Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Tales

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

Turn over a white leaf
With Mahashivratri being celebrated by devotees of Lord Shiva today, it is inevitable that large quantities of milk is likely to be wasted during ceremonies. The Rotaract Club of Mumbai Mulund South had taken the initiative to address this problem last year, with its White Revolution Programme.

Club members (or “Rotaractors”) had asked devotees, instead of pouring milk by the litre, to pour just a tablespoon and to donate the rest. In this way, about 160 litres of good milk was collected, which was donated to the poor. As a statement from the club said, “Pouring such large quantities of milk in the name of ‘The Lord’ especially in a country like ours where countless go to sleep every night without a meal this itself defies the very basics of devotion.

We aim to throw some light on the grave issue of the misuse of milk and persuade the devotees to make a rational, well-reasoned choice. It is an appeal to not waste the milk, instead give it to the needy.” Makes eminent sense, and we are sure that Shiva himself would agree. We hope reason prevails this year, too.

Shady stuff
Though Fifty Shades of Grey has not yet hit our screens, chatter around it is ongoing. We particularly liked this tweet from technopreneur Amit Paranjape: “Fifty Shades of Grey … that’s the Doordarshan TV broadcast many of us grew up with!”

Flutes and more
The curtains will come down soon on the Indian classical music season, so rush to catch the last few strains in the city. Smritiyaan, a concert for Indian percussionist Pt Chatur Lal, will be held at Shanmukhananda Hall, on February 20.

The evening will see Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt on the veena accompanied by Pt Sudhir Pandey and Pranshu Chaturlal on the tabla. Flute maestro Pt Ronu Majumdar says he is “excited” to perform on the occasion. Passes are available at Shanmukhananda Hall (24044141) and Rhythm House (43222701). Sounds good, we think.

Mum’s love is no monkey business
Visitors to pilgrimage sites and picnic spots often have to contend with the original residents of those areas birds, of course, and also bands of monkeys, some of which make a career out of picking at food that travellers bring along.

The mother seems to be asking
The mother seems to be asking

On a recent visit to the shrine of Malang Gad, also known as Haji Malang, about 13 km from Kalyan, we encountered the usual groups of monkeys but also spotted a few endearing scenes.

Sometimes, a hug is all you need. Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar
Sometimes, a hug is all you need. Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar

There were youngsters making faces, some monkeys sitting in solitude as if meditating, and mother-and-child pair which we could not resist photographing.

Original Little Master Hanif watched India vs Pak game from hospital bed
Just on Sunday, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar wrote in these columns about fellow batting great and the original Little Master Hanif Mohammad (in picture) from Pakistan.

Hanif Mohammad
Hanif Mohammad

Gavaskar admitted how he couldn’t get his eyes off the prolific batsman in the 1960 Test match at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium where Hanif scored 160 before he was run out via a throw from Vijay Manjrekar, fielding at deep third man.

Tuesday Tales caught up with 80-year-old, Karachi-based Hanif over the phone and discovered that he was in hospital for the last few days. Battling liver cancer, Hanif spent a few days in hospital to cure his stomach problem and urine infection. He had to watch Sunday’s India vs Pakistan game on television from his hospital bed.

His sportsmanship came shining through when he stayed away from any harsh comment about his national team and stressed that the better team won. “India played superb cricket and it was a treat to see Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina score runs,” he said, quickly adding that Shikhar Dhawan played a good hand too.

“Dhawan is daring,” he said. He was disappointed that the Pakistanis, who were always known for their bowling strength, now have problems with their bowling attack. In the same breath he said that they have lost only one game and a strong comeback could not be ruled out. His optimism reflected the way he has fought his dreaded illness. May he achieve life’s biggest victory soon. Keep well, Sir.

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