Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

Did Jimmy let it flow like Fiery Fred?
On Friday, James Anderson became the 12th bowler to reach the coveted landmark of 400 wickets. Interestingly, he is the only Englishman in this club consisting of three Indians (Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh), two Australians (Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath), a couple of West Indians (Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh) and one each from South Africa (Shaun Pollock), Pakistan (Wasim Akram), New Zealand (Richard Hadlee) and Sri Lanka — the highest wicket-taker of them all — Muttiah Muralitharan with 800 wickets.

England’s James Anderson celebrates after dismissing New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson to claim his 401st Test wicket at Leeds on Friday

But the first man to reach 300 Test wickets was an Englishmen — gregarious Yorkshireman Fred Trueman.
Now, Trueman was never known for his modesty. Not long after stumps on the third day (August 15, 1964) when he achieved his feat by having Australia’s Neil Hawke caught at first slip by Colin Cowdrey at the Oval in London, Trueman was surrounded by the Press and was asked whether he thought that his record would be broken someday. “Whoever does it, will be bloody tired,” he said. Eleven years later, West Indies’ spinner Lance Gibbs scaled Peak 300.

Fred Trueman. Pic/Getty Images

After making that comment to the media, Trueman excused himself, headed for the Oval dressing room, walked into a bathroom, bolted the door and let it flow. Not the shower, but tears. And said to himself, “I’ve done it, despite everything.”

Wonder what Anderson must have done when he was all by himself at the Leeds (incidentally the late Trueman’s home ground) dressing room on Friday.

Applause, of course
Let us hear it for Nazir Hoosein, owner of the Liberty theatre near the Bombay Hospital. Incidentally, the Liberty is rainbow-hued as it is one of the three venues of the Kashish Queer Film Festival, which ends today in Mumbai.

Point made: Nazir Hoosein (R) at the Liberty Theatre for the Kashish Film Festival. Pic/Shadab Khan

Hoosein told the audience as the curtains went up on Kashish, a couple of days ago, “I make no profound statements. I am just saying that so many countries outside India, are today clearing the path or debating gay marriage. It is time to get a move on, India.” His statement will reverberate long after the curtains have fallen on the festival, the lights have dimmed and the sound systems are switched off. Truly, it is time to get a move on India. 

Time stops at this café
While this diarist sat waiting for a friend who was running late, she took the opportunity to take a closer look at her surroundings at Cafe Universal in Fort.

Wooden ceiling beams, tables and cream-coloured walls at Cafe Universal at Fort. Pics/Phorum Dalal

Situated in a bylane, the quaint tables with porcelain tiles, wooden ceiling beams and cream walls transported her into a time when Mumbai was Bombay.

It was a heartening to visit an eatery that opened in 1921. Even the clock on one of the walls had a sepia-coloured picture of the city. Today, when our fast-paced life only gets faster, these cafes are gems that have stopped in another time.

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