Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

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

Music, on air and in the air
After a much-lamented gap, lovers of classical and light music were quietly happy to see the return of the channel In Sync on local cable networks. Started by a group that originally organised music concerts, the channel has showcased a wide range of classical, semi-classical and fusion artistes, giving viewers a chance to see and hear musicians and singers whom they might otherwise miss.

(from l) Anubrata Chatterjee (tabla), percussionist Gino Banks, flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, vocalist Suchismita Das and sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee, together at Shivaji Park to announce the Classicool concert
(from l) Anubrata Chatterjee (tabla), percussionist Gino Banks, flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, vocalist Suchismita Das and sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee, together at Shivaji Park to announce the Classicool concert

Meanwhile, in an unrelated event, connoisseurs have a chance to catch a fusion concert live at Classicool, a show which brings together top young Indian musicians, tomorrow at St Andrew’s Auditorium, Bandra (W) at 7.30pm. The lineup features some outstanding names, the luminaries of the future. So try not to miss it.

Take some half measures
The Standard Chartered Mumbai marathon to be run on January 18, 2015 has opened registration for the hugely popular 21 km or half-marathon category. The registrations have begun and will close on August 30 or whenever running places are full, whichever is earlier.

The 21-km has become the distance for many Mumbaikars who are still doubtful about completing the grueling 42-km distance. The Dream Run (7 km, odd) has become very crowded with corporates buying up the running places. The 21-km is getting more crowded every year.

Running places are being furiously snapped up, even as you read this. Go to the website for online registration, or fill entry forms and mail to P.O Box No. 11017, Marine Lines Post Office, Mumbai 400 020. Mumbai residents can also deposit their entry forms with the requisite entry fees at 10 selected Standard Chartered Bank branches. Start running, now.

Honesty, the mobile way
A rare thing to happen in Mumbai these days, where mobile phones have been stolen or lost and never found an autorickshaw driver returned a Samsung Galaxy Ace smartphone to Rajeev Shah (69), who had forgotten it in the rickshaw between Goregaon east and Andheri east, on Monday night. Shah, a chartered accountant, had a lot of data stored in the phone and was panicky, but still thought on his feet.

He sent an SMS to his own number asking the person who found the phone to call one of his family members. Then he took the standard precaution of blocking the number, and lodged a non-cognisable complaint with the police. Yesterday morning, lo and behold - the family member got a call from the rickshaw driver, who had found the phone.

He said that he was unable to call immediately as he had picked up a fare to Mira Road, but on Tuesday he faithfully came all the way to Andheri from Dahisar, to return the phone, a thankful Shah told us. We only know that the rickshaw driver’s name is Prasad, but we hope that there are many more like him out there!

Trump call
Last September, publications were abuzz with news about tycoon Donald Trump’s association with the Lodha Group, which included the addition of a shining Trump Tower to Mumbai’s skyline.

At a recent event in the city, we overheard that the real estate and TV mogul will coming to the city soon, in connection with the same project.

Considering the amount of media attention that international stars receive on their trips here, the expected hysteria that Trump will generate among the real estate lobby, not to mention the swish set, remains to be seen.

Friendship Day goes a long way
College students celebrate it with gifts, coffee treats and coloured elastic wristbands, but today is a very serious Friendship Day. The International Day of Friendship was, in fact, proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

To mark the day, the UN encourages governments, international organisations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilisations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

Wish the warmongers who are killing and maiming in the name of religion and property would heed this. Maybe we can’t make them see sense, but at least, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, “let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family”. In our own small ways. Reach out your hand and share a smile today.

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