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Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts

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

ALS not well
The ice-bucket challenge must stop. If we could count the number of people who have accepted the challenge of pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over their heads to spread awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a motor-neuron disease, and calculate the amount of water wasted, we’re sure the quantity could help a handful of drought-stricken villages. No doubt this social media campaign, which started in the US and has now spread to Mumbai, has raised stupendous awareness. But we are not unaware of the water-shortage situation either. Hope Mumbaikars save every bucket and stop this criminal waste of water, and continue to donate money instead.

24Actor Sonakshi Sinha-l
Actor Sonakshi Sinha took the ice bucket challenge with an environmental-friendly approach by ‘pouring’ an empty bucket on her head. It is the donation that matters, she said

Not a wasted effort
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) held a press conference at the Press Club near Azad Maidan recently, where scientist Dr Sharad P Kale explained about Nisargruna technology, developed by the BARC which offers a comprehensive solution for handling the biodegradable waste materials. While this technology is being used by corporations and big firms, Dr Kale was questioned about how waste should be handled by ordinary persons, housing societies and small establishments.

Dr Sharad Kale
OPTIMISTIC: Dr Sharad Kale with a small, simple project to illustrate his point. Pic/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI

The first step of course, is to segregate garbage, which is not followed by most housing societies, it was stressed. Dr Kale stated that the method is assiduously followed everywhere in the West. “In Germany  and Japan, too, everything is followed so methodically,” Kale reminisced about a trip to Tokyo “where a top-level officer told me, we are all servants of the environment.” Dr Kale, though, did not want to dwell on the negatives in India. “Awareness will come, here, too. It is a slow process, but we must not despair,” said the top scientist taking heart from the fact that school kids were hugely interested in the invention he took to demonstrate waste management, a covered pot with a plant inside. This man of science stated that a school in Indore has even emulated his project, which showed handling of waste in a simplified, compact way. Obviously, here, imitation was the best form of flattery and learning, we may add.

Morning drill
You’re at the platform waiting for your regular local train to arrive. As it snakes in, you notice that certain things don’t change  at all. A dog is lazing on the platform unperturbed by the hustle-bustle of humans in its vicinity while fellow male commuters are removing their bags from their back so as to hang in on their front.

Train
Early hours at Jogeshwari railway station

This practice allows ‘smoother’ entry into an overcrowded compartment. About a hundred yards away, as usual, some jaywalkers are trying to cross the track before the approaching train could hit them. Daredevils of the mundane types they are! Would it be right to call them idiots or wrong to call the train a mass murderer? As a daily commuter, you don’t answer such disturbing questions. After all, you’ve got some place to be on time.

It's that time of the year
With Ganesha coming home to Mumbai this week, there’s already a festive buzz at Lalbaug, which is home to Lalbaugcha Raja, one of the most popular idols in the city, for 10 days every year. Approximately, 10 million devotees queue up for a glimpse of ‘bappa’.

For those commuting to and fro the area, it is time to brace yourself, hold on to your bags and prepare to walk upstream, through the sea of revellers and devotees.

At this time of the year, push literally comes to shove.

We are banking on the Mumbai Police bandobast to streamline the chaos.

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