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Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

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

Singing for women's rights
Music composer and singer Somesh Mathur has released a series of songs on YouTube, dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Somesh Mathur
Somesh Mathur

Mathur explains why he has chosen to champion this cause through his music: “I am doing a series of concerts called The Calling which blend Sufi lyrics and music with the fight for women’s rights.

I feel if women are not treated equally, half the country’s population is handicapped. Because we don’t respect women and the girl child, crimes against women have seen a huge rise.” After the release of Music Mehfils - Vol 1 on YouTube, Mathur will be releasing the album on CD next week.

No light in this tunnel
It is a time of disruption for train services when heavy rain results in waterlogging. Commuters, already inconvenienced, have to face the prospect of reaching home later than usual, and need to be extra cautious about their safety.


Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

For commuters at Rabale station on the Harbour line, there’s an extra hurdle they have to contend with darkness in portions of the station, as the lights don’t work most of the time. This is a situation seen at other stations too, and contributes to lowering the safety factor for train travellers, especially women.

When working people end up reaching a place like Rabale it is bound to be late in the night all the more reason that stations further north on all the lines should be well lit.

Up, down and round about
Salient facts about train commuting in Mumbai that you may have missed:

>> Commuting accounts for about half of the work done in the day.

>> Commuters have only two feelings: anger and nothing.

>> Commuters are impatient. (Speaking of patience, those travelling on the Harbour Line redefine patience every day.)

>> The local trains are the proving ground we officially become Mumbaikars when fellow commuters stand on our toes by mistake... and we don’t even realise it.

>> Push does come to shove, and vice versa. The dialogue in this case is, “Train mein dhakka nahin toh kya, lottery lagega?

>> You occasionally get treated to free entertainment when people start fighting for space. Just don’t get in their way. And did you know that the real weapons of mass destruction are actually elbows?

>> We take consolation in the observation that so long as commuters are ready to assume weird positions to read newspapers, there is hope for print media.

Rain of kindness
Even in inclement weather, the instinctive helpfulness of most Mumbaikars has not deserted them. It was raining, the wind was blowing umbrellas and clothes hither and thither, and our colleague was rushing to an assignment.

She had not realized that there was an opening in her handbag which had remained unzipped. On Elphinstone Bridge, a gust of wind blew some currency notes out of her bag, and it would have been easy for other passers-by to pick them up and move on.

But people drew her attention to the incident, and helped her collect each and every note. What do you say to that, but “hats off”!

Turn the blackboard green
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has initiated an Environment Awareness Programme for underprivileged children at school level, to teach them about nature and create a proactive attitude towards conservation among them.

Under the programme, BNHS will visit schools and NGOs working with underprivileged children between 10 and 14 years, and conduct informative and interactive activities. BNHS plans to reach 3,000 students, and has asked interested schools and NGOs in Mumbai region to register for the programme.

If you are connected to or know about an organisation that could benefit, email cecbnhs@gmail.com or call Amandeep Kaur, Education Officer with the BNHS, on working days at 9594929107, 9594953425 or 9223513425.

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