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Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

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

Mumbai to the four in Brazil!
Mumbaikars Sunny D’Souza, Ryan D’Souza, Jonathan Fernandes and Nicholas D’Souza are living their dream of watching World Cup football in Brazil at the moment.

Mumbaikars (L to R) Nicholas D’Souza, Sunny D’Souza, Ryan D’Souza and Jonathan Fernandes unfurl their Mumbai banner during the Argentina vs Belgium quarter-final at Estadio Nacional, Brasilia recently
Mumbaikars (L to R) Nicholas D’Souza, Sunny D’Souza, Ryan D’Souza and Jonathan Fernandes unfurl their Mumbai banner during the Argentina vs Belgium quarter-final at Estadio Nacional, Brasilia recently

The Malad-based quartet, on a week-long trip to Sambaland, watched the recent Argentina vs Belgium quarter-final at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on July 5 and will be staying on till the Sunday final. The born ‘n’ bred Mumbaikars and hardcore football fans are proudly unfurling the name of amchi Mumbai in Brazil too with a 5’ x 4’ banner which they got made for especially this purpose.

The jubilant Mumbaikars during the Argentina vs Belgium quarter-final at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on July 5
The jubilant Mumbaikars during the Argentina vs Belgium quarter-final at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on July 5

“Not many in Brazil have heard of Mumbai, so we thought, why not let them know. And not many Brazilians know Sachin Tendulkar either, so we’re trying to spread that word around too,” says Sunny, a restaurateur as well as manager of two local football teams — Uncle’s Kitchen United and ABC Club.

“Football fever in Brazil is totally unbelievable. Little kids here dribble the football so effortlessly, it reminds one of how some of our small, young school cricketers train at Dadar’s Shivaji Park. The only difference being that the entire country here has become one big Shivaji Park,” says Ryan, a former junior India footballer, who has also captained the state team, and currently plies his trade for Union Bank of India, besides having obtained a ‘C’ licence in coaching too.

The quartet have one grouse though. They can’t get their hands on the official World Cup ball — Brazuca. “Our friends back home have asked us to get them a World Cup match ball but almost every FIFA merchandise store here is empty. The balls have disappeared off the shelves. We were out of luck in Brasilia but will be traveling to Sao Paulo next so let’s hope we can find the ball there,” added Sunny.

Screaming good ad
This page sometimes takes potshots at television commercials which we feel are sending out the wrong message — either anti-social, or just plain dangerous. But we don’t take note only of the “bad” ads.

There are commercials out there which not only make viewers laugh or feel good, they also send out positive messages. One ongoing ad for Tata Docomo shows a “roadside Romeo” whistling at two schoolgirls at a bus stop.

A young woman who is also at the bus stop decides to do something about it. She doesn’t go up and slap him or abuse him (and we think that is commendable, as assault is not a solution). Instead, she screams loudly. The lout is startled, but with typical chutzpah he continues, and lets out another meaningful whistle.

At this, the young woman screams again, looking directly at him. People all around start staring at the man, who gets completely unnerved and flees the scene. In an age when women are at risk in many ways, and trying to retaliate sometimes has adverse effects on the woman herself, this is one way to get public attention to the problem, as well as make the offender stop. We hope more brands and agencies take this route of positive reinforcement.

‘Fasting’ for breakfast?
Municipal corporators have seemingly hit upon a novel way of making a statement. The corporation is supposed to discuss the issue of providing doctors on duty with breakfast.

Corporators who support the move have declared that they will refrain from partaking of the snacks served at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation meetings, until the doctors start getting their breakfast.

This move of solidarity is serious stuff, given the corporators are boycotting snacks such as sandwiches, cutlets and samosas. Maybe their refusal of such tasty items will convince the administration that they are serious about the issue.

Also, it might have the beneficial side-effect of helping them lose weight and avoid ingesting some of those pesky trans-fats. We just hope the corporators don’t end up eating their words... PS: Speaking of food and the BMC, there was a bitter-sweet moment on Friday when the budget was tabled at the BMC headquarters.

The ruling Shiv Sena-BJP got the budget cleared with a majority, but the opposition Congress preferred to do what they do best — stage a walkout during the discussion. And then they topped it off by distributing sweets which had fenugreek (methi) powder sprinkled on top, so every bite was bitter!

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