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Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

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

Ushering in Navratri
Seeing traffic jams and crowds is nothing new for Mumbaikars. But yesterday, such a scene usually meant that an idol of the goddess Durga had arrived in the area and was being installed. One of our colleagues was in an autorickshaw in Thane, and fell victim to slow traffic.

An idol of Goddess Durga installed by the Paschim Vibhag Navratra Mandal at Dombivili west. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
An idol of Goddess Durga installed by the Paschim Vibhag Navratra Mandal at Dombivili west. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

The rickshaw driver stuck his head out and asked a passer-by, “Devi aa gayi kya? (Has the Goddess arrived?)” The man replied, “Haan, raat ko aayi, puja ho gayi. (Yes, she arrived at night, and the installation ceremony is over.)” Apparently many sarvajanik Durga idols were brought during the night to minimise traffic disruption, as was also done during Ganesh Chaturthi this year.

Smaller idols were still seen making their way to their installation destinations some going by bullock-cart, others on handcarts, some escorted by 10 people and some by 100. The fervour was the same everywhere, though; and yellow was a predominant theme especially in the ladies compartments of the local trains, as this was yesterday’s “deemed colour” to wear.

'Milking' an opportunity
Our city is known for housing many light-fingered people so much so that if something is not bolted down or chained, it is likely to disappear overnight. (A legendary story is that of an entire bus stop which was stolen once, and sold for scrap.)

The milkman now secures the cans to prevent theft. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
The milkman now secures the cans to prevent theft. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

But one would assume that a humble milkman would be spared, that too during the day. This elderly milkman who travels from Khardi in Kasara every day, however, has become the victim of can theft. The milkman brings about four to five cans of milk every day to deliver to various restaurants in Bhandup. As he cannot carry them all at once, he unloads them from the train and keeps them on the platform.

To his dismay he found that while he was away delivering part of his load, the remaining cans would get stolen in his absence. So now he has taken to chaining the cans to a railing on the platform. Do beware if you stand still long enough, someone may steal the shirt off your back!

Wild in the city
If nature and biodiversity interest you, head to Hornbill House in the city next week. The Bombay Natural History Society is organising an exhibition of photographs, titled Thathwamasi, on the biodiversity of Periyar.

One of the photographs by NP Jayan at the exhibition
One of the photographs by NP Jayan at the exhibition

The photographs are by NP Jayan and cover a spectrum of aspects relating to the topic. The exhibition, beind held on the occasion of Wildlife Week, will be inaugurated at 11am on September 29, and will be open from 9.30am to 5pm till October 3. Hornbill House is located opposite Lion Gate on Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Fort.

Can’t read? Don’t care
At Andheri (E) station yesterday, workers were seen putting up banners by the Election Commission encouraging people to cast their vote. With the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly elections set for October 15, the voting awareness drive is on.

This banner was tied yesterday at Andheri skywalk encouraging voters to cast their vital votes
This banner was tied yesterday at Andheri skywalk encouraging voters to cast their vital votes

What intrigued us is that the place chosen to display the banner was the Andheri East skywalk. The font on the banner was unclear and even people with good eyesight were struggling to read what was written on it.

The point of awareness was lost thanks to the sky-(walk)-high location chosen to convey the message. And people using the skywalk wouldn’t be able to read it as it hangs outside the structure. The chances of people rushing too and fro looking up is slim, so all we can say is that it’s a waste of a banner.

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