Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene

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

Of books and bruno
One of Mumbai’s iconic personalities is possibly on his last legs. Bruno, a golden retriever, has been a permanent fixture for over a decade at Sunderbai Hall opposite SNDT College in Churchgate.

Bruno taking it easy at Sunderbai Hall. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Bruno taking it easy at Sunderbai Hall. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The location is best-known as the venue for regular book exhibitions, and many book lovers who are also canine fans know Bruno and look forward to spending some time with him while they get their biblio fix. People come from all over the city and there are many who even travel all the way from Dombivli or Virar to meet their four-legged friend.

But age has caught up with this friendly soul, and the last time we were at the venue, we were pained to see Bruno finding it hard to even stand. According to the security guards there, age is catching up with Bruno, who is now 15 years old. But such is his will that he still made the effort to get up and enjoyed a session of petting from us. Now, like many of Mumbai’s icons Bruno too may become part of folklore soon.

While we don’t know how much longer Bruno will be among us, we hope his fans take the time out of their busy schedules to pray for him and thank him for the good times he has given them. Some may want to meet him, but don’t be disappointed if he’s unavailable for he may be enjoying some quiet time.

Sitting targets
One wonders what makes people wreak destruction on public property. It’s not as if it belongs to “someone else” things in the public domain are for all to use, and vandalising them only hurts us.

Commuters just have to grin and bear it
Commuters just have to grin and bear it

Take train seats, for example. Seeing them torn and defaced is a routine matter. The railways patch them up just as routinely, and life goes on. But why should it be so? A few destructive elements go on a rampage and the rest of the commuting public suffers.

The trouble is that general commuters don’t even have much option, unless the vandals are caught in the act (which never happens). So, like the travellers in this picture, we put up with the situation and heck, if the seat is broken so badly that we have to crouch down to use it well, we will!

Rainbow high, elsewhere
With Kashish, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) film festival on in the city, it is apt to put one’s finger on the pulse of LGBT happenings elsewhere in the world. So, like the USA for instance, where debates are simmering about gay marriage (India seems light years behind, when seen from this perspective), has a street dedicated to LGBT visibility.

A Conch Tour Train turns at Duval and Petronia streets on May 28, in Key West, Florida. Spanning all four corners of the intersection, the crosswalks are internationally recognised symbols of gay and lesbian unity and are a permanent part of the pavement. Pic/AFP
A Conch Tour Train turns at Duval and Petronia streets on May 28, in Key West, Florida. Spanning all four corners of the intersection, the crosswalks are internationally recognised symbols of gay and lesbian unity and are a permanent part of the pavement. Pic/AFP

This crosswalk has been painted the colours of the rainbow, which is associated with the gay cause as it stands for diversity. Now, we wonder if we would ever see anything like that in Mumbai in the near future? A pavement painted with the LGBT colours in Mumbai? Aaiga! Something to dream about for the LGBT community.

Nice drive, BEST
It is BEST to go tobacco-free. As the world marks No Tobacco Day on May 31, tomorrow, the BEST services got into the act with no-tobacco messages on buses and on seats inside the familiar red vehicles, as its public service initiative was flagged off at the Wadala depot.

One of the 25 BEST buses with anti-tobacco messages. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
One of the 25 BEST buses with anti-tobacco messages. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

A great way to get the public to learn about No Tobacco Day and the harmful effects of tobacco, given the huge transport network that the BEST commands. Of late, Mumbai’s road lifeline has been featuring in the news for grave financial losses, fare hikes for passengers, and other not-so-sunny news. This time though, it is happy times as the transport arm does good social service. Good, better, BEST we say.

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