Mumbai Diary: Tuesday tales

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

The mother side
It was heartening to see more than a dozen mothers of young footballers from Don Bosco (Matunga) turn up wearing a white jersey with the school logo to cheer their kids who participated in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boy’s U-8 inter-school football match at Azad Maidan on Monday.

Moms in tees: Proud parental support. Pic/Atul Kamble

Call it lady luck or maternal blessings — the young boys from Matunga defeated St Stanislaus (Bandra) 1-0 to win the title, and the mothers couldn’t be happier.

“This was an important final and hence all the mothers of the team players decided that we would all wear the jersey with the school logo to cheer for our children. We borrowed the jersey from the school authorities. We went to the school principal expressing our wish to and he obliged. Our happiness has been doubled as the kids won the title,” said one of the elated mothers.

Carry on, Martin
Tuesday Tales is surprised that former New Zealand cricket captain and batting great Martin Crowe will be in town this week. Reason? Not long after he was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, he blamed his weak immune system on the various illnesses he picked up while travelling across the cricketing globe in the 1980s and 1990s.

Fortunately, Crowe, from all accounts, has conquered cancer and we’ll be happy to see him again - for this Friday’s ESPNcricinfo Awards at a suburban five-star hotel. After all, it’s been a while.

Crowe was last here as a cricketer for New Zealand’s 1995 tour of India where he donned the silver fern cap in international cricket for the very last time. His most memorable moment of the tour was his one-day international hundred at Jamshedpur. Since then, he has been an excellent commentator, a reputed producer for Sky Sports in Kiwiland and now a straight-talking columnist.

Come Friday, Crowe will be on stage with another batting class act, Rahul Dravid, discussing award-winners of the evening. Doubtless, the organisers have something to Crowe about.

Rats! It’s T2
Perhaps not content with holding up flights, rats seem to have decided to strike even before the plane takes off. Our colleague was accompanying his cousin to the city’s swank new international airport Terminal 2 (T2, going by its wildlife-sounding popular name) on Saturday night. The duo parked their car at level 8 of the carpark and were heading towards Departure’s level 9 by the stair, when they came upon an unexpected visitor – a rat.

Cornered: The rat was in T2 but did not possess a valid boarding pass. Pic/Pravin Mahida

Trouble is, the visitor seemed only too much at home there…

Veiled influence
Elected representatives believe in displaying prominent banners or hoardings to announce any work done under their aegis — be it construction of a public toilet, road repairs or beautification of a public garden. The announcement generally hails the functionary as a “karyasamrat”, although the work has been done using public funds — that is, the taxpayer’s money. 

With the election code of conduct in force, such display is not allowed, and boards that come up despite the ban are perforce covered. Similar was the case with the swank plaque (it sounds just too downmarket to call it a “board”) put up to mark the beautification of the garden at Maharshi Walmiki Chowk, near Vidhan Bhavan. It was immediately covered with newspaper, but that cannot hide the fact that the plaque is so swank, one wonders whether its beautification cost more than that of the garden.

Even more mystifyingly, one can discern — despite the paper veils — that the implementing agency for the beautification work is the Mumbai Slum Repair Board. From slum to garden? How we hope it won’t be the other way round!

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