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Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

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

Walk for freedom
If you want to do something more proactive on Friday, August 15 than simply sleep in or watch the tricolour fluttering on different TV channels, try putting your sole (literally) into I-Day. There is a special walk slated for the day, called Footsteps to Freedom, which focuses on the role Mumbai (then Bombay) played in the freedom movement.

Through this walk, one can go back to the pre-Independence era and re-visit sites and stories of the struggle. One is taken through the events and narrative of the freedom movement in Mumbai. The places to be touched are August Kranti Maidan, Mani Bhavan, High Court, Gateway of India, Town Hall, Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk), Royal Indian Mutiny and Chowpatty Beach, conducted by a walking company called Raconteur Tours.

The company’s walk tours are usually two to three hours and approximately 2.5 kms long. The walking tours are conducted by a raconteur who has stories, facts, anecdotes and trivia relating to the places covered. If you’re not scared by the prospect of a holiday walk, call 22705280/81/82 for details.

Yes, Minister?
Over heard: After former actress and current union minister Smriti Irani's surprise disclosure that she has been to Yale (and even got a degree for it), we hear that there is now a move to start a “Yale Bharo Andolan”.

Busting some viral myths
While social media and mobile phone messenger applications are useful for transmitting helpful information and, of course, livening up your day with the standard dose of jokes, sometimes urban legends and myths also get propagated through this medium. The current scare over the spread of Ebola is a subject ripe for hoaxes and disinformation.

Apart from lengthy messages about the signs and symptoms of the infection, the latest myth to go around is that hot water and salt is effective in combating it. A message we received said that one should bathe using hot water and salt. This is actually not a bad idea, as it relieves aches and pains which occur during the cold and wet season in any case.

But the message goes on to say, “When you want to drink water, also drink hot water with salt. This is said to be a traditional vaccine for Ebola.” We urge our readers not to follow this “advice”, as salt water is an emetic and will make you vomit which is one of the symptoms of Ebola! There is no known vaccine against Ebola as of now, and the only thing you can do is to take precautions, the primary one being keeping your hands clean with soap and water.

The World Health Organisation also says you should not touch sick people who show symptoms of Ebola for example, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, headaches and sometimes heavy bleeding. That’s common sense, of course, but in case you are caring for someone who is ill, use gloves and wash well and often.

Ebola originates from wild animals, particularly in tropical rainforests, and then spreads through human-to-human transmission. So, if you really want to be careful, avoid jungle treks. And remember, soap and water are your best friends.

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