Mumbai Diary page: Saturday scene

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

Perennially water-deprived...
Even as entrepreneurs come up with innovative solutions to tackle water scarcity, for the majority of water-deprived Indians, the ubiquitous tanker is the standard response to a dry situation. At Varli Pada in the Rabale MIDC area, it is no different.

Fetching water is all in a day’s work. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
Fetching water is all in a day’s work. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Pre-elections, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation had made an arrangement for two large plastic water tanks, but there is no water connection to the area.

Every week, an NMMC tanker comes by and fills these two tanks. When the tanks run low the villagers fetch water the old-fashioned way from anyone in nearby areas who is willing to give them some. Usually it is companies in the industrial area who are the donors of the precious liquid.

Water, you could say, runs in the veins of the people - even little girls help their families by carrying water. As always, say the villagers, the people who were wanted at election time are now forgotten. What will happen when the heat of summer sets in, is anybody’s guess.

It’s fusion season in February
Catch the last strains of music before it becomes too hot and the classical music season in Mumbai peters out. Vandan, a classical fusion concert featuring percussionists Trilok Gurtu and Sivamani along with flute maestro Ronu Majumdar, young Ghatam, Mridangam and Kanjira player Giridhar Udupa and Sangeet Haldipur on the keyboards, is being held today, Saturday, February 7, at St Andrews Auditorium, Bandra (W) at 7.30 pm.

Percussionist Trilok Gurtu
Percussionist Trilok Gurtu

Aficionados’ ears must have perked up at the sound of Gurtu and Sivamani surely music to the connoisseurs’ ears. Tickets start at Rs 300, available at and at St Andrews Auditorium, Bandra (W) Call: 26459667 for details. this the thirst-world solution?
Reading about a woman who died of sunstroke, ironically while fetching water, was what inspired Anit Asthana to develop an innovative air-water generator.

The Mumbai-based RA Group, of which Asthana is the founder and CEO, has developed the generator, which can provide 9 to 30 litres of potable water in one day (based on average humidity of very low to high).

“The need of the hour is to look for more non-conventional ways of sourcing and utilising water to do away with scarcity and contamination,” Asthana said. The generator, he said, can work in humidity as low as 30 per cent, while consuming 0.6-1.2 units of electricity per litre.

Not just that, the machine can also run on solar power — another green feature. The generator is being supplied to institutional buyers at the moment and we hope it becomes affordably available to everyone soon.

Run for it
Many taxis announce which areas they are licenced to cover, on the rear windscreen. Mulund, Dahisar and so on are common sights. Some also go further and announce places like Panvel.

But spelling can trip up the best of us, and we spotted one cab which, instead of Alibag, announced “Alibhag” (“bhag” means “run”). That would work for a marathon, we guess!

Food at the market
The weekly Farmer’s Market in the city is a fun outing for many, as they get to visit the natural beauty of the park as well as browse through organic produce and products at the market.

Our email reminder for this Sunday’s market included details of the menu at the organic cafe there, and we are very tempted to go just for the goodies, which include gluten-free and vegan sandwiches, red rice dosas with chutney, strawberry ice-cream, and street favourites like ragda “pattice” and candy floss.

The market is from 10am to 3pm, on February 8 at the Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP), Bandra Sion Link Road, near the Dharavi depot.

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