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Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts

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

Baar, baar, Neymar?
So pervasive has been the ‘abki baar’ slogan of Narendra Modi that it still crops up in different ways everywhere. In the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) tourney, one remembers the scoreboard lighting up with the words: ‘ab ki baar, boundary ke bahar’ every time the ball went sailing for a six, in this slam-it form of cricket.

Neymar
Two good:  Brazil’s forward Neymar celebrates his second goal against Croatia in the first match of the FIFA World Cup. Pic/AFP

Now, though the World Cup football in Brazil and Modi are many miles away, literally and figuratively speaking, a group of young people, who had gathered to watch the first match between Brazil and Croatia, said that the chant among the group was ‘ab ki baar — Neymar!’ in honour of the mercurial Brazilian forward. It is an indication about the powerful recall value of the Modi slogan, omnipresent during his campaign. As for Brazil fans in Mumbai: they are hoping for not just abki baar but baar, baar Neymar. 

Metro maniab
Don’t take us wrong. We’re absolutely delighted that the Mumbai Metro has opened and it not only saves us big bucks travelling to and fro everyday, but also enables us to travel in air-conditioned comfort. But there are some things that still peeve us.

The Versova Andheri Ghatkopar metro
The Versova Andheri Ghatkopar metro, Mumbai’s first metro line, was inaugurated by CM Prithviraj Chavan on June 8. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Firstly, we still don’t get it why a fairly long portion of the skywalk on the Andheri station, which links us to the Metro, is still shrouded in darkness. Secondly, two days ago, when we were trying to exit the Metro station at Versova, none of the exit gates were working properly and had to be manually operated. This, after so many test runs. We agree it’s just been a few days but if you’ve started something with so much fanfare, the least authorities can do is to ensure that everything runs properly.

Good days, bad memory
With the Metro up and running in Andheri, the local residents have much to celebrate. Although the first day had its share of chaotic drama, things have gathered pace over the days. Reasons good enough for us to eavesdrop on conversations that take place in the air-conditioned train compartment. Two gentlemen were effusively praising the current prime minister for his promise of bringing ‘acche din’ back. One of them even went so far as to attribute the very success of metro to the PM, conveniently forgetting that the infrastructure was a laggard work in progress for almost a decade now. Uff!

Testing times
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had said, “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.” Well, the collective minds of Mumbai traffic cops have managed to make the lives of Mumbaikars truly strange. Citizens who apply for a learner’s license in the city now have to undergo a computerised test of 15 questions to get it. This questionnaire is culled from a list of over 400 questions. While this exam makes sense if the applicants have already undergone training, it’s strange that people who are yet to start their course have to know the rules. That’s Mumbai for you!

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