Mumbai Diary: Thursday theme

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

Keeping the Jammy fan thread going
Unlike new generations of cricketers who are known as much for their flamboyance as their skill, former India captain Rahul Dravid has maintained a clean image, not to mention a quiet one.

Rahul Dravid (r) with VVS Laxman at the razor launch yesterday. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Rahul Dravid (r) with VVS Laxman at the razor launch yesterday. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Like the Wall which he was nicknamed, he plays the strong, silent role, and though he is adorable on and off the field, there hasn’t been any link-up or scandal associated with him.

Or so we thought. Don’t worry, it’s still not a scandal. Yesterday, during the launch of a special-edition razor at a city hotel, when emcee Mandira Bedi quizzed the Wall about his encounter with crazy fans, he revealed a secret: “There was a girl who used to write letters to me every single day.

It had become a habit and there was a time when, if the letters didn’t come for some days, I used to feel anxious and wonder why there was no letter. Eventually the letters stopped, but today the same fan sends me rakhis!” Oh well, maybe his fan’s feelings have undergone a reorientation, as it were but hey, fandom still rules!

On a train of song
Dull train journeys can be well, dull, if you have no reading material or music to while away the time. Of course, there is people-watching and window-gazing but really, how many times can you look at the same thing on a routine commute? Sometimes, however, the train staff unwittingly provide a dose of humour to liven up the trip.

In the hustle-bustle of the train commute, a snatch of song might be nice
In the hustle-bustle of the train commute, a snatch of song might be nice

It happens once in a while that the motorman or guard makes an in-train announcement, and forgets to turn the mike off. One can then hear what’s going on in the background until he realizes it and turns it off.

There was one instance when the guard made a phone call to his wife and promised to pick up vegetables on the way home. Then, recently, we couldn’t help laughing when the announcement ended and the mike stayed on... and so did the announcer’s voice, singing an old Hindi film ditty. Suhaana safar aur yeh mausam haseen, indeed (except during the rainy season).

Time Travel Taxi
Comedian Sapan Verma tweeted, and we have to repeat it: “Got a Maruti 800 for a cab so instead of taking me to Colaba it took me back to 1995.”

Generally standing
The concept of space and time is best understood by those who commute on Mumbai’s local trains. Every minute matters, and so does every inch. Getting a window seat or even just an uncrowded compartment is luxury.

A young boy with goods hanging on to the footboard of a luggage compartment. Pic/Shakti Shetty
A young boy with goods hanging on to the footboard of a luggage compartment. Pic/Shakti Shetty

And this is the case with all the three lines of railway networks in our city. One more thing that’s common to Harbour, Central and Western is the way the so-called luggage compartment is utilised by daily passengers.

During the morning rush hour, people avoid them because of hasty vendors and the dabbawallahs who wouldn’t let their luggage-less counterparts sneak in.

At other times of the day, luggage compartment is a delight to be in illegally speaking, though given the space it has. No wonder it’s treated as a general compartment during the rest of the day! After all, there are no “barriers” per se in these chhotu compartments.

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