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Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

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

Mind your head
Political campaigning means that the streets are full of vehicles bearing candidates’ posters and party flags. Besides tempos and jeeps, motorcycles are in demand too, but to our dismay, none of the riders are seen wearing helmets. Add to that the speeding and weaving by the over-excited bikers... Parties, you are sending out the wrong message!

Gone to the dogs
Electioneering is at its peak, with Mumbai going to the polls on April 24. While the big political parties with fat coffers are spending lavishly to promote their candidates, independents have to rely on innovations to get their message across as cheaply as possible.

And in this spirit of ‘jugaad’, we saw a poster for an independent candidate stuck onto the haunches of a stray dog. This definitely attracted passers-by attention as the dog went his way unwittingly campaigning for the candidate. Whether he got even a few biscuits by way of payment well, that’s another tail.

Strategically speaking
It's an amusing coincidence. A recent visit to the Raj Bhavan, the Governor’s resident at Teen Batti, Walkeshwar revealed a serene little pocket, wherein a low residential structure called ‘Jal Chintan’ is housed. Jal Chintan is surrounded by the sea on three sides and the visitor is struck by the beauty and silence it is enveloped in. Currently empty, it is used for special guests of the Governor.

The lotus pond and Jal Chintan in the background. Pic/Bipin Kokate
The lotus pond and Jal Chintan in the background. Pic/Bipin Kokate

One was told that Jawaharlal Nehru used to meditate at the Jal Chintan. Now, Rahul ‘baba’ Gandhi too loves to live here, when he is in Mumbai. Ironic, then, that Jal Chintan, abode of the Gandhi family, overlooks a beautiful pond filled with lotus blooms which, of course, is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) symbol. Simply call it an inadvertent juxtaposition.

Up to the minute
The song ‘Four Minutes’ by Madonna and Justin Timberlake rings true this election season in Mumbai as the smartphone app Haptik gives election information in just that much time. Haptik enables iOS and Android users to chat with experts for support issues, FAQs, information and anything else this Lok Sabha election.

Haptik experts can help with voting-related information such as polling centre details, timings, voting eligibility, criteria, details about electoral lists, etc. Everything you want at your fingertips short of actually being able to vote, of course. For that, you have to go to the polling booth and get inked.

Contributed by: Maleeva Rebello, Ayan Roy, Deepali Dhingra, Hemal Ashar, Vidya Heble

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