Mumbai Diary page: Monday Musings

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

Friendly fire
With train fares going up, cases of ticketless travellers on local journeys are bound to go up. And a favourite spot for ticket checkers (TCs) to nab errant souls is Dadar station, on the fast train platform.

Those sneaking into the first-class compartment have a hard time if they are alighting at Dadar, because the TC is usually right there, an eagle eye looking over the disembarking commuters and picking out those who look as if they are ticketless.

(How the TCs can spot them, is another story.) Recently, we saw one young man descend from the first-class general compartment, only to be greeted affably by an older man on the platform with a "How are you?".

The youth was a little bemused and smiled back, but quickly realised that the friendly arm placed on his shoulder was actually the proverbial long arm of the law, and the man, who looked like a well-dressed uncle, was actually a seasoned TC.

And yes, he had unerringly homed in on the ticketless traveller. Having to pounce on these offenders day after day must have rubbed away at his sharp edges and resulted in the avuncular manner which fooled everyone offender and onlookers alike!

Weather forecast: Shrimp-ly not waiting for the rains
While most of Mumbai is waiting for the rains simply because it would mean that the mercury would fall a little, there are a bunch of people in the city praying that the monsoon stays away. Like fishermen for example, who will be unable to take their boats out to sea.

Separating the fish. Pic/AFP
Separating the fish. Pic/AFP

Here, a worker segregates dried shrimps for packing at a fishing village in Madh Island even as the city gets ready for the monsoon. Fishing activity will soon stop at Madh, once it begins to rain due to inclement weather and rough seas. Till then, though, these fishermen continue to hope for a rich harvest of fish, of course.

Friends are forever
Yesterday, the first Sunday of June the city marked World Cancer Survivor's Day. While the spotlight fell on the survivors it is important to note that friends of cancer survivors are a vital link in that chain. Yesterday, a cancer survivors' group called Ugam marked five years at Tata Memorial Hospital.

Cancer survivors and Friends of Ugam. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Cancer survivors and Friends of Ugam. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Sharing their joy was Friends of Ugam, comprising friends of cancer survivors who claim that besides providing support to their afflicted friends, they too, have learnt so much on the journey. Shekhar Jha, a cancer survivor said he is a symbol of hope for others afflicted by cancer.

Chinmay Jadhav, cancer survivor Sushant Bane's friend made a point when he said that it was who had learnt a lot from the survivors. It was actually their struggle that was his inspiration. Shreyas Chunekar, another Friend of Ugam member claimed he had grown tremendously as an artiste and individual, by being a friend of these survivors.

To be a friend of Ugam, one can like their page on Facebook: Ugam-Victors of Childhood Cancer

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