Mumbai Diary: Thursday theme

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

Dolly-do-well
Film stars don’t always make appearances for just publicity, sometimes there’s a good cause involved. Director and actor Arbaaz Khan is turning up at Inox theatre in Korum Mall, Thane (W), at 11.30am today, February 12, for a screening of the film Dolly Ki Doli, for 300 special children. The screening is being held in association with the Maharashtra Go Green Foundation, an NGO working in the field of education and healthcare.

Woofing good ride
The local train is host to all sorts of passengers. The other day we saw a woman in the second-class ladies compartment holding her dog in her arms like a baby, with his front paws over her shoulder.

Not a small Pomeranian or a pug, this was a German Shepherd mix sizeable, but docile as a baby. In fact, human kids were yelling and crying but the canine was quietly enjoying the ride and the attention. Sadly, we were too far away to take a picture, but plenty of other commuters did.

Thane ahead in global city race
Not Mumbai, not Delhi. The two traditional urban rivals have not made it to the finalists’ list from India for the most-loved city contest. Yes, there is such a thing, and no, we don’t know why our city isn’t there. Our neighbour, however, is Thane has made it to the list, along with Pune and Rajkot.

The contest is a campaign by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), called We Love Cities. Dubbed a “celebration of the most loveable sustainable cities”, the campaign hopes to inspire and raise awareness on sustainable action in cities.

The campaign is a part of WWF’s global initiative Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC), which mobilises action and support from cities in the global transition towards a sustainable future powered by renewable energy. Over 40 finalist cities from countries around the world have been selected in this year’s challenge, and you can vote for your own favourite city on the website www.welovecities.org.

Thane, which features in the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy’s “Development of Solar Cities” programme, is recognised for its progressive and proactive actions on the solar front and is undertaking concerted efforts to meet its target of 6 per cent renewables by 2015. Pune is part of the centre’s flagship “Smart Cities” scheme and has been identified under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Also, under the Twin City Programme of the urban development ministry that calls for cities from different countries to develop a strategic agreement, share best practices and establish public-private partnerships, Pune has partnered with San Jose, USA, the Korean government and Okayama, Japan. The We Love Cities winners will be awarded on April 9 at Seoul, South Korea along with the Global Earth Hour Capital at the EHCC award ceremony.

Wise Words
Spotted: A street urchin sporting a T-shirt as grubby as him, with the barely discernible words, “Read books, not T-shirts.”

Giving them the finger
Street vendors of all ages have an innovative way of selling their wares. Be it hairclips, chunky jewellery, earrings or just plain hair bands, they can make the simplest of words sound peculiar.

One such urchin was selling rings in a tray at Colaba Causeway. He kept bellowing “Finger-ring” to every passing firang. One “fair lady” did a double take, hearing “Finger-ring”, “Finger-ring” called out to her.

She asked her Indian companion, “Did he just say what I think I heard?”The Indian girl assured her that there was a space between the two words, and the urchin was just selling finger rings. The duo had a hearty laugh and walked away with a dinner tale up their sleeve.

The run is over, flyover!
It has been almost a month since the Mumbai marathon was run, on Sunday, January 18 to be precise. The sweat has long dried on brows and elite athletes have, one dare say, already started their preparations for running other marathons in the world.

Signs announcing road diversions for the Mumbai Marathon are still up, even three weeks later. Pic/Chirag Waghela
Signs announcing road diversions for the Mumbai Marathon are still up, even three weeks later. Pic/Chirag Waghela

Why then do these signboards still exist at the Santacruz-Vakola flyover? We spotted them at the start on the left hand side and then a little later on the right of the flyover. Marathon organisers Procam were also bewildered as to why the signs were not removed, and told us that these things are handled by the traffic police.

Meanwhile, we urge the cops to move at marathon speed (last 100m to go, sprint to the finish) and remove these signs, as they can be extremely misleading, especially for out-of-towners and even people from elsewhere in Mumbai, who may not know the marathon is long over.  The cops, who do such a great job on race day, now must keep up their reputation, post-race too. Hotfoot it, sirs.

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