Mumbai Diary page: Sunday shorts

Sunny, Sachin in Crowe’s nest
It seems dream teams only make news in India when the cricket personalities making them omit our greats. Remember, the flak umpire Dicky Bird got last year when he didn’t have Sachin Tendulkar in his all-time Test XI?

Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar

Now, New Zealand’s iconic batsman Martin Crowe has come up with an impressive study on ESPN Cricinfo website and picked his best XI.

Indian cricket lovers, here’s some good news: His XI includes Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar.

Crowe’s team is similar to Richie Benaud’s dream team, which the Australian cricket legend compiled a decade ago. Like Crowe, Benaud had the two Indian batting greats in his list.

Heat hits the roof: While the city scorched at 40°C on Friday, these schoolgirls reach for the sunroof of their car to make the most of the stray breeze. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Benaud also had Pakistan’s Imran Khan and England’s S F Barnes to accompany Dennis Lillee in the fast bowling section as against Crowe’s choice of Malcolm Marshall and
Wasim Akram.

The Kiwi wasn’t as brave as Benaud who included Barnes without watching any footage of the bowler who claimed 189 wickets in only 27 Tests @16.43 from 1901 to 1914.

Maximum city:  The 19-day-old infant’s family has been inundated with donations for the surgery, which will hopefully save her life

Crowe’s XI: Jack Hobbs, Sunil Gavaskar, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Adam Gilchrist,  Shane Warne, Dennis Lillee, Malcolm Marshall and Wasim Akram.
Benaud’s XI: Hobbs, Gavaskar, Bradman, Richards, Tendulkar, Sobers, Imran, Gilchrist, Warne, Lillee and
SF Barnes.

Cycle of errors
Discrepancies in Election ID cards are a common phenomenon in India and this diarist is perhaps one of the several thousand voters suffering from an identity crisis. With the general elections around, it was thought to be prudent to approach the authorities to rectify the mistakes in the voters ID. After accurately filling the form and completing all formalities, the diarist was hopeful that the new ID card would be error-free. But that was not to be. While the initial error was corrected (where the first name of the diarist was wrongly spelt), the authorities took it upon themselves to reduce the age of the diarist and even change the address! This is the second time the diarist had applied for corrections. It makes one wonder that if this cycle will ever end.

Same old: Roads in Navi Mumbai are ill-maintained

Teen hero
The city definitely has a big heart. It was evident once again after mid-day reported about a 19-day-old infant in need of money for a life-saving surgery. Money poured in from all parts of the city and state. But one donor stood out. A senior doctor at the hospital where the girl is being treated, tells us that a teenage boy called him up. “He said he had saved some money to buy himself a mobile phone but would now want to donate that money for the girl. When I told him we had enough money to save the baby, he insisted that we take at least some of his money for her post operative care,” said the doctor. With such boys and girls showing us the way, Mumbai and indeed India, still has hope.

New town, old rubbish
For some inexplicable reason, Mumbaikars tend to believe that Navi Mumbai is a jazzier, more organised town compared to the mainland. It’s only when they cross the Vashi Creek that they realise how similar the satellite town is to their own area. Yes, there are more parks and the railway stations look smarter. But the roads are just as bad. A young woman who frequently visits the so-called planned city had this to say: “There’s hardly anything new about Navi Mumbai. Same old problems, same old rubbish.” Ouch!

Road to elections paved with good intentions
Trust chatty auto drivers to come up with absolute gems. Regular commuters, who take Patel Estate Road leading to Jogeshwari station, like this diarist, will vouch that the stretch badly needs to be repaired. 

So the other day, we were pleasantly surprised to see some work being carried out on the road and couldn’t help commenting on it.

Our autowallah overheard us and chipped in: “Pehle banaakar karte bhi kya, election toh ab hain na (What good would it have done to repair it earlier, elections are happening now).” That reminded us of trending tagline of a mobile service provider that goes, ‘No ullu banaoing.’

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