Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene

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

The wheels that carried the Pope
You have just one last chance to go and visit the Papal exhibition at St Joseph’s School in Bandra (W). The exhibition is part of the golden jubilee celebrations of Pope Paul VI visiting the city for the 1964 Eucharistic Congress as the first Pope to visit India.

A picture at the exhibition showing Pope Paul VI in the jeep during his Mumbai visit
A picture at the exhibition showing Pope Paul VI in the jeep during his Mumbai visit

The exhibition which has its last day tomorrow (Sunday), features a ‘Popemobile’ at the entrance. This is the jeep that the Pope rode in while in Mumbai 50 years ago. A Mahindra & Mahindra vehicle, the jeep has been preserved and occupies pride of place at the Mahindra plant in Kandivali (E).

The jeep was specially made by the company for Pope Paul VI’s visit to Mumbai. It stands at St Joseph’s Convent School in Bandra (W) for the exhibition. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
The jeep was specially made by the company for Pope Paul VI’s visit to Mumbai. It stands at St Joseph’s Convent School in Bandra (W) for the exhibition. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

Says Capt A Lambhate of Mahindra, “The jeep has been preserved for half a century, in top condition. It was brought to Bandra for the exhibition on a trailer. This is not because it cannot be driven but the jeep is not a registered vehicle and does not have a number plate.”

Capt Lambhate hastens to add proudly, “It is operational though, and in mint condition. It is also taken for a small chakkar (round) every Sunday around the plant. It is polished and looked after. We are very proud of it,” he signs off.

Caroling for a cause
With the season of Christmas gathering steam, Young Environmentalists, a Powai NGO, has decided to spread the cheer to terminally ill children in the city.

Last year more than 100 children attended the Christmas party
Last year more than 100 children attended the Christmas party

Along with the singers of Holy Trinity Church and Rodas Greenteam, the carols and songs will be sung at a Christmas party today at 5 pm at Rodas Ecotel, Powai.

The next big thing – literally
What with Comic Con and Robo Con hitting the right notes in town, maybe it’s time to emulate other “phoren” mod-trad (that’s modern traditional, and we just made it up) events.

In the jolly spirit of Christmas, maybe we could have our own Santa Con in the city. Santa Con, which started in San Francisco 20 years ago, is now held in around 300 cities in 44 countries, according to a story in the UK newspaper The Guardian.

The London event’s website says, “SantaCon is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious and nonsensical Christmas parade that takes place in London every December. There’s no particular reason to dress up in Santa suits, run around, give gifts, sing songs … and decide who is naughty or nice. But it’s a lot of fun, so Santa does it anyway.” No reason why we shouldn’t, too!

Feet first at BKC
Fans of English Premier League clubs can watch their teams live in action over the weekend on a 380-square-feet screen at BKC’s MMRDA Grounds, as the Barclays Premier League ‘Live’ a two-day interactive fan park comes to Mumbai for the first time. Apart from EPL matches, football enthusiasts can also watch the first legs of both the Indian Super League (ISL) semi-finals on the giant screens.

Besides live football action, the venue, open to general public on Saturday (2.30pm to 10.30pm) and Sunday (1pm to 9pm), will also have tents dedicated to clubs, where memorabilia like Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard’s match jersey and Chelsea star Oscar’s studs are on display. There is also a ‘trophy zone’ where fans can see the actual EPL trophy and get to know interesting trivia about the coveted cup.

Those wanting to test their football skills can also head to the ‘skills zone’ where they can display their accuracy, power and ball control and win exciting EPL merchandise. Unfortunately, fans of Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal will be in for some disappointment as the three giants surprisingly do not have a tent at the venue.

The son also rises
Overheard: A young man gave up his seat in the local train to an older man. Whereupon, instead of thanking the youngster, the oldie, after taking the seat, remarked, “You’re doing this for me - my son also does this for buzurg (seniors) like me.” Subtle and touching at the same time but it couldn’t match the priceless expression on the young Samaritan’s face. Anyway, he now has a story to share. Like we do.

Wings in the city
Sometimes you go to see the bird, sometimes the bird comes to see you. This is what a family in the city found when a koel, a juvenile male, decided to pay them a visit.

The young bird, an Asian koel. Pic/Ravi Kalbate
The young bird, an Asian koel. Pic/Ravi Kalbate

The bird hung out in the living room for a while, and finally took the many hints from the humans and exited from the window through which it had come, unharmed but perhaps a little richer in experience.

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