Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Tony joins mid-day
For five decades now, Tony Cozier has been the voice of West Indies cricket. Or let’s put this way: No journalist has seen so much of Caribbean cricket as Cozier considering he first covered a Test series in 1963. Cozier was interviewed by Indian Express journalist Bharat Sundaresan last July and when asked whether he plans to take a break after five decades of commentary and writing, he said: “I am obsessed with the sport. I stay up late or wake up in the wee hours. I even stay up to watch Zimbabwe play Bangladesh but that doesn’t last more than an hour. The IPL I don’t see. I still write columns for three papers on a Sunday. I’m not going anywhere yet.” Make that four. Cozier joins his mate and fellow commentator Ian Chappell to add to your Sunday reading please. Turn to page 60 to read his first column.
Can’t get enough of cricket: Even after five decades, there is no keeping Tony Cozier away from his favourite game
Boom boom money
“Unless you are playing the IPL, you can’t really be making oodles of money,” a former cricketer was recently heard telling friends at a party. But here’s an exception. It comes as no surprise that six of the 10 wealthiest cricketers are Indian. MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma — all find mention in a list of the world’s 10 wealthiest cricketers, compiled by a leading website.
And while three of the four others in the list are all IPL heroes — Kevin Peterson at number 7, Chris Gayle at 6 and Shane Watson at 4, the real surprise is Shahid Afridi at number 3, ahead of Virat Kohli and just after MSD and SRT. The Pakistani was quoted in the papers earlier this week saying his brand of cricket does not need much thinking. Seems he is putting a lot of thought behind his financial planning at least.
Everyone, including the traffic cop, held his breath. Half a dozen cars and autos waiting at the traffic signal next to a suburban five-star hotel were about to move into top gear, when suddenly one of them spotted a group of three (or were there four?) visually-impaired men crossing the street. They had misjudged the signal and had started walking across the road when the lights turned green. Shouting out to them to turn back could have proved dangerous. In that split second, the six drivers — some driving autos, others SUVs — thought and acted as one, without exchanging a single word. One by one, they all stopped… and waited: some still behind the zebra crossing, others a few feet ahead. Pedestrians waiting on the opposite footpath silently egged them on. The men crossed. A dozen smiles lit up the footpath. The car drivers nodded to each other, smiled and drove off. The three men too carried on, prodding their sticks and walking along the footpath, oblivious that they had brought out a humane side of the city we seldom get to see.
Free turn to hell
We know that the condition of our roads are bad. But that they had plunged to new depths was evident thanks to a new signboard put up by the Mumbai Police. Driving down Linking Road towards Mahim, this correspondent was surprised to see a prominent traffic sign just under the Bandra Reclamation flyover, informing commuters that the way to hell was free. Well, so it seemed as the sign pointed straight down. The ‘No Entry’ sign next to it, predictably pointed upwards. With the path to hell being free, who after all, believes the city’s guardian angels, will want to enter heaven.
Two people claiming to be BMC clean-up marshals tried to collect a fine from a Readers Related Executive (RRE) of mid-day, who was selling this newspaper at Juhu. The conmen even took the RRE on their bike but were stopped by the traffic police for riding triple-seat. The conmen then dropped off the RRE to Andheri and fled the spot. Now, that’s one mess they couldn’t clean up.