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Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

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

BMC bites come closer
People who go to South Mumbai, especially Azad Maidan or the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), are familiar with the BMC’s canteen. In fact, not just familiar the canteen is legendary for good, reasonably-priced food.

Apart from BMC employees, policemen, other officials, your diligent journalists, and even activists who come to Azad Maidan for agitations they all stop by at the BMC for a bite (non-vegetarian available on Wednesdays and Fridays). For those who are constrained to eat out, getting tasty food that does not damage either wallet or digestive tract is a windfall.

The only drawback, so far, was that the canteen was located on the fourth floor of the building. Of course, the BMC doesn’t make you climb the stairs for your supper but waiting for the lift especially at crunch (or rather lunch) time was a bit of a pain.

Now the friendly corporation has solved even that little hurdle, by bringing the canteen all the way down… not quite to the ground floor but on the mezzanine between the ground and the first floors. Yummy food is now just a short flight of stairs away no more long waits near the lift at gate number 7.

In the red for blood
In this day and age, when we have a day for simply everything, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Daughter’s Day, some days are better marketed than the others. Valentine’s Day in Mumbai of course, is top of the recall charts.

The Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited along with the BSES MG Hospital, Andheri held a blood donation drive yesterday at the Indiabulls Finance Centre in the city
The Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited along with the BSES MG Hospital, Andheri held a blood donation drive yesterday at the Indiabulls Finance Centre in the city

The morality police, and Shiv Sena’s annual tearing of cuddly felt hearts, stomping on teddy bears (it has petered out now) has actually had the opposite effect and made people more aware of this day. Tomorrow, June 14 is World Blood Donors’ Day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) slogan for this Blood Donors’ Day is: ‘Safe Blood for Saving Mothers’. Mumbai is seeing some initiatives for Blood Donor’s Day but on the whole awareness is low. In a world of hype and hoopla, we think it is time to go overboard on this one, too. More power to donors, we say.

What progress?
Outside Borivali station, on the east, is an attractive mural decorating the wall, showing slices of life from Indian Railways. In front of it is an installation of an old set of wheels, meant to depict progress.

Clothes make the man but mar the display. Pic/Sundari Iyer
Clothes make the man but mar the display. Pic/Sundari Iyer

And a plaque behind it says as much. Unfortunately, the reality that is India seems to have made its mark even on this. The entire effect is marred by a set of clothes drying on the installation.

We know that in space-scarce Mumbai, to which countless people still flock every day, one uses whatever one can, but surely the railways could have kept this in mind and put up a guard rail or something similar around the installation?

Of course, the inevitable would occur and the guard rail itself would be used as a clothesline but at least the wheels of progress would be unmarred...

Fans of the wrong kind!
In the heat we are experiencing, till the monsoons descend any breath of wind is welcome, be it from nature or the closest electric fan. So, when one of the fans on platform 5 at Dombivili station stopped working a few days ago, commuters who were sweltering while waiting for their trains began to try and find out what was wrong.

A commuter pushes the button for fans! Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
A commuter pushes the button for fans! Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Apparently the fan was working but its switch needed to be given a “push” to get it going (regular train travellers will be familiar with this scenario). Some of the commuters decided to take matters into their own hands, literally, and then began the hunt for a stick that could reach the switch and would enable them to push it safely.

Finally a stick of a suitable length was found, and one of the commuters took the initiative to get the fan going and won over many other fans in the process! However, it is the duty of the station manager to ensure that amenities are working and commuters are not inconvenienced. Looks like enterprising commuters have to go the DIY route.

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