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Mumbai Diary page: Tuesday Tales

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

Doing it via app
Many of our nation’s wrestlers come from a largely rural background, and not all have Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Technology has certainly touched their lives but when the sport is the main focus, we don’t see them bothering with 140-character updates or keeping track of email. Still, the mobile phone is ubiquitous, and just about everyone is getting “smart” and using a messaging application.

Yogeshwar Dutt
Yogeshwar Dutt. Pic/ PTI

Thus it was that the grappler Yogeshwar Dutt, who recently won gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 65-kg weight class, eschewed the relatively clunky email or an interview by phone, and came up with the novel idea of being interviewed via the app.

So we sent our questions to the Olympic bronze medal-winning wrestler and the 31-year-old promptly sent across his replies, all through the messaging app. Now, that’s a smart move, something the star wrestler is more known to execute on the mat!

We have to admit that it made things easier for us too no asking him to repeat something, or spell out certain words, and all that sort of hassle involved in a phone interview. Who said that a messaging app is only for youngsters to chat with?

Diana says 'well done'
As Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal were playing their women’s doubles squash match against the English top seeds in Glasgow (incidentally, the Indian duo won gold) at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, there was one woman cheering vigorously here in Mumbai.

Diana Edulji
Diana Edulji

The well-known former captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, Mumbai-based Diana Edulji, was following the match closely. “In fact, I was on BBM constantly, with my closest friend of 40 years, Dipika’s mother, Susan Pallikal,” says Diana. Incidentally, Susan is a former cricketer, an all-rounder, who has also played for the Indian team.

Diana says, “I feel so proud that my friend’s daughter has this huge achievement now to her credit.” Diana says with a laugh that she used to not follow the sport earlier, “I did not understand the sport well then, but since following Dipika’s game, I have started understanding it well and I must say it is a back-bending sport.”

Diana signs off with a doff of the hat to both Joshna and Dipika for this triumph, and hopes the country recognises their feat. Joshna and Dipika’s win is certainly noteworthy and when you have Diana Edulji in your corner cheering you on, that’s like the icing on the cake.

Helping hand
Our faith in humanity has been strengthened by a scene we witnessed at busy Byculla station yesterday morning. An elderly, visually impaired man was headed to the station, with other commuters hurrying past as usual.

One young office-goer, however, complete with white collar and smart backpack, not only slowed down but, instead of overtaking the older man, asked where he was going. “I’ll take you there,” he offered, when the white-cane-wielder said he wanted to catch a train from platform number 3.

The younger man would probably have been delayed by a few minutes they would have to take the foot overbridge but we are sure that whatever he may have lost in terms of time, he has gained much more of something that cannot be counted. May his tribe increase.

Murky waters
The tragedy that hit Malin village in Ambegaon taluka left most people in awe of the forces of nature, though it should be evident by now that human depredation was probably what eventually led to the landslide that decimated the village.

The landscape is as gorgeous as a painting, but the brown water of Dimbhe dam is a grim reminder of what has occurred. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
The landscape is as gorgeous as a painting, but the brown water of Dimbhe dam is a grim reminder of what has occurred. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Natural disasters are only to be expected when we carry out rampant deforestation and wreak havoc on land, sea and air. Trees hold the soil together and keep the air clean — but we tear them up as if there is no tomorrow.

And if it continues, there may well be no tomorrow for the earth as we know it. The waters of Ambegaon’s Dimbhe dam bear muddy witness to the Malin calamity, as one of our colleagues observed while journeying through the area the other day.

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