Mumbai Diary page: Tuesday Tales
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Escalating the risk
Television commercials for deodorant sprays seem to be getting more and more risqué these days. From hinting that your neighbour’s wife will be won over by your irresistible deo fragrance, to depicting the fires of young love (presumably fanned by some similar scent), personal perfumery is getting into Fifty Shades of Grey territory. Not that we mind entirely.
If you go to the cinema, or even switch to any desi channel on TV, the gyrations and innuendo in the songs and dances would put any modern deo ad in the shade (choose any out of the 50). But what we do sit up and take notice of, is depiction of dangerous behaviour. We don’t mean frolicking in what looks like Arthur Bunder, or making eyes across terrace walls.
There is one deo ad airing currently, which shows a young couple engaging in cuddles on a moving escalator. Of course, we know that every possible precaution is taken while shooting such commercials, and the models are not at risk. But people who watch these ads, specially youngsters (who are the target audience in the first place), tend to imitate what they see. And we really don’t want kids dancing around on moving escalators, endangering themselves and other people. Do we?
Name takes flight
Beleaguered Malaysia Airlines is apparently thinking of changing its name in a reinvention of brand and identity, following two majorly sad events this year — the disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of MH17. Whether that will help, remains to be seen — but we sympathise. Maybe a name in Bahasa Melayu that means “hope” or “faith” may work.
Paying your bills the ‘appy way
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is indeed tech-advanced. At least, on paper - or rather, your screen. On the Google Play store, Mumbaikars now have the ‘MCGM 24X7’ app that they can use to register complaints, pay water bills and property taxes.
The condition of meters is another story, however...
It is currently available for users of Android phones, and so far according to figures from Google Play, some 100 plus users have installed the app and the user review page features positive comments.
The app has been developed by the BMC with help from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL). We sure hope that this works better than the “Mumbai monsoon” app which received a lot of flak from users, and seems to have drowned in one of the pothole puddles on the city’s roads.
Grow a green thumb, useful to flip through the pages of a book. The Department of Environmental Science, K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, in association with the University of Mumbai, is going to hold ‘EYES 2014’ which stands for Enlighten Yourself Every Saturday, is a series of lectures on environment for the future.
The project has a global touch (we live in a global world after all), with environmentalists from around the world going to speak and share experiences. The event is open to all, and the lecture series will also be webcast on the university website. Experts scheduled to speak include Bittu Sahgal, Nitin Desai, Atul Kulkarni, Manasi Karandikar, Ketaki Ghate, Dr Vandana Shiva, Sonam Wangchuk, Madhavrao Chitale and Pradeep Krishen.
We hear that first up is Magsaysay Award winner Dr Rajendra Singh, who is to speak on traditional methods of water conservation on August 2. If this piques your interest, call Vikram Kamble at 9769776664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monsoon getaways with a difference
While some of us endure urban puddles and potholes, there are those who manage to take time off from city life and enjoy a weekend in the lap of nature. Outings to the nearby hills are especially pleasurable during the monsoon, when everything is green and one chances upon waterfalls, big and small, among the rocks.
Just splashing out on a good time. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
Popular destinations for rainy revellers are Wangni, Bhivpuri and Khopoli, and many of these areas have sprouted hotels and restaurants for holidaymakers. But for people who want to get even further away, and avoid the obvious places, a little-frequented destination is an area near Bhima Shankar Hill on the Karjat-Murbad road. The time taken to drive there is worth it, when you enjoy the greenery, cool environs and the clear, rushing water.