Mumbai Diary page: Monday Musings

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

The call of Paul
Now that the FIFA World Cup 2014, is done and dusted with, there will be plenty of time to look back, analyze, debate and discuss spectacular performances and debacles.

While predictions are a delightful part of the game, one missing element perhaps was an oracle like Paul the Octopus, which had garnered so much attention in the 2010 World Cup.

Paul the Octopus, who died in October 2010, had captured the attention and amused following of a world four years earlier. He had made several accurate predictions in the 2010 World Cup.

During divinations, Paul’s keepers would present him with two boxes containing food. Each box was identical except for the fact that they were decorated with the different team flags of the competitors of an upcoming football match.

Whichever box Paul ate from first would be considered his prediction for which team would win the match. Paul was at Oberhausen, Germany.

According to footballing folklore, Paul had foretold Spain’s win against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final, by eating a mussel from the box with the Spanish flag on it! So, four years later, we missed a Paul-like omnipresent figure. We leave readers with one of the most delightful Paul knows it all cartoons, which was published in this paper.

Boxes and berths
If you are travelling by train and carrying inflammable articles like cigarettes, bidis, match boxes, lighters etc then the Railway Protection Force (RPF) from Central Railway (CR) has a special corner for you.

Placed near the scanners

A box has been put near the baggage scanner at all major railway stations. In the recent past, the RPF team found 120 matchboxes, 15 lighters, 48 cigarettes and 40 bidis at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus alone. Officials say they have installed these boxes near the scanners so that passengers can voluntarily deposit inflammable.

Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF (CR) has made appeals that passengers not to carry any kind of inflammable. Obviously for the Railways, c’mon baby light my fire, is not their song of choice.

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