Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics
Mumbai's reptile man
No, it's not a member of PAWS or RAWW or any of the other catchily-acronymed organisations that help the city’s animals. The honour of having not one but two reptiles named after him goes to Varad Giri, senior scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society.
BNHS scientist Varad Giri
He already has a snake, which he discovered two years ago in the Western Ghats, named after him. If Dendrelathis girii was not enough, a new species of gecko has been named the Cnemaspis girii after him, as he had guided the team of zoologists who discovered it in the Valley of Flowers.
Typically unassuming, the scientist has told media that the new discovery only means that there is a great need for dedicated surveys across the north Western Ghats to document the diversity of reptiles.
Many narrowly distributed species are likely to fall prey to climatic changes brought about by humans, as depletion of forest cover has wide-reaching effects. We hope this new discovery does spur more interest in conserving the Ghats and, who knows, maybe a Girii hat-trick will ensue if another reptilian species is discovered and named after the herpetologist.
No parking... for road signs!
YOU would think that a sign saying “no parking” would mean just that. But apparently this sign at Dr Ambedkar Road in Dadar East, near the Fire Brigade signal, means something else — maybe in some secret language because right below it is a vehicle, firmly and unmistakably parked.
Not only that, the intruder appears to be one of the “unofficial” share-a-seat vehicles that ply between Mumbai and Pune. The official Mumbai-Pune taxi stand is a little ahead. And the buses to Pune start from just beneath the flyover barely a few feet away from the spot. This is brazen, indeed.
Airline food grounded?
We hear that Air-India is leasing out the ground floor of its iconic Nariman Point building to eateries. Taking a beating on the financial front, the country’s international carrier has reportedly started looking for tenants who will set up food joints, in the hope that this will bolster its coffers.
The Air-India building
The south end of the city already has its share of fine dining outlets, and given that there is a high concentration of office-goers in the area, we feel the carrier should give serious thought to setting up an international food court at the Air-India building. Considering that it flies to so many countries, wouldn’t it be fitting to showcase the food of these places at its headquarters?
And office-goers have no time to sit and dine in swish surroundings — they want a quick bite, and even better if it is interesting as well as healthy. The ubiquitous sandwich-wallahs and newer “wrap artists” need competition from something better. And Nariman Point’s white-collared denizens need a place where they can get quick, filling and fun eats. This is a great opportunity for Air-India. We have only one stipulation. No airline food, please.
With the monsoon making its presence felt, many roads are back to their ugly best — thanks to accumulating muck. And, though we like to point fingers at the authorities, much of the blame rests on the public who fail to do their civic duty.
For some inexplicable reason, we don’t throw garbage into the huge garbage cans, which are hard to miss. Instead, it becomes a sort of game to throw stuff around the receptacles.
The resultant pile-up of rubbish in the open is a common sight in the city. Much of the problem can be easily solved if the aam janata took it upon themselves to just maintain basic cleanliness.
Public-spiritedness does not extend to putting garbage where it belongs in the bin. Pics/Shakti Shetty
Not helping the situation, rag-pickers forage for useful items among the litter, and leave without putting the remnants back into the bin. Oh, and who can forget the dogs? They too do their bit in spreading the word... err… waste.