Mumbai Diary: Thursday theme

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

Peace in the air, and on ground
At the airport, it’s not just external threats that have to be guarded against. A spat between different arms of the airport administration can escalate into a tense situation, as happened at Kozhikode airport last week.

A member of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) insisted that an official of the fire department of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) should undergo security clearance. In the verbal and subsequently physical fight that ensued, one CISF jawan was killed and some others injured.

Not taking any chances, the CISF has undertaken sensitisation programmes at other airports including Mumbai, with the aim of maintaining peaceful relations between different airport sections. We wouldn’t mind seeing airline passengers given a quick course in politeness too, especially “high-flying” ones who are in the news these days for insulting air crew...

High notes for Ravi Iyer
Besides playing for rock bands Witchhammer, Vayu and Para Vayu, Mumbai-based guitar whiz Ravi Iyer is also known for his 2013 fusion album Bends. He has now added another feather to his cap, as his new song ‘786 (An Art Attack)’ was adjudged best song in the world beat category at the June 2015 Akademia Music Awards, California.

Ravi Iyer
Ravi Iyer

Besides Iyer on guitar, the song also features Fazal Qureshi on tabla, Dallas Smith on saxophone, Gino Banks on drums, Sheldon D’Silva on bass and Kunal Nath on morsing. It has a video co-produced by Mytri Aditya Warrior Productions. Naturally, Iyer is delighted. He says: “I am simply overwhelmed as this award has come to me purely by merit and was judged by the composition and performance.”

Akademia, a well-known online portal, invites submissions of music albums and songs from artistes across the world. What’s most impressive is the certificate it has given. It says: “Ravi Iyer is a genius of eclectic inclinations (and double-necked guitars), and ‘786 (An Art Attack)’a stands as one of the most intriguing world beat songs we’ve encountered in a long time.” Way to go.

Pooling resources
Yesterday’s autorickshaw strike evoked many different reactions. While the commuting public who take these three-wheelers regularly (and put up with their whims and fancies, too), were inconvenienced, there were car owners who were rejoicing at the relatively clear roads.

And while all these emotions were being played out on social media, some car owners pitched in to offer lifts to people, stating their route and time of departure. Now that was a heartening outcome of the auto strike - and we wonder why it should be restricted only to a state of disruption.

Why don’t car owners, who are driving their vehicles with two to three seats empty, offer car-pooling on a regular basis? Let the inconvenience result in collaboration, we say!

Popcorn at midnight
In the city that never sleeps, food is a commodity available at all times to its citizens. And people have travelled many a mile for that spicy sev puri or the buttery pav bhaji. One such stall that operates well past the midnight hour offers fresh and hot popcorn to its loyal customers.

And these customers actually go out of their way for it. For R 7 a packet, a food vendor at Malad station attracts scores of commuters who get off the train on platform no 1, enticed by the alluring smell of freshly popped corn. With a hint of turmeric, a dash of salt and some chilli, the popcorn packets sell like hot cakes, quite literally.

For many passengers, it is their nightly routine to get off at Malad, savour the fresh popcorn and catch the Virar local back home. With the monsoon showers now pouring in, the hot, fresh popcorn in hand brings back many nostalgic memories.

Out of the (post) box
While it is true that we lament the demise of letter-writing as a skill and rue the decline of the post office, it was still a bit of a shock to see that this has been taken literally, at least in one case.


Pics/Ashwin Ferro

This postbox at Matunga is missing its top and ironically, the little door that the postman uses for extricating letters is firmly locked! Even more tragi-comically, the open top of the postbox seems to be an invitation for random passers-by to use it as a dustbin.

We’re not sure whether it is a good thing that people are not throwing rubbish in the open, or whether to weep that a postbox is being used as a rubbish bin.

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