Mumbai Diary page: What's cooking on Tuesday

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

A fan’s last over
For cricket fans, an India-Pakistan match is nothing short of a thriller that brings everything else to a halt. It was the same for 75-year-old Vivek Velinker, who was looking forward to his Sunday evening television viewing of the Indo-Pak Asia Cup match.

Vivek Velinker
Vivek Velinker

But destiny had other plans for Velinker. On Saturday evening, when he was en route to a family wedding at Churchgate, his car broke down at Bandra West. He took it upon himself to push the car and while doing so he collapsed and hurt his head. A vigilant traffic cop took control of the situation and helped him get admitted to a nearby hospital, but his best efforts were in vain, and Velinker lost the fight.

On Sunday, while India and Pakistan battled the first 15 overs, it was the final journey from his Juhu residence to the crematorium for Velinker. His family is on the lookout for the cop who stepped forward to do more than his duty, and helped Velinker reach the hospital. It was the legendary Mumbai spirit coming to the fore. Velinker, like India, lost narrowly. But that traffic cop was still the man of the match.

Planet fantastic
If you have not taken yourself or your kids to Nehru Planetarium at Worli, you are missing something. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Well, now that the space thriller Gravity has won seven Oscars, there is no better way to introduce the next generation to the wonders of the universe we live in than a show at the city’s most exciting science exposition centre (yes, yes, there is also the Nehru Science Centre a hundred metres away).

Bakul Patel, joint secretary, Nehru Centre, with sign language expert Kinjal Shah (left) during the show for hearing impaired children at Nehru Planetarium
Bakul Patel, joint secretary, Nehru Centre, with sign language expert Kinjal Shah (left) during the show for hearing impaired children at Nehru Planetarium

Anyway, the planetarium did something remarkable to celebrate its 37th anniversary on Monday, and it warmed the cockles of our heart like nothing else: it introduced a brand new show for the hearing-impaired.

Around 250 schoolchildren and adults watched the inaugural show of ‘Wonders of the Universe’ addressed by Bakul Patel, joint secretary, Nehru Centre. A sign language expert was at hand to interpret the speeches and commentary for the audience.

Our favourite science communicator Suhas B Naik-Satam informs Tuesday Tales that the planetarium director Arvind Paranjapye collaborated with entrepreneur Abhijit Shetye to make this happen and that this will be one of the many innovations the planetarium will execute. Shetye says his company has even planned a mobile digital planetarium to reach out to rural audiences. Reach for the stars, we say!

Decisive effect...
The state cabinet meeting on Monday was in all probability the last before announcement of the general elections which will lead to imposition of the code of conduct. Since the first week of January, the state has seen around a dozen meetings, compared to just one in a week or even a fortnight.

Decisions announced have also touched three figures, which is another record of sorts. So it was refreshing to hear Industries Minister Narayan Rane mention during the meeting, “We have taken so many decisions, especially on the eve of the elections. I wonder if our voters will give much credence to these.” This is exactly what the other ministers (not to mention their constituents) have been wondering, and what went unsaid was, “Hear, hear!”

Braille 'n' hearty
Every participant was a winner at the tenth All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) National ‘A’ Chess Championship for the Blind 2014, which ended yesterday, at Ganapat Rao Vartak Krida Bhavan, Vasai. To rise above a disability, compete and show your spirit, makes you a winner all the way.

A chess match in progress at the championship
A chess match in progress at the championship

A point of curiosity, for those not visually challenged, is how the blind differentiate between black and white, given that chess is such a black-n-white oriented game. AICFB president Charudatta Jadhav informs us that there are three major modifications made in chess, to assist a blind person.

A blind person needs to touch all the pieces on the chess board, to understand their next move. So, to avoid having the pieces falling off, each pawn has a rod attached to it at the bottom, which fits into a hole in each of the squares on the chess board.

Then, the second modification is to help them differentiate between the black and the white squares on the chess board. The black squares are slightly higher than the white squares on the board. Finally, to help them differentiate between white and black pieces there is a dot on top of the black pieces, similar to the dots in Braille, while the top of the white piece is plain.

Contributed by: Ravikiran Deshmukh, Shrikant Khuperkar, Hemal Ashar, Vidya Heble

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