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Mumbai Diary page: Monday Musings

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

Coming to the crunch...
Looks like politicians think it’s the common man who should be on a budget, going by their pronouncements.

Not too long ago we had Raj Babbar declaring that one can get a satisfactory meal for Rs 12 in the city, and now city Bharatiya Janata Party president Ashish Shelar thinks that one can get the same thing for even less Rs 7 less, in fact.

Shelar has had his share of brickbats for his no doubt unthinking comment, of course, but has also come in for a lot of raillery.

The website Mumbai Boss has listed a range of things one can get for Rs 5 and less ranging from plain biscuits to a helping of roasted peanuts. And it is flattering in a way that good old mid-day features too, as you can get your daily dose of news, views and entertainment for just Rs 3.

(Although we have to quibble with Mumbai Boss’ statement that you can’t get a packet of chips for Rs 5 you can, but there’s more air in the packet than anything edible.)

Love on the street
Or rather, on the wall, if one looks at this art installation by Delhi-based street artist Harsh Raman. Raman has just completed an installation on the rear wall of Avabai Petit Girls’ High School, near Rizvi College, in Bandra West.

The work includes a life-size digital printout of Raj Kapoor and Nargis under an umbrella which is attached to the wall, as coloured rain falls around them. It embodies much that represents Mumbai: rains, vibrancy, and Bollywood.

Marry me, machine
When a man was taking an inordinately long time to finish his transaction at an ATM booth, one of the other customers waiting in line called out to him, “What are you doing, are you getting married to the machine?!”

There’s something in the air
Even as the municipality announces water cuts, and exhorts us to save water, a water purifying company may have the answer albeit an expensive one to our aqua woes. The company launched what it says is the first air-to-water purifier, at a city mall on Friday.

The device, which is being test-marketed, extracts moisture from ambient air, converting it into drinkable water via cooling and distillation. While desert countries have resorted to desalination, maybe this air-water generator is the Mumbaikar’s answer to clean water woes.

But it’s likely to be an expensive one, if the technology is workable enough to be marketed to city consumers comparable devices in other countries cost the equivalent of about Rs 90,000 each.

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