Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Tales

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

The tide hath turned
What, what what? That’s smokin’ hot. The swimsuits in the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week held at a Lower Parel hotel made one think how far we have come as a swimsuit nation.

Models flaunt swimwear at the recently concluded Fashion Week in the city. Pic/AFP
Models flaunt swimwear at the recently concluded Fashion Week in the city. Pic/AFP

Those who have salt ‘n’ pepper (some salt, more pepper, maybe) in their hair, remember a time when ‘grandma’ kind of women’s swimsuits were the norm here. The awful fitting ones that tended to slip off the shoulders or float a little loosely after a few washes, making them impossible to wear.

Terrible fabric and design was the rule rather than the exception. Regular swimmers would have to request aunty, uncle or even the neighbour who is an air-hostess to bring back swimwear from phoren, or ‘imported’ as we said then. Mucho has changed since then, and we only hope that the quality continues to improve to go with the va va voom and very eye-catching designs.

Admitted these look great on the leggy models, but they may look good on less leggy morals too. Overall we can say this is part of the overall national development index of India.

Opting for the luxury train
When this diarist was travelling by train, a group of people who were sitting in the Andheri local train left it to commute by the new Bombardier train that was headed to Churchgate.

The new Bombardier trains on the Western Railway seem to have become a favourite with commuters. Pic/Atul Kamble
The new Bombardier trains on the Western Railway seem to have become a favourite with commuters. Pic/Atul Kamble

Although the train they were in was comparatively empty, the commuters still chose to experience travelling in the “comfortable” and “luxurious” train at least, in their view. Currently, there are only two such trains on the Western Railway network.

These trains have bucket seats, more leg space, better ventilation and comfortable handles. When new things debut, there is always a craze to check them out. Commuters seem to have been bitten by the bug as they run to catch the new train on the block for a trial run.

Fruitily creative... or not?
The heat is on, and so is the quest for thirst-quenching liquids. Be it sugarcane juice, the ubiquitous “thanda meetha lemon-orange” or the attractive, deep-red watermelon, the onset of summer means brisk business for juice and soft drink vendors. Of course, being as we are quintessentially desi, the spellings of these fruits and juices leaves a lot to be desired.

Sometimes we have words that sound like foreign languages, and now and then one is left puzzled trying to figure out what the vendor is selling. We came across this juice seller outside the metro at Andheri East, for example, who was selling what seems to be Japanese liquor but it’s actually our everyday milkshake, with the omission of one letter turning it into a creative offering of sorts.

Not to forget that the very original spelling of “strawberry” lends it another dimension. Adjoining it was a sign for a meeting of minds, or rather of water. “Melon” has been transmuted into “Milan” not the Italian city but perhaps the old Hindi hit movie starring Sunil Dutt and Nutan?

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