Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts

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

A thousand and one words
Reflections: A fun way to look at the city during the monsoon is to peep into water-logged potholes and see an almost perfect reflection of Mumbai. Pic/Atul KambleReflections: A fun way to look at the city during the monsoon is to peep into water-logged potholes and see an almost perfect reflection of Mumbai. Pic/Atul Kamble 

Survival techniques
Call it Liberty or the freedom to host what one wishes at this space. On the other hand, call it the struggle for the single screen to survive in an age of multiplex cinema.

Nasir Hoosein, Liberty theatre owner.
Nasir Hoosein, Liberty theatre owner. Pic/Sameer Markande

Mumbai’s iconic single-screen cinema, Liberty, has a banner that says it is open for film festivals, concerts, plays and even Annual General Meetings (AGMs). The theatre recently hosted the Kashish film festival, which is a film fest for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community. The Liberty was a stunning, landmark venue for that fest. Now, obviously, this space is open not just for movies but a host of events to survive. Like they say, adapt or perish.

The Liberty theatre
SAYING IT LIKE IT IS: The Liberty theatre, open not just for movies. Pic/Atul Kamble

When current match referee David Boon was clueless on the law
Former Australia batsman David Boon is an important figure in the ongoing Ravindra Jadeja vs James Anderson probe given his role as International Cricket Council-appointed match referee.

David Boon
David Boon

Anderson is accused of pushing Jadeja during the first India vs England Test at Nottingham earlier this month and Jadeja has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for being aggressive. While Boon (53), the chunky Tasmanian, is now well-versed with playing conditions and regulations, there was a time when he wasn’t aware of what umpires could and couldn’t do.

During the final day of the 1986 India vs Australia match at Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium, Mumbai-based umpire Dara Dotiwala warned Australia skipper Allan Border about his team’s slow over-rate. When Border’s tardiness threatened to ruin the game, Dotiwala said he would send him back in the pavilion if he didn’t speed up things.

Dara Dotiwala
Dara Dotiwala

Flabbergasted and probably afraid of that eventuality, Border turned to vice-captain Boon to check whether Dotiwala could really send him in. Boon was in no position to answer his captain on the law and according to Border in his book ‘Beyond Ten Thousand’, only said, “Buggered if I know.”

As Boon will surely know now that umpires cannot (and couldn’t) penalise captains on the field for slow over-rates. Dotiwala (80) admitted to sunday mid-day that it was only a threat because a great finish to the Test was at stake. As it turned out, the Test was tied and Border was more elated with the result than his opposite number Kapil Dev. “The threat worked because it helped Border to quicken things up and finish the last 20 overs in good time,” said Dotiwala. Sometimes, the best solutions belong to a bygone era.

‘Pigeon’ English
We’ve lost count of the number of times we have come across signboards in the city that pay no heed to grammar or spellings. So, we were greatly amused when we came across another one, a few steps ahead of Infinity Mall in Andheri and just had to pause and click this picture.

This board was seen ahead of Infinity Mall in Andheri West
This board was seen ahead of Infinity Mall in Andheri West

It reminded us of those cheeky, hilarious Border Roads Organisation (BRO) road signs up north (‘Cheak your brake’, ‘Be Gentle on my Curves’) and we are delighted the BMC is taking lessons. The civic body is not known for paying much heed to the intricacies of the English language. We thank the BMC for providing us with a few seconds of fun.

Punches at Vile parle
An abusive husband was put in his place when he tried to beat up his wife at Vile Parle station. Passersby decided to intervene. It took five people to control the abusive husband. To add to it, a collegian punched the abuser. Of course, the Railway police was miles away. Abusive husbands beware, Mumbaikars are taking a stand against injustice

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