Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts

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

Get ready for Modi pizzas
There are Modi jokes and there are Modi jokes. These either have to do with the Gujarati community, or  specifically with Prime Minister Narendra Modi or NaMo as he is called. So, this one is again from what we call the Modi oeuvre. We hear that Dominos, the pizza chain, is rearranging those alphabets and their pizzas are now called: Modinos. Here’s to Modino’s Margheritas.   

Get ready for Modi pizzas
Illustration/ Amit Bandre

No time to waste
We’ve always believed that the person offering a bribe is as guilty as the one receiving it. But there are also times, when we think that if systems were in place, people wouldn’t stoop to offer the bribe in the first place. Just a couple of days ago, our auto rickshaw guy broke the red signal near Infinity Mall and was promptly caught by the traffic policemen on duty. A hushed conversation between them later, when our driver returned, we asked him whether he was given a receipt. “Nahin 50-100 rupaye de ke chutkara mila,” he said. When we chided him about paying a bribe, his reply was that he doesn’t mind paying the proper fine, but that means going to the court after 15 days to get his licence back. “Paise ka nahin hai, lekin iss sab mein time bahut khoti hota hai. It’s easier to just pay them off here,” he said. New government, please take note.

No time to waste

Heads and tourist tales
On Thursday morning, the traffic island opposite the Air-India building, near  Trident Hotel, Nariman Point, was the cynosure of several eyes. Artiste and sculptor Chintan Upadhyay’s creation was unveiled on a merciless May day, with the mercury soaring sky high. The 10-foot head, with images depicting various scenes in the city, is painted in flaming red acrylic paint and is certainly eye-catching. It attracted a horde of onlookers. Among those looking at the creation were tourists Henry from Chicago, Renate from Norway and Dariano from Turin (Italy) who seemed amused by all the excitement generated by the sculpture. Renate called the creation “cool”, the Italian said it was “very colourful” while the Chicago native Henry shouted exuberantly, “Yeah, we love art, we love India!” Meanwhile the trio seemed excited that this press reporter was speaking to them. “Hurray, we’re going to be in the papers!” one heard them shout excitedly. Well, here you are Renate, Dariano and Henry.

ART OF TOURING: Tourists Henry, Renate and Dariano near the traffic island at Nariman Point. Pic/Bipin Kokate
ART OF TOURING: Tourists Henry, Renate and Dariano near the traffic island at Nariman Point. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Figment of reality
The moment a train comes to a halt, the passion exhibited by passengers is worth a dekko. Once in, the struggle is to find a space to stand — if not to sit. This often leads to arguments about the imaginary fourth seat. Recently in one such confrontation a passenger told another who was sitting: “Baatne se pyaar badhta hai.” The latter’s reply had us in splits: “Lekin jagah kam hoti hai.”

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