Mumbai Diary page: Saturday scene

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

Look, so many fish
With Mumbai’s Taraporevala aquarium still under renovation, fish lovers in the city need not fret. Inorbit Mall, Malad has a fish fair which is on till tomorrow, November 30. The fair features a number of exotic fish like the alligator gar, red tail shovelnose, axolot, tiger oscar, sting ray and royal discus to name a few. Many school children have been drawn to the fair to see the fish.


Representational pic

Explaining why the mall chose to host the fish fair, Puneet Varma, General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Inorbit Malls, says, “It only is fitting that the children of a city which is located along a sea coast would be interested in knowing about the magical underwater world.

Considering that there are limited options of having a look at the fantastic marine life in the city, Inorbit Malls is helping not only kids but also adults explore the beauty of these unique marine creatures through this fish fair.” Rather than under the sea, the fish here are for all to see with students as well as families being drawn to the fair in the last week.

Canine survivor of 26/11 soldiers on
He was shot at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by terrorists during the 26/11 attack, and has made his home at the Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Parel. We are talking about Sheru, a stray dog, who would have lived for about 10 years, but is now in his 15th year and, according to doctors, is fit and on his legs.

Sheru at the SPCA. Pic/Neha Tripathi
Sheru at the SPCA. Pic/Neha Tripathi

Sheru, a former CST “resident”, was nine when he was injured on his forelimb, and was brought to the SPCA. Col J C Khanna, secretary of the SPCA, said the life span of dogs like Sheru does not extend beyond 10 years, but the treatment and care he got at the hospital has kept him going longer.

However, Sheru is now weak, and not able to walk very well from time to time. He had developed some itching after which he was shaved, and there are some sores that are visible now. “The dog was a bit weak in the last few days, but now is back on his feet,” said Khanna.

Sheru was an instant hit when he arrived at the SPCA, and gets visitors even now. He has his own nearly 50-square foot enclosure in the hospital, and is a loner, preferring to be by himself rather than in the company of other animals. He doesn’t mind human company, though.

Meanwhile, a Parsi woman has “adopted” the dog and sends Rs 5,000 monthly for his upkeep. “We never had any issues with the maintenance of Sheru, as we got a sponsor on day one, and the sponsor has been sending in money without fail every month,” said an officer from the hospital.

Cause for crooning
Padmashree Pankaj Udhas and young ghazal singers Sudeep Banerjee, Tauseef Akhtar, Runa Rizvi, Neha Rizvi, Shruti Pathak and Pooja Gaitonde are all set to present ‘Ghazal Harmony’ a concert organized in aid of The Parents Association Thalassemic Unit Trust (PATUT).

Coconut water. Pankaj Udhas (third from l) with young singers
Coconut water. Pankaj Udhas (third from l) with young singers

While Udhas claimed that this was an effort to encourage younger artistes to carry forward the ghazal legacy, the bigger cause of course, is Thalassemia. Patut is for thalassemia patients. It was created on February 22, 1986 by 34 parents of thalassemic children along with a group of workers. When a good cause and good music mix, who can resist this twain?

The concert will be held today (Saturday, November 29) at Nehru Centre, Worli at 7pm. For tickets: Concert donor cards are available at Rhythm House (Tel: 43222727), The Nehru Centre Worli (Tel: 24964680) or online at www.bookmyshow.com.

What a hoot!
The critically endangered Forest Owlet, which was till now considered to be endemic to the Satpuda mountain ranges in central India, has now been spotted in the Western Ghats by naturalists associated with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). The elusive bird was recently spotted in the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary in Palghar district of Maharashtra.

The Forest Owlet in Tansa. Pic/Courtesy BNHS
The Forest Owlet in Tansa. Pic/Courtesy BNHS

In an era when forests everywhere in general and in the Western Ghats in particular are vanishing or getting degraded, the new discovery of the Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti, earlier called Athene blewitti), which is Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, brings new hope for biodiversity.

Commenting on the discovery, BNHS Director Dr Asad Rahmani said, “I am extremely delighted ... I hope the authorities will take proper steps to protect the Forest Owlet in Tansa.” Ah, there’s the rub. Conservation and protection.

What to do on the weekend
Wondering what to do on the weekend? If you fancy getting out of doors, you have a choice of exploring the city, or the world of birds. On Sunday, the Bombay Natural History Society is holding its Bats and Birds Walk at Elephanta Island, where you can spot flying friends as well as learn about them from an expert guide.

Charges are Rs 500 for members and R 600 for non-members (Charges include boat ticket, entry ticket to Elephanta Island and BNHS expertise). To register, email bnhs.programmes@gmail.com. If staying in the city is your cup of tea, you can join the South Mumbai Heritage Walk, also on Sunday, from 4.45pm to 6.15pm.

Areas to be covered include St Thomas Cathedral, Horniman Circle, Fresh Water Well, Readymoney Mansion, Flora Fountain and Esplanade. The 700-metre walk costs R 150 for the AudioCompass subscription and access to the walk.

For any queries, email pariket@audiocompass.in or call 9930005258.

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