Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene

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

The internet is free, and so is spam
A Whatsapp message doing the rounds takes a quote from Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu and takes it a step further to supposedly promote the cause of internet freedom.

A famous quote of the South African Archbishop goes, “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” The WhatsApp message goes: “When Facebook and WhatsApp came they had the internet and we had the freedom.

They said it’s free. We closed our eyes. When we opened it we had Facebook and WhatsApp and they had our freedom.” While the Archbishop may not have actually spoken on the ongoing issue of internet freedom, the message quite piquantly describes the situation.

If you look like your passport picture...
With schools opening or set to open very soon, except those IB schools where the swish fish swim and who have their holidays right now, people are probably back from their vacation and it is bags, books and back to the old routine for so many.

So, as it is back to pavilion for so many Mumbaikars, we think this is particularly apt... may bring back memories of your recent trip.

Size does matter, at times
When dealing with large numbers, average is king. And where better to find large numbers of everything than in our very own dear city? When fitting in to public transport, you have got to be average-sized.

For this commuter, being tall is a distinct disadvantage when it comes to standing room only. Pic/Vedika Chaubey
For this commuter, being tall is a distinct disadvantage when it comes to standing room only. Pic/Vedika Chaubey

Too small and you may not be able to get in. Too big and you may not be able to fit in at all! And it applies to people as well as goods...

This parcel is a little outsized, even for the roomy luggage compartment in the local train. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
This parcel is a little outsized, even for the roomy luggage compartment in the local train. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Method in the vending
Competition is fierce in every sphere, and no less in the world of the street vendor. Whether it is kids’ clothes, household knick-knacks or fruit, on the streetside it is every cart for itself, and may the loudest vendor sell the most. But here again, space is at premium as you may imagine in our cramped city, so it is all about strategic positioning.

The guy whose cart is the first to catch the customer’s eye, is usually the lucky seller. But other vendors are no less innovative, as we found out the other day. Two fruit sellers had their carts piled high with mangoes and apples. One cart was placed slightly ahead of the other, a little more prominent in the stream of human traffic that was heading to the market area.

The second fruit seller began calling to customers: “Bagha tikde, ghyaa ikde (Look there, buy here)!” A surefire way to attract people to his wares!

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