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Mumbai Diary page: Thursday Theme

Ambulance anguish
ONE of our colleagues was in a taxi the other day, travelling from Mumbai Central to the Parel area. On Nair Hospital Road, an ambulance came racing up in the same direction, with the siren sounding, and our colleague’s taxi driver made way for it. But surprisingly, when the taxi reached Jacob’s Circle, officially Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk, it caught up with the ambulance. Again the driver hung back so the ambulance could go ahead… and guess what, caught up with it again on Arthur Road. It was heading for Dr Ambedkar Road but the attitude of countless other drivers on the road was as if the ambulance was an inconvenience. Far from moving aside to let it go, many drivers tried to get ahead of it and ended up blocking its way.

No surprise then, that the ambulance remained just in front of the taxi all the way to the Bharatmata Cinema junction. There, a traffic policeman took the initiative to stop all other vehicles so the ambulance could make its way ahead.

Our colleague, fuming, asks, “Where is civic sense? Heck, where is plain old common sense?” We agree, and although there are reports of ambulances being misused, we think that it is better to err on the side of humanity and just let it pass. Chances are, there is really a patient inside in dire need of aid.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) BK Upadhyaya had mentioned recently that cameras and other technology will be used to nab traffic offenders, and we hope this is one situation that it will tackle, too.

Sample case
ACRONYMS can be funny at times, and we came across one example recently. The city has several wildlife and nature enthusiasts, many of whom have formed groups. One of them is the Navi Mumbai Naturalists, abbreviated (by themselves) to “Namunas”. Namuna is the jocular Hindi term for “sample”, and we could not help chuckling. Have to say, it is memorable!

Saying it with pedhas
HERO worship takes many forms, and for a sweet-shop owner it will naturally be a sugary goody.

SWEET TREAT: Shrirang Kulkarni giving celebratory pedhas to customers. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
SWEET TREAT: Shrirang Kulkarni giving celebratory pedhas to customers. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Shrirang Kulkarni of Dombivili was so happy when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister-designate, that he decided to distribute 63kg of pedhas in celebration. Why 63? Because that is his idol’s age. All we can say is, watch that blood sugar...

Mattress matters
EVERY time an advertising festival draws near, one sees clever, creative ads often released in some obscure publication so they qualify for entry into the awards competition. Sometimes these ads are not even released, and this has been the subject of much hand-wringing in the ad world. When the creativity goes a little too far, the ads can get controversial, as happened last year with the Ford Figo campaign. One of the ads in that series showed women tied up in a car boot, and raised the hackles of many. Turned out the ads were internally approved but only entered for an award, and not published anywhere.

Now it’s the turn of Kurl-On, the mattress company. Their campaign showcasing the bounciness of their product has, as it were, bounced up in their face with the depiction of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai “bouncing back” after being shot in the head. The Pakistani teenager had spoken up in favour of being educated, and faced fundamentalist wrath as a result. Other subjects in this campaign were Steve Jobs and Mahatma Gandhi. The agency (Ogilvy & Mather) has apologised and the ads were withdrawn from the competition they had been entered for. But according to O&M chief Piyush Pandey, there was nothing wrong in the ads — or so he told a publication recently.

We wonder.

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