Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Tales

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

Tale behind No 97 jersey
Sarfaraz Khan, who at 17 became the youngest Indian Premier League debutant on Wednesday, gave a special tribute to his father-cum-coach Naushad by wearing the 97 number jersey when Royal Challengers Bangalore took on mighty Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

Sarfaraz Khan’s Royal Challengers Bangalore jersey
Sarfaraz Khan’s Royal Challengers Bangalore jersey

Number 97 holds a special place in the Mumbai lad’s heart. For, it sounds like his father’s name when translated in Hindi (nau saat). “Sarfaraz says he wants to dedicate every match he plays to me, and this his way of doing it. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than this,” a proud Naushad told mid-day yesterday.

Paint makes the world a brighter place
The poor old Harbour line of the city’s railway network is often bad-named, and sometimes it even lives up to the tag of “worst line”. But hey, it gets people from point A to point B, and never mind if the surroundings at the stations are less than what they should be.

A wall of the railway bridge at Dockyard Road, which has been painted. Pic/Suresh KK
A wall of the railway bridge at Dockyard Road, which has been painted. Pic/Suresh KK

Someone does mind, though, or so it seems. At Dockyard Road station, a wall of the railway bridge has been painted with a cheerful scene including houses and coconut trees. While residents may opine that improvement of infrastructure and services would have been more useful, we must take note of the colourful benefactor’s act, as it makes the world a slightly nicer place, even if nothing else changes!

Hark! Towers at Shivaji Park
You know it is summer when the nursery of Indian cricket, as that threadbare phrase goes, Shivaji Park, is impossibly crowded with young men thwacking ball with bat. The grounds are dotted with cricketers and the periphery outside the park is ringed with walkers and joggers.

Small building opposite Shivaji Park Gymkhana is bulldozed
Small building opposite Shivaji Park Gymkhana is bulldozed

The latter particularly, with soaked T-shirts thanks to the mercury soaring higher than Mumbai’s real estate prices. It is interesting and heart-breaking, though, to see that a small, squat residential structure in the immediate periphery of the park has fallen to the builders’ bulldozer.

We do see high-rises in the Dadar-Shivaji Park area now, but the immediate ring, the first one, was still intact. Now, we see that a small two- or three-storeyed structure, bang opposite the Shivaji Park Gymkhana, has been broken down and will be replaced by a tower.

A small building at the corner of this first tier, too, seems to be broken down. Is this the beginning of a sad time, when the character and flavour of Shivaji Park which still retains small, short, old-fashioned buildings is going to change thanks to towers?

One hoped at least the first ring surrounding the park would have been left untouched. But maybe, in a city where cement reigns supreme and redevelopment is the name of the game, that was asking for too much.

Give them a shot at life
Vaccines save lives. That’s the message the World Health Organisation is sending out on the occasion of World Immunisation Week, which begins today. Although awareness about vaccination in India is widespread, many children still miss out on the critical shots because of poverty, inaccessibility of medical care, or even ignorance.

However, as the regional director for WHO South-East Area, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, remarks in her statement, “Vaccination is also a shared responsibility. Collective efforts are needed by government, partner agencies, health professionals, academia, civil society, media, private sector and the community itself.”

For our part, we can at least ensure that the children of people who work in our vicinity domestic help, chauffeurs, shop assistants are immunised. Spreading awareness is the first step.

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