Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

Pinch, pinch, we’ve done it
ONLY the other day in this newspaper, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was quoted from a latest book as admitting to crying in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium’s dressing room after his team beat Sri Lanka to lift the 2011 World Cup. Even the toughest of men are moved to tears of joy. Ask Dean Jones, who was part of Allan Border’s World Cup-winning team in 1987 when they beat arch-rivals England at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, a year after Jones scored an epic, against-all-odds  double century in the Tied Test at Madras. Jones wrote a piece for the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week and described the scenes in the Eden dressing room as they tried to digest the sweet meal of victory.

Allan Border
Allan Border holds the World Cup trophy; (inset) Dean Jones Pic courtesy/ANS

Jones wrote: “I ran in and picked up a stump and ran to hug our beloved captain Allan Border.  I couldn’t let him go. There was emotion from all the hard work and the disbelief, that we finally won a World Cup.

“When all the commotion settled in the dressing rooms an hour later, we all sat and stared at each other for 10 seconds in silence. It was just a beautiful moment. I felt everyone was subconsciously saying thank you to each other and that we would be friends for life. Swampy (Geoff) Marsh then shouted out, ‘What the hell have we done?’I had tears running down my face and was hoping this moment would never finish. This is when I wanted to have my family with me, particularly my dad. To have him in the room with me would have been great.”

Unfortunately, Australia could not replicate their exploits in the next World Cup held in their country and New Zealand in 1992. Border’s men were expected to win, but they were simply not as good as they were in 1987. Would it be the same in India’s case this time? We’ll just play safe and say, stranger things have happened in this game.

All things bright ‘n’ beautiful
one is used to seeing signs like ‘Work in Progress’ or ‘Caution’ at various junctures on our roads. From intersections to pavements, Mumbai is peppered with such signs, because of the constant repair, rework and renovation of infrastructure—either  cables, pipes or the ever present and infamous paver blocks.

Elphinstone Bridge
Beautification work in progress under the Elphinstone Bridge. Pic/Nimesh Dave

You know how the script goes. So, we were pleasantly surprised to see this sign below the flyover from Dadar leading up to Elphinstone recently. The metal sheets do not just say: ‘Work in Progress’, but specify that ‘Beautification Work in Progress’. Ah, this gray and concretised city can certainly do with some beauty. Maybe the next time, a small signboard can inform citizens about what exactly is going to be done —flower beds? greenery? statues? Well like they say, whatever. We say aye, aye to the aesthetics and a thumbs up for the information too.

Gull power
THis diarists took a wonderful ride from Mumbai to Mandwa in a ferry catamaran last Wednesday. While a large section of the seating area is an air-conditioned enclosure, we preferred to sit outside in the open air.

Gull power
Representation pic

Throughout the 45-minute ride, sabine gulls flew along – not to give us company, but to catch tit-bit items people were throwing to them. From biscuits to fresh fruit, their beaks caught it all. The scene resembled a well-practiced circus act. It was a great opportunity to see the birds up close, their white wings spread out as they munched on. The waves, the sun and the birds in flight made for a picturesque sight.

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