Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

Booked for reading
like most booklovers, this diarist too cannot put a good book down. So from Versova Metro, where this diarist starts her commute to work, to Lower Parel, where she alights, her head is lost in delicious pages.

Pic for representation only
Pic for representation only

The latest treat was Irving Stone’s Agony and the Ecstacy, Michelangelo’s fictional biography. Lostin the world of Duomo, David, and the Pieta, she bumped into a ticket checker at Lower Parel. “I have been noticing you every day. If I see you reading a book one more time, I’ll charge you a fine. Chalke koi padhta hai? (Who reads while walking?),” she asked. While we don’t promise to stop this habit, we’ll surely keep an eye out for the ticket checker!

Vote before you holiday
With the civic polls around the corner, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) officials are urging voters to come out and ink their finger on polling day. Worried that many voters will take off on their annual vacations, the NMMC is conducting plays across its jurisdiction, urging voters not to leave the city before April 22.

The play, which highlights the importance of voting, will be conducted across 36 major locations under the corporation’s jurisdiction, including Sanpada, Vashi, Nerul, Belapur, Digha, Airoli, Rabale and Koparkhairne, every evening. Municipal Commissioner, Dinesh Waghmare, said, “In the 10-minute play, people from different backgrounds and age groups talk about the importance of voting.

We request the citizens not to skip their fundamental right to vote.” The body has also put up banners across the city, requesting voters to turn up at booths on April 22. With the help of State Election Commission’s the NNMC has issued a circular asking various commercial sectors to grant a day-off to its staff on the voting day or a two-hour leave.

You hear it from Curtly... finally!
Curtly talks to no one,” are words which cricket journalists the world over were familiar with when West Indies pace ace Ambrose bowled with fire for his country. It meant, Ambrose didn’t believe in indulging in Public Relations. For him, just like his fellow great Antiguan Sir Vivian Richards, his actions did all the talking.

Curtly Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose

But now, Curtly talks… to Birmingham-based journalist Richard Sydenham for a book called Curtly Ambrose Time to Talk. The book, which will be soon available in the Indian market, has a dash of controversy concerning batting icon Brian Lara. A little birdie also tells us that Ambrose dedicates a full chapter to Lara and Sachin Tendulkar.

Typical of Ambrose, he doesn’t get into comparing the two greats, but he says this: “They were two different kinds of players; two greats who I would have in my side all the time. I would never want to compare them in terms of who was the better player because they were so different. Brian Lara took more chances when he was batting and was a bit of a showman. I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense, I am simply referring to how he was a crowd pleaser, an entertainer.

“He would play more shots and be more adventurous in his stroke play. Tendulkar will entertain you as well and play some great shots that will make you sit up and watch, but in a less flamboyant manner because he did not like to take chances. They were both destroyers but in different ways.

Their personalities are also very different. I know Brian better than I know Tendulkar but what I have observed is that Tendulkar has achieved a lot over the years and has always remained humble. That is a great quality to have as he could easily have become swell-headed through his status.

He has never allowed his great career to go to his head or looked down on people, has always remained grounded, and I respect him for that. Brian is the opposite. He likes to have fun and party, have a drink or two. He is a very carefree kind of person and enjoys himself immensely. But I can tell you one thing: when Brian stepped over that rope he wanted to win 100 per cent and wanted to score big runs.

Apart from moments on the 1995 England tour, which I have mentioned, Brian always gave everything for West Indies and caught well, fielded well and always got you runs.”

By telling his story, the current West Indies bowling expert Ambrose has emulated fellow West Indian fast bowlers who have autobiographies to their name like Michael Holding (Whispering Death and No Holding Back), Malcolm Marshall (Marshall Arts) and Joel Garner (Big Bird Flying High) We can’t wait for the book now.

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