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Mumbai Diary page: Monday Musings

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

T2's first flight to Haj
The city’s swanky Terminal 2 for international flights yesterday saw its first Haj flight, which marked the beginning of the pilgrimage season.

Haj pilgrims are seen off at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Pic/Atul Kamble
Haj pilgrims are seen off at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Pic/Atul Kamble

While the pandal that was previously put up for pilgrims to gather and be briefed about the journey was not seen outside the terminal, we hear that the arrangements were smooth, and the travellers began their journey on a good note.

Back benches to the rescue
It was a super crowded Sunday at Mount Mary as the Bandra Fair kicked off yesterday. The morning masses saw a sea of crowds as the faithful flocked in large numbers. Devotees were glad to have four back rows with fans towards the end of the shamiana, which provided more seating than last year.

Devotees at Mount Mary offer prayers and petitions. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Devotees at Mount Mary offer prayers and petitions. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

With no public holiday in this week, for many Sunday was the only day available to head to one of the city’s biggest pilgrimage spots, where people from all faiths seek blessings from Our Lady of the Mount. While only the vehicles with the sick and old were allowed to go to the top as has been the rule for many years, hundreds of pilgrims were seen walking and making their way on their knees.

Those selling candles and sweets were having a great day with huge sales. “The Bandra feast day sees people from far and wide coming and for us, this is the day we make the biggest profit. The other days will have crowds but only Sundays draw great numbers because of the holiday as well as the day of obligation for Catholics,” says Dennis Pinto, who runs a stall at the Mount.

Something pokey (and fishy) here
On Sunday , the Baywatch Lifeguards Association at Juhu Beach finally managed to catch the fish that has been causing mayhem for the past two weeks.

The fish found at Juhu Beach, yesterday, which has not yet been identified
The fish found at Juhu Beach, yesterday, which has not yet been identified

“At Ganpati Visarjan time many devotees complained of pointy scales and thorns going in their legs as they went into the waters with the idols. We did not take the matter seriously at the time as we thought that it was the rubbish on the beach,” explains D Bunty Rao, a lifeguard with the association.

But yesterday, some bathers informed the lifeguards about a black and white fish which was swimming near the shore and had poked them. Rao says, “We rushed in to catch the fish as we wanted to ascertain if the claims of the people were true. The fish was caught, but we are unsure what species it is and if there are more of the same. So far no one has been serious injured so we are deducing that the fish isn’t poisonous.”

Ah, what timing, Jinx!
Timing is an important ingredient in batting and Mumbai-based India batsman Ajinkya Rahane appears to have got it right by planning his wedding in time before he gets busy with the rest of the season.

While Rahane, the batting hero for India on the recent tour of England, is enjoying a small post-tour break, he is all set to tie the nuptial knot with Radhika this month.

A little birdie tells us that it is an arranged marriage and the reception will be held at the Mumbai Cricket Association recreation club at Bandra Kurla Complex on September 28. The year 2014 continues to be a special year for the 26-year-old batting star. Here’s to the couple!

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