Mumbai Diary: Monday musings

Kharghar calling for naturenistas
When the weather is sweltering as it is now, it is time to head to cooler climes. Head to our very own Kharghar Hills in Navi Mumbai, where the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) is holding a nature trail, on April 12.

RED GLORY: The silk-cotton tree in a burst of shouting colour
RED GLORY: The silk-cotton tree in a burst of shouting colour

The trail is being held by the BNHS Conservation Education Centre in association with Cidco, from 7am to 9am. The event is free, but prior registration is required, so contact BNHS Education Officer Isha Pradhan-Sawant at 9594929107 or 22821811 (Monday-Friday) or email cecbnhs@gmail.com. Besides, flowering trees such as silk-cotton and coral trees, Kharghar Hills offers birds, including winter migrants such as the Paradise Fly-catcher and the Yellow-wattled Lapwing.

Stop, where’s the station?
While commuters grumble about amenities and facilities at train stations on various lines in the city, there are others who don’t care whether there is a platform or not - they just get off when the train stops.

platforms
WAYSIDE STOP: The platforms are imaginary, but the stations are real! PICS/SHRIKANT KHUPERKAR

These stations, Thanshet and Umbarmali in Shahpur taluka, on the Central Railway main line to Kasara, are not random stops but stations marked as “cabin” on the railway map, and are meant for the railway staff.

Since, the train stops, residents of the nearby villages take advantage of it.

Perhaps it is time for the stations to become “official”, since commuters are using them anyway.

What’s in a number plate?
Plenty, when it is a name that is being spelled out, it seems. We have seen plenty of number plates on cars and bikes that are painted “creatively” to look like words and names.

Yo-Yo-numberplate
SINGH-ING A DIFFERENT TUNE: The number plate tells its own tale. PIC/CHIRAG WAGHELA

And in another instance we came across this biker who has painted the numerals 4040 to look like the words Yo Yo.

Maybe he’s a an of the singer Honey Singh, who is known as Yo Yo, but it may not go down so well with traffic cops, because you know there are rules about painting of number plates. You can't get too jazzy there. So, so?

Identity Crisis

It is one of those “only in Mumbai” things. In a train that was approaching Churchgate station at evening peak hour, we overheard one woman asking another, “Will this become Virar?” To anyone else it makes no sense but to us it means that she was “up-downing”. And what that means, find out another day!

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