Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Tales

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

Idle time for idols
For a people-watcher, the local trains are never short of interesting vignettes. Be it the latest songs belted out by pint-sized (and out-of-tune) singers, knick-knacks and household items sold by the bunchful, or the occasional juicy bit of gossip one overhears, the train journey is often all the entertainment you need. On the Central Railway recently, we were a little startled to find Lord Krishna in the doorway.

Everyone travels by local train. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
Everyone travels by local train. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Dressed in full regalia, but with dark glasses lending a modern touch, the man even posed with his flute in the classic stance that so many images of Krishna are seen in. He said his name is Adbhut Swami Shri Krishna , and he is from Agar Road, Ujjain. “I always wear this outfit,” he said. “One of my devotees has called me from Rabale, Navi Mumbai, so I am going there.”

Dosa were the days...
There is a new reason to visit the canteen at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) head office, next to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Already famous for its good, reasonably priced food, the canteen is frequented not just by BMC staff but also visitors from outside, including police personnel posted at Azad Maidan.

However, after the office-going lunch crowd abates, the canteen’s menu usually features meagre fare such as vada and bhajiya. In fact, reporters who hope for a quick bite before rushing back to write their stories are generally disappointed to find they are too late.

But there was a pleasant surprise for mediapersons on BMC duty recently. Apparently, following growing unhappiness over the vadas and bhajiyas, the canteen management has updated the evening menu to include masala dosa. Now, the canteen is no longer empty after 5pm in fact, some people wait for the substantial snack to make its appearance. The way to anyone’s heart, it appears, is still food...

The parking bus-ness
As schools across the city wind down for the Christmas holidays, one sees that the city’s roads have been taken up by yellow school buses. These buses seem to be parked everywhere, outside buildings, in residential areas and commercial.

We would have been suspended from the sky, this school bus with pigeons on top seems to say
We would have been suspended from the sky, this school bus with pigeons on top seems to say

The parking crunch in Mumbai has obviously affected these school vehicles too, so you see the egg-yolk-coloured vehicles parked wherever they get a free space, especially late evenings and night time. Easier said than done, but maybe the school bus association and road authorities need to sit down to come up with some solution to the parking problem.

Earmarked zones maybe? One doesn’t really know but one thing is certain experts and bus authorities need to see what can be done about this. First, you had tourist buses (still have them in fact) and now school buses dotted all over the city.

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