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Mumbai Diary page: Saturday Scene

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

Taxi Talk
Never mind what all those hotshot political pundits and campaign followers say, we think one of the best ways to understand what the common man thinks about the upcoming elections is to have a ear to the ground.

Ditches mean riches, or so it seems
Ditches mean riches, or so it seems

After all, politics is not just about debates on television and analytical pieces in newspapers, it is what the ordinary man is thinking and feeling. So, one of those favourite barometers is chatting and listening to cabbies as they spew their infinite wisdom on everything from onion prices to corruption.

One cabbie, steering around a portion of the road that was dug up, grumbled to his passenger, “See, they have dug up all the roads now that the elections are coming. What can they say to the people? They need to tell the people something as their five-year term comes to an end.

They will say; see we have done work. We have dug up roads to repair them, a good way to hoodwink everybody,” he said darkly before bumping along to his destination. Hmmm, this is poll meter cabbie ishtyle.

Parsi cricketers and characters remembered
Like a true opening batsman, former Mumbai Ranji Trophy-ist Shishir Hattangadi started it — reminscing about Parsi cricket personalities on the occasion of Navroze yesterday, on Facebook.

“Rusi Mody, Mehli Irani, Hoshi Amroliwala, Behram Irani, Nosh Tantra, Nari & Hoshi Contractor, Zubin Barucha, Polly Umrigar, Farokh Engineer, Rusi Jeejeebhoy… any I’ve missed,” asked Hattangadi.

Saturday Scene reminded him of Keki Tarapore who coached Rahul Dravid in Bangalore and KK Tarapore, who went as manager with Ajit Wadekar’s team to the West Indies in 1971. “Yes,” said the well-informed Hattangadi. “The boys would shout ‘Ekki’ (Eknath Solkar) and ‘Keki’ would come running.”

On a more serious note, Tarapore should be credited for taking good care of young Sunil Gavaskar, who suffered from whitlow on the middle finger of his left hand while heading to the West Indies for his first Test tour.

When the pain became unbearable on the London-New York flight, Tarapore got an announcement made on the PA system asking if there was a doctor on board. Luckily for Gavaskar, there was one who had just the right capsules with him to give the batsman some relief.

Pop goes the star
Goan pop music icon Remo Fernandes, who had joined the Aam Aadmi Party last year, has quit because he says music, not politics, is his passion. To that we say, now he’s singing a different tune!

Some sensitivity, please!
The global anxiety over the missing flight MH 370 has not prevented some Mumbaikars from making a joke out of the number’s resemblance to Maharashtra vehicle number plates, never mind that there is a family in Mumbai worried sick over their missing relatives.

These pranksters have digitally pasted the flight number over a taxi’s number plate and are circulating the image on social media, with the caption “MH 370 sighted.”
A lark is a lark, but this one is in bad taste.

Train pain for students
While the Mumbai Metro readies for its launch, trial runs are being conducted — but without passengers.

Entry barred while the metro undergoes trial runs. Pic/Maleeva Rebello
Entry barred while the metro undergoes trial runs. Pic/Maleeva Rebell

Some enterprising college students, with free time on their hands, have been trying to hitch free joyrides on these trips, but it’s not safe for people to travel until the system has been finally okayed. Moreover, the metro stations are high security areas while the trials are going on.

Youthful energy however knows no bounds, and the students have been testing the authorities’ patience by persistently disobeying requests not to try to board the metro or enter the stations. Finally the authorities have nipped the problem in the bud or rather, at the gate by shutting all the gates leading to the metro stations from Holy Family Church to Andheri station, and placing locks on them.

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