Mumbai Diary: Thursday theme

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

Naughty boy learnt his lesson
Sachin Tendulkar had signed around 800 times by 8 pm on Tuesday evening.

He was not done for the night as a select group of journalists, who were invited for an event as a build-up for yesterday’s book release function, requested for the batting icon’s inscription.

Tendulkar was visibly delighted to meet members of the group. Several of them covered him from his formative years. “The media have been very supportive even during my school days,” he said while admitting that at times he “completely disagreed” with their views.

He remembered his first ever mention in a newspaper. He scored 24 in an inter-school game and someone told him that his individual score could be changed from 24 to 30 to qualify for a press clipping.

He agreed to have it changed but soon received admonishment from his coach Ramakant Achrekar. “Sir said if you wish to see your name in the newspaper them you better score runs and do it,” said Tendulkar.

Like most mistakes in his cricket, it was never repeated.

Body building gets money muscle
For a sport that is still not on the corporate radar, body building got a fillip when Yash Birla (quite the body building corporate himself) sponsored the Birla Nutristrength Mr Mumbai Novices, a local competition for upcoming body builders, recently at Shivaji Mandir, Dadar.

Whose biceps are the biggest of all? Yash Birla (r) and former Mr India Shyam Rahate (l) along with competitors at the Shivaji Mandir, Dadar. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Whose biceps are the biggest of all? Yash Birla (r) and former Mr India Shyam Rahate (l) along with competitors at the Shivaji Mandir, Dadar. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Siddhant Jaiswal was adjudged champion of champions in the competition, but the bigger picture is that a corporate house got associated with the sport, something that the body building fraternity has long been hoping for. It is also notable that Birla is associated at a local, grassroots level.

Cash prizes were modest, but one can only hope that a start has been made. The next stride will be when Mumbai hosts the World Body Building Championships at Goregaon in early December.

E-shopping can be e-stressful
Recently consumers and social media were a-twitter, not to mention a-flutter, with the fiasco surrounding flash sales and slashed prices, which led to not only crashing of the sites but also a whole lot of disgruntled customers.

The Competition Commission of India has received complaints about unfair practices on the part of these online marketing firms, and we should be hearing of a decision soon. Meanwhile, one site hit the headlines a few days ago when, instead of a smartphone, it delivered a bar of dishwashing soap and a scrubber to a customer.

The site apologised to the customer but surely they should have sent him a replacement phone free of cost, we think. That was done, unexpectedly enough, by the soap company whose product had mistakenly reached the buyer. The firm actually sent the man a brand new smartphone, as well as a pack of dishwashing liquid bottles.

We have to stand back in admiration at their PR savvy, more so as they had absolutely no need to do this. That’s what we call being proactive.

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