wished that one could jump straight from the Raj Bhavan’s lawns into the adjacent sea on a sweltering Wednesday morning as the Governor of Maharashtra, K Sankaranarayanan released the book by Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy in Malayalam, titled ‘Kadal Ottaykku Kashanichappol’ (When the ocean beckoned me).


Book bravo: Cdr A Tomy (extreme left) and Governor K Sankaranarayanan (extreme right). Pic/Bipin Kokate

Cdr Tomy did a solo, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation around the world feat last year. He had taken off from Mumbai and landed back at Mumbai after a little more than three months, at the end of his record-breaking voyage.

The Governor said during the release, "I am happy and, in fact, thrilled about this book." The Governor was slightly philosophical too stating that, ‘strength of mind cannot be bought from the market, it is in-born." The Governor who periodically broke out into Malayalam also stated that the circumnavigation attested to the human instinct for survival.

In the end, he stated that Tomy was a nationalist and this book (it also has an English version) should be read by youngsters as it would fire them with the zeal for adventure. Profound words these, making one wiser in the classy hall at Raj Bhavan.

Unrest over ‘son’rise
With star kids as well as unstarred ones taking to the polling platform, sometimes daddy’s clout that comes in useful to resolve sticky situations. Industries Minister Narayan Rane is facing some anxiety due to the electoral fortunes of his elder son Dr Nilesh Rane. The Nationalist Congress Party cadre from the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha constituency have exhibited signs of non-cooperation, apparently due to differences over local-level issues, although the Congress and the NCP are alliance partners.

With the issue becoming complex, Rane senior sought a meeting with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar as the issue could not be resolved during the Congress-NCP coordination committee meeting last weekend. The two seniors met, we hear, at Awas village, near Alibag, where Rane urged Pawar to intervene and direct his partymen to cooperate with local NCP leaders.

Rane junior is apparently facing opposition from other parties such as the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena as well, so it remains to be see how far Pawar’s word will go.

Chutney for Italy!
Speaking of polling, there are various political references doing the rounds about the chaiwala and the Italian connection, we spotted this rather ironically appropriate poster at a railway canteen.


D OR T? A slight spelling difference makes for hot stuff. Pic/Waleed Hussain

The seller was attempting to advertise the South Indian dish (idli) but ended up putting an entire country (Italy) for sale, albeit for a meagre Rs 12.

Toffee break
CITY life has become so hectic, even an act of kindness has come to be seen as an aberration. Especially when rushing to catch trains, Mumbaikars rarely have time to spare for their fellow humans. This was underlined recently when a woman carrying her three-year-old daughter was boarding a train on the Central line. The child was carrying a packet of toffees, which fell to the platform in the rush. The crowd of exiting passengers did not pay heed, and the sweets were in danger of being trampled, to the child’s chagrin. This diarist was just behind the mother and picked up the packet. When she handed it to the child the look on the mother’s face was one of pure astonishment. Though it was sad that a simple act of courtesy was so surprising to the recipient, it was a sweet journey for all concerned.

Full worth
IN A private residential building, a small boy was taking the lift up to the first floor. The liftman asked why he didn’t take the stairs for just one floor. The boy replied, "My dad pays the maintenance, I have to get the full benefit of it!"

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