Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene
Sprout out at the Nature Park
In addition to the farmers’ market that is held on Sundays at the Maharashtra Nature Park Society (MNPS, Dharavi) in the city, this weekend also sees the venue hosting the Earth mela, organised by the SPROUTS Environment Trust (www.sproutsenvttrust.org.in).
Opening today with a Nature Trail (7-9am) at the MNPS and a Bicycle Rally & Mini Marathon (7-9am) tomorrow, the main event will be from 10am to 6pm on both days. This year the mela theme is Islands, and includes activities such as a short film festival, a photo exhibition and sale, workshops and lecture-demonstrations, and stalls selling eco-friendly products.
Like a cruise ship that takes passengers of all shapes and dispositions around the world, our local trains also bear commuters of all sorts, at all times of day and night, and in various states of wakefulness.
Takes all sorts to make the world, and train commuters. Pic/Varun Singh
Truly, the train is a microcosm of the city, and offers the interested observer a slice-of-life view. Whether the slice is thick or thin, depends on the viewer.
Just yesterday we were about to alight at Byculla station from a fast CST-bound train, when this unusual duo in the doorway opposite caught our eye. Along with office-goers, vendors and businessmen, the train carried them all ahead.
Wild about life
In the last 40 years, the world has lost 50 per cent of its wildlife. And humans are probably the only creature to hunt for reasons other than food. A new phenomenon among our hubris-crazed species is to hunt animals, such as lions, bred specifically for this purpose.
Contrary to their claim, it is not a means of conservation, and only results in the animals living lives of captivity until their certain death by bullet. Barbaric is the word for this, and if it is not wiped out, it could become a fad even in our country.
Concerned people worldwide are raising their voices against this practice, and a protest “tweetstorm” is set to happen on November 23/24 at the same time all over the globe (12.30am on Nov 24 for India). To join the tweetstorm, all you have to do is send out a tweet with the requisite tags. Details are on the Facebook page, TweetStorm Against Trophy Hunting.
A Bharatiya Janata Party leader tells us that on Friday morning, when Central Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo met state CM Devendra Fadnavis, they both mentioned their respective weight gain, as handling ministerial posts isn’t giving them enough time for exercise.
(Playing politics, obviously, does not count.) Probably this is why neither of the two touched the cookies served at the meeting. We also hear the CM gave Supriyo a pep talk on how they should switch off work every day so as to start the next day fresh.
But just the previous day, during a meeting of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the CM had been noticed popping cashewnuts in the time-honoured “street-style” way, each one landing perfectly on his palate and not one missing the mark. Well aimed, sir, we say. But we hope his diet is varied and balanced, else he’ll go nuts!
Squeaky clean and swearing by it
With everyone jumping on the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan bandwagon, which kicked off on October 2, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has made shramdaan (voluntary work) compulsory for every employee working in various wards and municipal offices, as well as the BMC headquarters. Employees have to devote two hours every Friday after work to clean their surroundings.
After a circular was sent out to this effect, the staff of the Municipal Secretary department (which helps elected representatives with their working) at the BMC headquarters even took an oath, vowing that they will devote time to clean their offices and motivate citizens to keep their surroundings clean. Hear, hear!