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Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

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

Bad luck, to a degree
Fans of Graduate Vada Pav outside Byculla (East) station were in for a shock yesterday evening as they found the cart being, well, carted away. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had swooped down on hawkers in the area, and those without licences were picked up and their goods confiscated.

Illustrations/Amit Bandre
Illustrations/Amit Bandre

The nimbu-pani wallah managed to whisk his little stand out of sight but the fruit vendor, with his baskets full of fresh wares, had to watch helplessly as the apples and pears were loaded onto the BMC van. Graduate Vada Pav, for all its fame among city foodies, was not spared either.

The gas cylinder on which their delicious golden vadas are cooked up, joined the baskets of fruit in the back of the van, and the kadhai of oil was kept aside to cool before it was taken away by the stall owner.

The cart was wheeled away, vadas, pav, spicy chutney and all but even so, a couple of customers tried to wheedle one last morsel out of the cart, chasing the man wheeling it and calling, “Ek de do, bhaiyya!” Such is the lure of a well-known food joint. Given the cart’s level of popularity, we think it’s time this Graduate became official!

Not a scenic lakeside
In most places, waterfront areas are done up as promenades, so that people can enjoy the cool environs.

This isn’t what people want to see! Pic/Shrikant KhuperkarThis isn’t what people want to see! Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

But in the case of the Rabale lake, situated on the Thane-Belapur road, the lakefront is a dhobi ghat for nearby residents who use the water to wash their clothes, and the nice, convenient railings to dry them. Corporators are turning a blind eye to the eyesore, and visitors are put off by the unsightly scene.

Blue print Mumbai
This isn’t the ideal way one would want to be mentioned as a benchmark or yardstick. The Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11 have become unfortunately a kind of “blueprint” for Islamist terror attacks elsewhere. Often, we see international news agencies now using the term “Mumbai style attacks” to explain what kind of terror attacks were being planned.

When terror came to Mumbai
When terror came to Mumbai

Mumbai-style attacks has become the term for indiscriminate firing and killing innocent people, usually storming public places or buildings. The latest, one reads, was being planned in the UK where a man has been accused of planning a bombing. One more instance of how the devastating 26/11 attacks are being used to describe other planned attacks all over the world and a reference that Mumbai cannot be proud of.

Alive and kicking
Just when we thought those burly guys who box and kick the bruises out of each other on TV are meant to stay on the small screen, we stumbled upon a residential building in Vashi. Called Fit and Fight Club and run by Sanjivan Padwal and Dipesh Rasal, the place offers training in Mixed Martial Arts.

Muay Thai and Jujitsu are also taught along with wrestling and boxing. What is fascinating is the steady rise in numbers of those interested in fitness but what’s more fascinating is youth being interested in approaching martial arts, and not regular gymming, as a form of fitness. However, the most interesting aspect of this ‘discovery’ is it is happening in Navi Mumbai!

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