Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
No rain, only pain
With the city sweltering, even a slight drizzle raises monsoon hopes. While the city did get a little refreshed in parts over the last 24 hours, the showers were unfortunately short-lived and only raised the swelter factor.
As one reader put it, it was like sprinkling water on a hot tawa it just made it sizzle even more. The heat has kept people making repeat visits to the fruit juice stalls, and annoyingly enough the flies have begun clustering there too. Usually the saying is that when the flies arrive, so does the rain. But here the little pests have begun their aerial attacks on our comestibles, and there is still no sign of monsoon showers.
Line by line
Overheard: In the local train, our regular source of quips, a senior citizen remarking that what with rising prices and no sign of rain, it is not achchhe din but “Kachchhe din aa gaye!”
On International Doctor’s Day yesterday, instead of boring speeches, the organisation MedScapeIndia conceptualised and executed a song for the healers, the ‘Doctors Anthem’, with lyrics by Sameer Anjaan, music by Shameer Tandon and vocals by Aditi Paul, Bhavya Pandit, Aishwarya Nigam and Amitabh Narayan.
(L to R) Sameer Anjaan, Dr Sunita Dube and Shameer Tandon at the launch of the 'Doctors Anthem'
The anthem celebrates the patient-doctor bond, and the contribution of doctors who serve people round the clock. The lyrics of the song are: “Har lamha har ghadi / Hum tumhare saath hain” (We are the doctors/ We are always there for you). We too raise a toast to you, doc.
With the holy month of Ramzan having begun, fruits are in greater demand, as they are consumed at the time of breaking the fast. The agricultural produce market at Vashi on Monday received a bounty of fruits such as papaya, watermelon and pineapple.
In probably the highest number of arrivals on a single day, traders said that the APMC received 140 trucks of papaya, 38 of watermelon and over 50 trucks of pineapple supplies. Prices have gone up too due to increased demand. Fruit trader Deepak Jaiswal said rates have gone up by Rs 5-10 per kg, compared to last week.
Papaya at the moment costs Rs 30 per kg wholesale, while watermelon and pineapple cost Rs 18-20 per kg depending upon quality and size. We think that even those who are not fasting can indulge in fruits, because they are, after all, good for you.
Our labour of love...
...Today, it provides shade and succour. This newspaper held a tree planting exercise 20 years ago, in Bandra West, near the Otters Club, just at the beginning of the Carter Road promenade. Actor Dilip Kumar was chief guest, as the paper joined a city-wide tree plantation initiative in association with the BMC as part of its 20th anniversary then.
The three trees at Carter Road. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
As rain pelted down and wind whistled through the trees leading up to the promenade, Dilip Kumar panted little saplings on June 27, 20 years ago. Today, years later, as the paper just turned 35 a couple of days ago, it is an apt time to turn to these young trees and see how they’ve grown.
They provide welcome shade, as Mumbai blazes hot because of the delayed monsoon. Every leaf that rustles on those branches, reminds one of newspapers rustling as readers turn the pages. As people walk underneath them, or simply sit around below the branches, looking at the sea from the promenade or think profound thoughts, one can only say that like mid-day, these trees too are an intrinsic part of the city.