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Mumbai Diary page: Thursday Theme

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

India tour in Bhandup
A mall in Bhandup is offering a tour of India to customers who don’t want to spend on a countrywide trip. The Magnet mall is holding a festival called “Amazing India”, a cross-section of Indian culture and cuisine, which started in June and ends on August 18.

One of the dances during the festival. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
One of the dances during the festival. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Sizzling South and Nostalgic North have passed, but you can still catch Enchanting East (July 12-25) and Wonderful West (July 26 – August 8). Performing arts, handicrafts and of course cuisine is on offer, if you want to do something different on your evening or weekend out with family.

Appreciative Alyque
Maverick ad guru Alyque Padamsee was at a Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) event in the city on Wednesday morning. The adman, who came in wearing a fiery red shirt (to match the mood of the debate?) was seen applauding different speakers as he awaited his turn to speak on the dais.

“Well done,” he said to psychiatrist Dr Anjali Chhabria, and “well spoken” to another speaker. That was gracious about Alyque, and the speakers could be seen smiling their thanks with this appreciation from the plain-speaking Padamsee.

When silence indicated ‘violence’
In these horrible times when women are unsafe in just about any city in the country, a comedy of errors offered a sense of much-needed assurance to a woman and her family.

The woman, out with friends, slipped her smartphone into the back pocket of her denims and got engrossed in the chit-chat with her besties. Little did she realise that not only was her phone on silent mode, it had also remained unlocked. While she was getting comfortable on the leather couch, her phone was ‘silently’ posting gibberish on her Facebook page.

And several text messages were posted, one after the other. An alert friend who saw the messages decided to check up on her and called. As the phone was ‘silent’, repeated calls went unanswered, while the posts continued on FB. The friend then decided to call her husband to check up.

That got the husband worried and he called a bunch of her friends, who in turn called her in-laws, family and neighbours. While the woman in question was still engrossed in the coffee and conversation, the frantic distress call reached one of the women in the group. Finally the woman returned her husband’s call, and everyone was assured about her safety.

The incident sounds funny in the circumstances but had it been a distress call, it would have really put all concerned in a spot. A few laughs, a smartphone, a not-so-smart phone user and alert friends — all make for a great story to share.

No Wow, bow
Spotted on the Mumbai Metro the other day was a cute puppy in a carrier basket. When we asked the people carrying him how they got him through the scanner, they said the basket had not been scanned at all. We are a little taken aback at this laxity on the part of security. What if the innocent-looking puppy was sitting on a blanket that concealed something less innocent? Come on, Mumbai, don't let your guard down like this!

What’s the ‘good news’?
Tennis star Sania Mirza was recently inundated on Twitter with questions about whether she was pregnant, when she posted this message: “Big exciting news tomm.. can’t wait to share it with u all.. Stay tuned.” Turns out the ‘good news’ was being appointed brand ambassador of Telangana.

Soon after posting the first message, the tennis star followed it up with: “Find it amazing that when a woman says ‘sharing good news’, how many ppl just assume that it’s bout having a kid!!” It’s unfortunate that even India’s most recognisable female sports star has to deal with such sexist questions, even if they are harmless or well-meaning.

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