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Mumbai Diary: Saturday Scene

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

Wheeler dealers
What are you likely to see in the annual Vintage Car & Motorcycle Fiesta to be held on Sunday, March 9? Some of the most beautiful cars and motorcycles from 1940 till 1980 and some rare cars till 2013 which fall into the “modern classics” category.

Fali Dhondy’s 1929 Rolls Royce, a former winner in the Vintage category
Fali Dhondy’s 1929 Rolls Royce, a former winner in the Vintage category

For the first time, the late G D Birla’s 1960 Cadillac is entering the fray and will be driven by his great-granddaughter-in-law, Neerja Kumar Birla. She will join other women drivers in the rally the seasoned Hiral Dossa and Niloufer Eapen who have both won many events in the past.

Hemant Kumar Ruia’s majestic 1919 Minerva
Hemant Kumar Ruia’s majestic 1919 Minerva

Incidentally, Hiral Dossa will be in a 1933 Hudson, the only one left in the world, and Niloufer Eapen in a 1928 Ford Model A. Anuja Parikh will be in a 1969 Volkswagen. Other cars participating include Rolls Royce, Bentley, Packard, Wolseley, Morris, Austin and Buick.

Over 140 cars and motorcycles are participating, along with the first car imported last month from the US after the government opened up imports — a 1947 Cadillac driven by Anju Dossa.

The city actually gets a curtain-raiser for the rally as these cars are to be lined up at the Kala Ghoda car park today from 11 am to 5 pm for inspection. On Sunday, they will be flagged off from Horniman Circle at 9 am. The cars go from Horniman Circle to Acres Club, Chembur, and back.

Bus, enough canoodling!
A ride on a BEST bus in the city often gives one something to think about or laugh at. Often these happen to be drivers’ or conductors’ witticisms — for sure they see enough interesting stuff around them, both inside and outside the bus, on their trips.

At a bus stop recently a young couple were waiting, holding hands and murmuring sweet nothings to each other. When their bus arrived the young man saw his beloved off, helped her board the bus, and waved a goodbye kiss.

The bus was relatively empty and the young woman continued standing near the door, waving and smiling sweetly at him, reluctant to move in and take a seat. The bus driver finally got impatient and said, “Valentine’s Day is over, now please sit!”

Testing TCs
TCS (TICKET checkers) are a dreaded lot, and with good reason. Those who have forgotten to buy tickets or to renew their season passes know all too well the sinking feeling when they hear the familiar words, “Ticket, pass... ticket, pass...” And with the ticket-checking drive having been recently enhanced, it is all the more vital that commuters have valid tickets.

But there is one group of train commuters who can unofficially breathe easy for a short period. These are students who are on their way to answer SSC and HSC examinations.

Some TCs were overheard chatting with one another at a Central Railway station the other day, saying that if they happen to catch SSC or HSC students without a ticket, but on their way to answer their exams, then they don’t penalise them.

One reason is that holding them up for fine payment could cause them to be late for their exams. Also, as one of the TCs put it, “They already have enough tension with the exams, why should we add to their stress?”

We won’t name the TCs or even the station where we eavesdropped on them, just in case they get into trouble. But if they’re reading this, then a doff of our hat for their kind hearts!

Caring for caddies
Golf may not be a contact sport like football or rugby, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous.

Time and again there are incidents when caddies (those who carry golf kits and accompany players across the course), get hit by random balls flying across the expansive courses.

In 2012, a caddie at Delhi’s Qutub Golf Course died as a result of brain injuries he suffered after being hit by a golf ball. In Delhi, it is compulsory for caddies to wear helmets, but not many courses enforce the rule strictly.

That’s why it was great to hear a golf consulting company and a real estate company, announce a first of its kind Caddy Welfare Programme at the recent CII Asia Golf Industry Show 2014.

As part of the initiative, caddies who register themselves with the GolfLAN network are entitled to a health insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh and will also be provided with branded apparel for daily work.

The initiative is set to cover more than 1000 caddies over the next six months. Sadly, though, the programme is only for caddies across cities in North India.

Caddies from Mumbai and other golf-loving cities across India will have to wait and continue to watch out for that flying golf ball!

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