Mumbai Diary page: Thursday Theme

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

Jelly and some fish
At Juhu's Silver Beach yesterday, the Baywatch Lifeguards Association snapped a jellyfish in the waters. Sayeed Shama, president of the association said, “A few people came rushing out of the water saying that they were attacked by jellyfish. Some of our lifeguards checked the water and saw a huge jellyfish stuck in the sand.”

The jellyfish which was spotted at Juhu beach
The jellyfish which was spotted at Juhu beach

D Bunty Rao, a lifeguard from the association, added, “During Ganpati visarjan a few people were attacked by stingrays and jellyfish but we did not spot them. Today, we were surprised when the jellyfish came so close to the shore. They generally are found in the deeper part of the waters at the beach.”

Bleating the retreat
Going by the book, pet animals or birds aren’t welcome inside a local train. But then, abiding laws in our city often come in the way of leading our usual daily life. No wonder we’ve seen commuters carrying a cage filled with exotic birds, leash-tied dogs, comfortably arm-held Persian cat in a not-so-empty train compartments.

It’s not thrilling and he’s not willing. Pic/Shakti Shetty
It’s not thrilling and he’s not willing. Pic/Shakti Shetty

What’s worth pointing out is the way people react to non-human beings inside a locomotive. Seldom do you see someone objecting to a pet be it a general compartment or a luggage one. That aggressive behaviour is reserved for fellow toe-stomping humans only! On the other hand, commuters are evidently amused and smiling at the sight of a pet.

Some even resort to clicking photographs no matter how constraining the space is to post it on Internet later. We too captured a reluctant commuter at Kurla station. Unlike others on the platform, this four-legged fella was flashing his rear to the railway tracks. Maybe he wasn’t prepared to be a stowaway.

Dussehra comes early for commuters
Though Dussehra is still a day away, yesterday happened to be the end of the working week for most people (not counting those who work in essential sectors, and of course your friendly newspaper staff).

Dombivili commuters performing pooja of their regular train on the occasion of Dussehra. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
Dombivili commuters performing pooja of their regular train on the occasion of Dussehra. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Today is Gandhi Jayanti, tomorrow Dussehra, and then comes the standard weekend. So train commuters, who step into a different other world when they begin their daily journey, celebrated Dussehra yesterday itself.

Train compartments were decked up in tinsel garlands and marigold flowers, and sweets were distributed among regular commuters, who meet in transit and form firm, often lifelong “train friendships”. In fact, some posters of a financial institution’s advertisements in the compartments featured an image of Durga, and these were garlanded with marigolds too!

Central Railway passengers are no strangers to adversity the daily suburban train journey itself is one stumbling block, what with frequent delays and disruptions. In fact, the latest was just a day earlier, with the sudden thunderstorm that the city experienced. But, still faithful to their iron horse, commuters from Dombivili began their morning with a pooja of their train (the 8.13 to CST), after which they gave a box of sweets to the motorman and guard.

As one commuter said, “This train takes us every day safely to our office and back home. So we have to do pooja for Dussehra.” The regular train buddies contributed towards the celebrations, and cemented their ties for yet another year of commuting, which we hope is smooth and uneventful.

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