Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene

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

Happy 85th, Tyson Sir!
Frank ‘Typhoon’ Tyson is 85 today. Twenty-four years ago, the former England pace terror was in India, helping several young fast bowlers make the grade and live their dreams.

Frank Tyson
Frank Tyson

Today, their Tyson Sir is in his home in Queensland, Australia probably recalling his youth, his pace which alarmed the best of batsmen, his teaching job and cricket coaching the world over. He can turn back the clock with satisfaction even as his wobbly legs keep bothering him.

Saturday Scene called Tyson on the eve of his birthday yesterday. The bowler, who Sir Donald Bradman said was the swiftest he saw, takes his time to come to the phone. When he does, we wish him well and assure him that a legion of spin bowlers and pacers in Mumbai can never forget what he did for them from 1991 to 1995 through the Bombay Cricket Association-Mafatlal Bowling Scheme.

“Is Mumbai producing some talented cricketer?” he asks. We can’t say for sure, but there is hope. We convey advance wishes of two of his most famous wards, Abey Kuruvilla and Paras Mhambrey. Tyson is grateful and we hear a little chuckle when we tell him there will be more greetings/calls coming his way today. “How very kind of you to remember me,” he says.

Go walkabout, why don’t you?
Spotted on a T-shirt, these words made us pause for thought: “Not all those who wander are lost.” To be sure, the art (or is it a skill?) of walking around with no specific aim is itself a rare one. Specially in a city like Mumbai, where every movement has a purpose and every path leads somewhere (preferably somewhere profitable), aimless sauntering around is for the birds or the tourists.

DN Road, from Hutatma Chowk to CST station, is a good walker’s route, with interesting side streets to explore
DN Road, from Hutatma Chowk to CST station, is a good walker’s route, with interesting side streets to explore

(Actually, even the birds are walking around in search of fallen tidbits.) But there are a few resident Mumbaikars who do the flaneuring thing (flanerie, if you want to be horribly precise) the strolling without cause which is oh so delightful and often rewarding when one comes across a hitherto undiscovered niche, a quaint carving or a funny streetside sight.

Well, the clouds have gathered thick and dark, and the rains, we hear, are to follow soon. So make the most of the weather, and go be a flaneur this weekend.

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