Mumbai Diary page: Monday musings

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

This dragon is sweet
So far we have only seen them in the ‘exotic fruit’ section, or in the complimentary baskets in posh hotels, but dragon fruit seems to be catching on. This bright pink fruit from Vietnam has a thick skin with soft ‘spikes’ which give it the name.

The bright pink exterior and quaint flesh make the dragon fruit a talking point. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
The bright pink exterior and quaint flesh make the dragon fruit a talking point. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Inside, you will find succulent white flesh, faintly sweetish, with tiny black til-like seeds all over that add a pleasant crunch. We were surprised to see a pile of the magenta fruit at the local fruit vendor in Kalyan, near the railway station.

They retail at R 120 per piece, and the seller, who got them from the Vashi wholesale market, said they are beneficial in treating dengue and malaria. We doubt that, as there is nothing to back the claim.

However, the fruit do have health benefits they are filling, and a good source of dietary fibre and Vitamin C, as well as antioxidants. Dragon fruit are easy to cut, so they go well in fruit salad. Here’s an idea: Make a tiranga salad on Republic Day with dragon fruit, oranges and the green-coloured Kiwi fruit. All you need then is a dash of chaat masala.

School is oh, so cool
Schools and colleges all over the city are planning their reunions around this time of the year, making it reunion season. The management of RM Bhatt High School in Parel called for a unique reunion on Sunday. Punha Ek Divas Shaalet called for ex-students of the school from 1947 to 2010 batches of the school to meet and greet each other.

The ex-students of the educational institution were back on their class benches refreshing memories of days gone by. Pic/Ganesh Pawar
The ex-students of the educational institution were back on their class benches refreshing memories of days gone by. Pic/Ganesh Pawar

Hundreds thronged the school campus, in their specially tailored school uniforms of all things! All students were also made to attend lectures and appear for a written exam with basic math and grammar questions, to put a really zany twist into this reunion. “It really felt like a day back in school,” said one of the ex-students.

Crashed and out
When it comes to local trains in our city, almost every single operational hour is a rush hour. You never know when the public is going to rise in numbers at a given platform.

This humpty dumpty had a great fall at Sanpada railway station. Pic/Shakti Shetty
This humpty dumpty had a great fall at Sanpada railway station. Pic/Shakti Shetty

As a result, the lines are drawn for who goes where. Ladies compartments for ladies. General compartments for anyone who cares to fight their way in and then out. First-class compartments for those who think they are better off when they aren’t.

Handicap compartments for those who shouldn’t fight at all. Oh, and let’s not forget the luggage compartment. This dingy compartment for the ones with heavy baggage and baskets. And during the early morning rides, the vendors/hawkers/peddlers who cram into this exclusive bogey are very particular about not losing anything in transit.

They make sure not a single fruit or a bunch of spinach is damaged or misplaced. However, when it so happens that they fail to balance the heavy load on their head and as a consequence, lose a commodity or two, they don’t even care to pick up their waste so as to dispose of it in a nearby garbage bin.

It’s edible, so they won’t throw it away. And the result is that the station ends up looking like a sticky marketplace during such moments of undesired loss.

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