Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

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

Brush with nature
While World Sparrow Day on March 20 may have gone unnoticed (much like the little brown birds who are already inconspicuous and are dwindling in number, too), there’s a chance to celebrate the modest chirper on Earth Day, April 22, with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

The organisation is holding a painting competition for underprivileged children, with the theme “Sparrow, My Friend”, at the BNHS Conservation Education Centre (CEC) in Goregaon East, from 8.30am to 1pm.

BNHS is inviting 50 underprivileged children from various organisations to take part, and given how creative our little bright sparks tend to be, we think the results are going to be very interesting. If you’d like to know more, email

Pat on the khaki back
We at Friday Frolics were driving down the busy Tulsi Pipe Road (officially, it’s Senapati Bapat Marg) the other day, when about 50 metres ahead, a pedestrian appeared out of nowhere trying to cross the road.

A motorbike, caught unawares and unable to stop in time, hit the pedestrian and sent him sprawling on the road. He luckily got off with just a bruised arm. The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, so even though he too landed on the road, he was safe. So why is this worthy of mention?

It so happened that the moment this took place, four traffic constables paunches and all came running, hare-like, towards the accident victims, picked up both the guys and the damaged motorcycle, and moved them to the side of the road.

Three of them helped the victims, and the fourth began managing the traffic which had stopped to gawk at the accident spot. In less than 45 seconds, traffic movement was smooth and any passerby would not even have guessed that this had just been an accident spot.

For all the (alas, often justifiable) flak that our police force gets from citizens, there are also these bright sparks who do their job quietly, efficiently, and — well, because it is their job.

A round of applause is in order for those four constables, who were posted to nab traffic offenders in the unbearable heat of a Mumbai afternoon, but did not hesitate to come to the rescue, without waiting to be asked, when help was needed.

Warehouse rock
You may have seen it as you pass, on your way to the dockyard perhaps, or taking a shortcut to somewhere through Byculla. The signboard is one that sticks in the memory — it’s large and it says “Richardson and Cruddas”, a name that is hard to forget.

Now, the warehouse is apparently going the Industrial Chic way, as it is set to become the next big venue for music and other gigs (see page 35). Given the sheer size of the interior, we think it makes perfect sense, in terms of acoustic range as well as dance area.

Defunct factory premises and other industrial locations are popular as nightspots in other parts of the world (such as Singapore’s St James Power Station, which is doing thrillingly well), so why not our very own legacy of vintage factory spaces? As it is, Byculla already has a rocking legacy, with the Byculla Mechanics club having set the standard. R&C, have at it!

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