Mumbai Diary page: Saturday Scene

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

Football flight
We hear that Shahrukh Khan is among the desi celebs in Brazil for the football World Cup. We hope these tinsel-townies know that it is FIFA and not IIFA that they are attending!

Your BEST wake-up call
Whatever else one may think of BEST bus conductors, they are by and large diligent and watchful at their job (not counting the odd black sheep). The other day one of our colleagues was seated towards the front of the bus when the conductor came up the aisle from the back, calling out all the way, “Jaihind, who wanted to get down at Jaihind?”

He remembered that someone had asked to be informed when the bus reached the stop, but he could not recall which passenger it was. The lady who had made the request was gracious enough to acknowledge this and alighted with a “Thank you”.

On another occasion, one of our diarists happened to fall asleep after having purchased her ticket. Deep in slumber, she would have missed her stop if the conductor had not called it out loudly loud enough to jolt her awake in time to alight. The conductor asked, smiling, “This is your stop, isn’t it?” That’s one more in our collection of feel-good bus stories.

Faulty memory!
We often see people using the official police bench at railway stations, to rest their tired feet while waiting for a train. But this hawker at Nahur station on the Central Railway has taken it a step further.

It’s brisk(ish) business for the memory card seller. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
It’s brisk(ish) business for the memory card seller. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

The bench, situated on the foot overbridge, is being merrily used for selling computer memory cards, unchallenged by either station staff or any police personnel.

At many stations one sees sellers of these and other peripherals, such as USB sticks, with their wares spread out on a sheet on the ground. We guess this hawker didn’t have any suitable place on the ground… or maybe he just took advantage of the vacant bench.

As it is, the goods sold by such hawkers are suspect if you are lucky, about 25 per cent of them will be actually usable. The rest are just gullible people’s money down the drain. What do we say about these memory cards? A new “bench”mark?

Donation more than just skin deep
There has been increased awareness about organ donation after death, and provided the donors have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that their wishes are carried out, they can do good to society even after passing away.

People do know about donation of eyes and other parts of the body, but it is less known that one can also pledge one’s skin for donation. In fact, considering that about 1,000 people die of burns every year in our city, it is surprising that there isn’t more awareness about skin donation.

The Rotary Clubs of district 3410 are coming together to support the next Operation Restore conducted by the National Burns Centre at Airoli, on June 14 and 15. Get more details at, and remember that donated skin can be stored in a skin bank for up to five years, so you can be a good Samaritan even long after you’re gone. And not to worry about disfigurement there isn’t any.

The National Burns Centre assures us that skin is taken from the back of the thigh, there is no oozing, and the donor area is bandaged up before being handed back and clothed. Find out more at,, or by emailing

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