Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

Rose way
So, you must have seen all those little boys and girls selling flowers at several traffic signals in the city. They make their way through cars, exhorting drivers and passengers to buy the blooms which are very attractive in most cases. We recently bore witness to a funny incident. A passenger in a BEST bus wanted a bunch of red ‘n’ white roses a little boy was selling at Peddar Road, near the Jaslok Hospital traffic signal.

Illustration / Amit Bandre

The bus, which was partially empty,  was waiting at a traffic signal. The passenger beckoned the little boy to come near the bus window. They haggled a bit on the price, with the boy straining to talk to the passenger as the window was at a height. There was also the problem of how he would give him the flowers, as the bars of the window were too narrow to allow the bouquet to go through. Soon though, the traffic signal’s light turned from red to green and the passenger knew it was time for some quick thinking. He called the flower seller aboard and the boy boarded the bus to the amusement of other passengers. Then, the passenger paid for a ticket for two stops ahead and bought the flowers from the delighted boy. The seller alighted at a bus stop later, while the passenger got his roses. All in a day’s work for Mumbai, we say.

Killer buses?
This diarist recently almost lost her life while trying to board a Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus. You read it right. While waiting for the bus home at a bus stop in Lower Parel, a BEST bus nearly roared past, without stopping. When commuters signalled the bus to stop, the bus driver decided to slow down the vehicle instead of stopping it at the bus stop, thus forcing passengers to hop into the vehicle while it was still, technically, in motion.

Pic for representational purpose only
Pic for representational purpose only

This diarist, angry at the injustice and callousness of it all, yelled at the conductor, berating him and the driver for not stopping the vehicle and putting at risk the lives of passengers. While the driver preferred to completely ignore the outburst, the deadpan conductor, playing the classic blame game, remarked, “This is not my duty. If you have any issues, speak to the driver.” So it doesn’t matter if you just escaped nursing a broken neck or leg — for, in this city, sab chalta hai. Right?

In Kapil Dev’s style
On a day that India beat Bangladesh in the quarter finals of the World Cup 2015 to enter the semi finals, whom do we see but Kapil Dev strolling calmly down the road near Phoenix Mills, Parel.

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev. File Pic

This diarist was in a taxi at around 8.30 pm when she spotted him and was surprised that he was walking down the road so unassumingly. There was traffic on the road, or else, we would have definitely got out to get his opinion on Rohit Sharma’s brilliant century. We wonder whether he would have said ‘Rohit da jawab nahi’, taking a cue from his yesteryear ad for a shaving cream. Now that would have been something to write about!

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