Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

We are all prisoners here
Recently, this diarist was at one of the newly revamped single-screen cinemas watching an old Marx Brothers’ classic, The Ducks Soup. It was a night show and there were hardly any other people in the audience. What struck the diarist as odd and even a tad scary was not catching a movie at a near-empty theatre, but the fact that the theatre had pulled down all its shutters while the screening was underway. The gates didn’t even open during the intervals. It was only once the movie was over did the guard appear and unlock the gates. Apart from making the patrons feel like prisoners, we think this practice is potentially dangerous. Although, the officials do not allow people to smoke inside the premises (they don’t even allow people to go out to light a cigarette during the about being strict disciplinarians), what if a fire erupts or some other kind of emergency situation occurs? The patrons here are at the mercy of the gatekeeper.

David Hookes
A 1977 picture of Australian batsman David Hookes PIC/Getty Images

A ‘Hookesy’ yarn on his birth anniversary
Australian batsman David Hookes, who succumbed to his death after being punched outside a Melbourne pub in 2004, would have been 60 today. ‘Hookesy’ as he was known to cricket fans the world over, was as gregarious as they come. He had plenty of yarns to tell, but there were also great stories about the southpaw. Our favourite one is about his jaw injury during Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket in 1977. West Indies pace ace Andy Roberts’ short ball broke Hookes’ jaw at Sydney. Hookes had to be taken to hospital, but the ambulance did not land up on time. So, Packer of all people volunteered to drive Hookes to St Vincent’s hospital. Packer drove his Jaguar at frightening speed on the crowded streets of Sydney. When a scared Hookes asked his boss what he was trying to do, Packer said, “Don’t worry, young fellow. I’m just trying to keep the attention off your jaw.” And he did. Within a few days, Hookes was back on the field again and he used the hook shot again against Roberts. This time with success although he had a crash helmet on to protect him.

Hear and now: Even dolphins have wings: Not a bird, not a plane, but a fish! Illustration: Amit Bandre

Dolphins? Elementary, My dear Watson
ONE of the benefits of travelling in crowded trains is that one does not need an excuse, or has little option but,
to eavesdrop on conversations of your fellow passengers. So, with two dolphins found dead on Marine Drive recently, both in fairly quick succession… (for those not in the know, we must tell you that two dead dolphins were washed ashore Marine Drive, a few days back), it was a conversation about dolphins time for two lady commuters recently. One lady was overheard telling the other, “I do not know how all these dolphins are landing up at Marine Drive.” To which, the other replied, “Hey, I think they must have got there from the aquarium somehow. Jumped out of the tank and into the sea,” she said half in jest. Huh? The Taraporevala Aquarium? Imagine Mumbaikars on Marine Drive watching dolphins jump out of the aquarium, fly across the road and fall into the sea. That should bring traffic to a screeching halt in Mumbai. In a city where anything goes, this surely touches a new height in bizarre. Meanwhile the dead (dolphins) stay dumb.

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