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Mumbai Diary page: Saturday Scene

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

Tongue twister at BMC
WITH so much emphasis on making Marathi the most preferred language of Maharashtra, it came as a surprise when the Brihanmumbai Corporation (BMC) rejected a form filled in the local language.

This diarist was in a queue at the G North Ward office at Dadar the other day when a businessman was shocked to see his license fee form get rejected because it was filled in Marathi.

Later speaking to this diarist, he said, “Firstly, I am not a Maharashtrian, so I am not well-versed with the language. I took so much pain to fill the form properly, thinking that they would appreciate a form filled in Marathi.

But they refused to accept it and have asked me to fill the form in English.” Who says local dialect is always an advantage?

Bappa from the air
Space is at a premium in Mumbai, so no surprise that the only way to go is up. Skyscraper apartment blocks are now commonplace, and prices seem to rise with the height.

Same goes for aerial views of Ganpati immersion processions during Ganesh Chaturthi (if there is no room to live, how can there be any for viewers?) with prices going up this year. Private chopper companies have already begun publicising the joyrides they offer, at a hefty tag of at least Rs 7,000 for a 20-minute air-darshan.

Choppers can seat anywhere between three and six people, and will be flying for at least four hours a day. The rides sound expensive but apparently are a hit with people the number of days has been upped from last year, when many had to be turned away.

Fashion forward for footie
It's not only cricket that has gone glam and glitzy. Football is following suit, as it were, with leagues and shiny gear.

Ex-goalie David James may not make it to the catwalk looking like this! Pic/Suresh KK
Ex-goalie David James may not make it to the catwalk looking like this! Pic/Suresh KK

Former England goalkeeper David James gave evidence of this when he appeared in the city during the International Player Draft for the Indian Super League.

His beige jacket, ochre capris and stay us with flagons! pink socks drew attention for the sheer chutzpah with which he sported them. Was he aware that the Lakme Fashion Week is ongoing, not too far away?

We don’t know, but suffice it to say that James may not find entry into those hallowed portals in this get-up, unless he flashes his credentials. After all, models do love footballers, eh?

Between the fashion lines
And what do you do in between fashion shows at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014 at Palladium Hotel? You can walk up and down the pre-main show area, meeting and greeting your friends or making new friends, you can look at the media wall and try to read all those clippings pasted so very neatly, you can read and re-read the schedule of shows of the day or the next day or perhaps even the day before. You can check your messages and missed calls, and click pictures to post on Facebook.

If you have access to the invitee lounge you can chill out with a drink and have a bite of the hors d’oeuvres that are being served, you can look out at the view of the racecourse in the rains. Or you could go further up, to the 27th floor apartment and get yourself a makeover or a spa treatment, look out the window at the racecourse from higher up, or chill with the aforementioned drinks in the lounge on the eighth floor.

You can get out of the hotel and enter the mall and do a bit of window-shopping or actual shopping though, perhaps, you would not like to cart your wares to the next show. You can have a drink or a snack in the many bars and eateries in the mall. You can go for a walk to Lower Parel station, have an omelette-pao at one of the carts near the station and then walk back to the hotel and go up to the ninth floor for yet another show.

You can sit in the lobby of the hotel and watch the world going by, meaning do a bit of people-watching, while you listen to the girl play the piano near the winding staircase. And one more thing. In between fashion shows, if you stay nearby, you could go home and watch FTV!

- Marcellus Baptista

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