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Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts

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

In hot pursuit
Last week, Mumbai sweltered due to some unexpected hot days after a (short, sweet) cold spell. While some chose to sleep through them at Shivaji Park in Dadar, it was just another workday for this peanut vendor.


Pic/Emmanual Karbhari

Digital green man
No, he is no naturalist. Nor does he go about planting trees or fighting the timber lobby. But the very nature of his business makes Sunil Khandbahale the man millions of trees would thank, if they could speak. The soft-spoken owner of the website, khandbahale.com, is India’s biggest digital dictionary creator. A relatively unknown face in Mumbai’s page 3 circuit, this Nashik resident was the toast of an exclusive single malt tasting event at a Worli five-star earlier this week. A recent written accolade he received from a UN body congratulated him for saving the lives of a million trees, no less, every time khandbahale.com brings out a digital dictionary that is used by people instead of a printed one! Incidentally he brings out dictionaries in 11 different Indian languages. “You have already saved us one whole forest,” an awestruck socialite told him at the party. Khandbahale, not used to such praise, could only smile shyly. A true hero.

What’s in a name?
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has a problem uttering the names of certain areas in the state. While announcing the first list of his party’s candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Thackeray addressed Osmanabad by it’s earlier name of Dharashiv. After he had announced the names of some candidates, a journalist at the press conference asked him who would be contesting from Osmanabad? “Where is Osmanabad? Is it in Maharashtra? I am only aware about a place called Dharashiv,” he told the surprised scribe. Will playing the religion card all the time work for the party this time? Time will tell.

Love thy reptil
Even some heavily congested residential areas in the city are home to a large variety of reptiles — snakes, monitor lizards and other species. But most of these reptiles won’t normally attack humans and there is no need to panic or kill them. Mumbai based NGO, Aves and Reptile Rescue Unit (ARRU), recently organised a seminar on the effects of deforestation and importance of wildlife conservation to over 200 students at Sanpada.  ARRU operates in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The unit has a team of seven trained reptile and wildlife rescuers on their rolls. A noble effort, this.

mid-day in Jo’burg!
ON Thursday, one of cricket’s living legends turned 70. Graeme Pollock, the South African batsman whose career average of 60.97 is only second to Bradman’s 99.94 among retired Test players can be called a true legend. To highlight to its readers why Pollock was such a great batsman, mid-day asked one of his contemporaries and sunday mid-day columnist Ian Chappell to pen a birthday tribute. Sydney-based Chappelli did so willingly in fine fashion and a copy of the piece reached the Pollock residence in Johannesburg. We were happy to be told that Pollock’s better half Janie read the piece out to all his friends who attended a party on the evening of Thursday, February 27. It was a memorable day for Pollock, who recently underwent a cancer operation. He missed his friend Chappelli, who attended a surprise 50th birthday party for him in 1994 when the forthright former Aussie captain was in SA as part of a commentary team. Indeed, mid-day is read in South Africa as well.

Switch off
Social media helps us connect. But it is also one of the most disruptive mediums. Recently, we heard a socialite telling another, “I wish they build a new app that can shut down all apps in one click. And they can call it Shut App.” Not a bad idea, we say.

Contributed by: Ranjeet Jadhav, Clayton Murzello, Dhiman Chattopadhyay and Varun Singh

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