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Mumbai Diary page: Thursday Theme

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

When soccer comes bubble wrapped
With FIFA 2014 fever over and done with, enter a new kind of football. Bubble Soccer is here to capture the imagination of sports buffs. An action-packed game encased in a zorb-like inflatable bubble, bouncing into each other is encouraged as players fight for possession of the ball, encased in the zorb-orb.

A new game all set to come to Mumbai, soon
A new game all set to come to Mumbai, soon

Currently, being played in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Lebanon, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, Spain and Poland, Bubble Soccer is now here in India. The game is set to be played in January 2015 in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and others.

What we do know about Bubble Soccer is, that it is a five-a-side soccer game that needs a minimum play area of 20m x 15m and can be played either indoors or outdoors. It is a 30-minute game with 5 minutes of Bubble ensconcing, 10 minutes each half and 5 minutes of break time.

Like soccer or football, Bubble Soccer is played on a grass field or indoor of usual dimensions, with a referee, and two goal posts. If it is as intriguing as the picture, all we can say is Dostana style, bouncing bouncing, just keep on bouncing baby...

The cab, tab and the gab
Recently we were trying to get a taxi in the city, and had a pleasant surprise when one pulled up. A young woman was alighting, and we waited until she paid the fare. As it happened, she was short of small change and so was the taxi driver.

He had to give her Rs 2, and pleaded helplessness. Well, Rs 2 is a small sum (gone are the days when you could get a vada pav for that amount) but our young lady was apparently one who both knew and insisted on her right. There was no handy paanwallah from whom the cabbie could get a hastily exchanged handful of coins, so reluctantly the passenger had to alight without her Rs 2.

Not without a parting shot, though, she told the cabbie that it was wrong of him to make money in such underhanded ways. We doubt very much that he was trying any such thing, but like the customer, the passenger is deemed to be right. Our cabbie did not argue with her, but after we were seated he remarked, “Did you hear that? You think I will try to get rich Rs 2 at a time?

If I have to scam, I’ll do it in a big way, not Rs 2 but Rs 2 lakh or 2 crore! The ones who think in crores never get caught.” Hmm, not sure that’s an attitude to emulate… but cabbies and commoners are the barometer to the pulse of the people, the politicians had better listen.

Kom-batting for elephants
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have hit the nail on the head (or should that read two heads?) with their advertisement featuring the flavours of the season, elephants because of the Ganesh festival and Mary Kom the boxer (also in the news because of Priyanka Chopra’s upcoming film where she plays Mary Kom).

Mary Kom
Mary Kom

In the advertisement, the boxer urges fans to help ban animal circuses. The ad’s caption reads, “Elephants Belong in the Wild, Not in Chains. Ban Animal Circuses”. Kom spouts the PETA lines in the ad when she says, “Circuses are cruel places for animals, where they are beaten and tortured.

As a mother, I can imagine what animals go through when their children are taken away from them to be forced to perform in circuses. It's sad!” says Mary. “We humans choose to perform, but animals are given no choice.” While the timeliness of the advertisement is good, one feels this PETA ad lacks the zany touch or the shock value of other ads. Some colour in that picture would have been good, even though, one agrees that elephants are all grey.

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