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Mumbai Diary page: Thursday Theme

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

Sainiks learn to Like
The state’s excitable Shiv Sena party has been known for its campaigns against new trends, be it fashion or Valentine’s Day or movies. The organisation, over the years, has refused to recognise the advent of new technology too. But the kind of revolution that social media has brought about, especially in electioneering, is apparently impossible to ignore.

A special session was held for party legislators at the Sena’s legislative party office at Vidhan Bhavan yesterday, to introduce them to social media and how to use it effectively. At a time when the party is gearing up for the upcoming state assembly polls, Facebook and WhatsApp usage is bound to be unavoidable.

Legislators were informed about the new techniques by a team of experts, and were also apprised about the worldwide usage of social media and the younger generation’s attachment towards it. What with people being hauled up for Facebook posts and comments, and the government even threatening to nab us for our “Like”s, we can only imagine the effect that opening up this brave new world will have on Sena legislators.

The name of the road
We could not help but remember the title of the Umberto Eco classic The Name of the Rose when we heard of the brouhaha over the naming of a road after Priyanka Chopra’s father.

Besides bestowing his offspring upon Bollywood, the good doctor didn’t make significant contributions to society as such, so there has been some amount of questioning and heartburn over the road naming and attendant sprucing-up, which also disrupted life for the residents in the area. While critics and wits have been peppering social media with barbs aimed at the babe, one of them has been inspired to think of more such renaming projects.

Blogger “Heartranjan” suggests, among others, Azam Khan’s Veterinary Hospital for the Uttar Pradesh minister’s contribution in bringing buffaloes into the public eye, and Shashi Kapoor Maternity Care Centres (we really like this one) for his singular effort in making Maa a household word — or rather, making “Mere paas Maa hai” a household phrase.

On track to help Mary
It is not just humans who fall victim on the railway tracks. While it is not uncommon to hear of dogs and other animals being hit by vehicles on the road, they usually steer clear of trains. But a city stray, Mary, was unlucky enough to be knocked down by a train on Monday morning near Andheri station, and lost one leg as well as part of her tail.

She also lost a lot of blood and would have perished if she had not been rescued by some coolies and taken to a clinic with the help of the organisation Animals Matter to Me (AMTM). Despite her traumatic injuries (the picture is too heart-breaking to print), Mary is the epitome of cheerfulness and even when she was being treated on the doctor’s table, an AMTM spokesperson tells us, she just wagged the remainder of her tail in gratitude at being relieved of the pain.

Mary needs surgery, blood and post-operative care all of which comes with a price tag. Animal lovers who would like to help can visit www.amtmindia.org/donate-now to find out more about Mary and to make donations which will help her as well as other animals in need. Mumbai has been forthcoming with help, and it’s a city of animal lovers, so come on and do your bit. And if someone adopts Mary after she recovers, that’ll just be the icing on the cake.

From Saas to chhaas
SHE was the queen of the Saas Bahu serial world, and now union minister Smriti Irani wants buttermilk (chhaas) to be part of the midday meal in schools. To that, a doctor friend who moonlights as a Facebook wag said: “Kyonki chhaas bhi kabhi dahi thi.”

Spit and polish on the Metro
Barely a day after the Mumbai Metro began operations, social media users were busy finding and highlighting instances of the “Mumbai spirit” at work. You guessed it, instances of spitting and paan stains were evidence of the Mumbaikar’s belief that anything is possible anywhere.

The Holy Family Church is a vantage point for grabbing the attention of Metro passengers. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The Holy Family Church is a vantage point for grabbing the attention of Metro passengers. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

We haven’t heard of anyone relieving themselves along the Metro tracks yet, and we devoutly hope it never happens, but let’s just say we won’t be surprised if it does. Freedom may not be for everyone but a certain kind of freedom, apparently, is.

Holy Family Church at Chakala, which is close to the Metro line, has put up this banner wishing commuters a happy journey. May we suggest that the banners keep changing and propagate socially-relevant messages which might just stop people from desecrating the city’s newest landmark? Who knows, if the messages are witty enough they may become as well-known as the ones outside Dadar’s Portuguese Church, or Nana Chudasama’s hoarding at Marine Drive. We’ll be watching this space. How about you?

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