Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

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

The Azhar side of life
Mohammed Azharuddin is keen to start a new chapter in his life.

Mohammed Azharuddin, snapped outside the BCCI office, looking forward to brighter days. Pic/Shadab Khan
Mohammed Azharuddin, snapped outside the BCCI office, looking forward to brighter days. Pic/Shadab Khan

After the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the life ban in 2012 imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following the match-fixing allegations in 2000, the former India skipper is eager to get back to the cricketing fold.

“I am willing to take up any role. I would be happy to take up any assignment where I can help cricketers and develop the game.

Honestly, I haven’t really thought about any specific roles (like cricket administration or coaching),” Azharuddin told mid-day after he was spotted outside the BCCI office on Wednesday evening.

The Congress MP from Moradabad is also planning to watch some Indian Premier League matches, now that the campaigning for the general elections is over. “I did not get time to watch any matches due to campaigning.

I will come for a few matches. IPL is a good concept. The players get a good exposure and also recognition if they do well. This opens the door for India selection as well,” said Azharuddin.

Big cat tale on film
Usually this page leaves movie recommendations to our colleagues in the Hitlist section, but this one is a movie we think you should not miss.

Titled Ajoba (“grandfather” in Marathi), it is the story of a leopard’s remarkable journey from Malshej Ghat to Mumbai.

Ajoba was rescued from a well and fitted with a GPS tracker which enabled conservationists to see how he made his way across all terrain, including highways.

Wildlife researcher Vidya Athreya’s role is played by Urmila Matondkar, and the film also stars veteran Marathi actor Dilip Prabhavalkar as a forest officer. The hero, of course, is the leopard.

Lunchbox lessons
Mumbai’s lifeline for those hungry hordes at office the dabbawallas are a source of perennial interest for foreigners.

Dabbawallas promote hygienic eating. Pic/Shadab Khan
Dabbawallas promote hygienic eating. Pic/Shadab Khan

They have had documentaries made on them, they were invited for Prince Charles’ wedding and generally have been quite the international stars. Here, they were not at Buckingham Palace, but at Lower Parel station advising commuters on keeping their hands clean.

They placed a packet of pocket tissues and a bottle of hand sanitiser in the dabba bags, the message being to encourage people to ensure that their hands are clean before eating, and to clean up post-lunch. With their high visibility and spot-on efficiency, dabbawallas are a great way to get a message across.

Shutter bugs!
It was a typically busy weekday morning, but suddenly shopkeepers in the Om Heera Panna Mall at Oshiwara shut shop and downed shutters.

Shut shops at Oshiwara
Shut shops at Oshiwara

It was not a bandh the cause was the quiet but determined arrival of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials, inspecting the mall.

Many shops and offices in the premises have apparently constructed additional working spaces in the form of unauthorised mezzanines and lofts, so the BMC was on a crackdown to find these out.

However, perhaps due to a tip-off, the officials found the premises locked when they arrived. So they had no choice but to mark “Shut” on their clipboards and leave.

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