Mumbai Diary: Monday musings

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

Perils of long hair
While romantic capers have often fantasised about the allure of lush, long hair that turn ordinary fellows into dove-eyed Romeos, the fact of the matter is that long hair can often lead to extremely traumatic situations, especially while travelling by public transport. A teenaged girl found that out the in a rather hard way, recently.

Illustration/Amit Bandre
Illustration/Amit Bandre

The girl was on her way to the railway platform and was descending the steps, while another lady, armed with her handbag under her shoulder, was pushing her way upwards on the same staircase. The two met briefly, and as the woman pushed her way to the top, the teenager’s hair got entangled in her bag zipper.

A horrible shriek was heard from the teenager, as she was being dragged back up the staircase by the unaware but determined woman — bag firmly nestled under her shoulder. It was only when another commuter stalled the woman that she realised the gravity of the matter. The poor girl’s hair was so messed up that it had to be cut off to let her loose. Sigh! The perils of long hair in a crazy city.

Tea, totally
This may resonate more with you if you’re having a cuppa. Today, December 15, is International Tea Day, so designated since 2005 and observed by tea-producing countries around the world. If you’re a coffee drinker, you have to wait all the way till September 29, next year for International Coffee Day.

Drinking tea is not just a by the way it is an important ritual and not just for the British. Chinese weddings are seldom complete without the formal tea ceremony. Tea comes from the dainty-sounding plant Camellia sinensis, and in a day an experienced tea picker can gather enough tea to make 14,000 cups.

If you leave the tea plant alone, however, without plucking the tender tips, it can grow up to more than 30 feet in height. And it’s an evergreen, so you’ll always have tea leaves, of a sort. When it comes to health benefits, turns out black tea is as beneficial as the much-lauded green. Drinking tea can help regulate cholesterol, benefit the heart, and boost the immune system. Raise your cup to that!

Pick a label any label
Though the Mumbai Police personnel have been told not to use the sign ‘Police’ on their vehicles, many continue to do so. Even if it does not exactly instil fear in the beholder, it may ensure that the vehicle is at least not towed away for illegal parking. Some also try to pull a fast (or medium-paced) one with the tag of ‘Press’ on their vehicles.

Is it a journalist’s car or a policeman’s? Or... neither? Pic/Pravin Mahida
Is it a journalist’s car or a policeman’s? Or... neither? Pic/Pravin Mahida

Often seen as having considerable reach and clout, journalists are believed to be able to get away with a lot. Maybe the reputation of being one bestows a real or imagined cloak of invincibility. But what do you do when a vehicle sports both signs Press and Police?

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