Mumbai Diary: Wednesday whispers

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

Happy partying and be safe!
The Maharashtra Shiv Vahtuk Sena (Transport Union) has come up with an idea to help the Mumbai Police in increasing vigilance as well as smooth traffic flow in the city as the New Year is ushered in.

Representational pic
Representational pic

Given the increased cases of drunken driving, rash driving and hit-and-runs during the festive season, union president Haji Arafat Shaikh said, “While the efficient police force is always there to monitor such incidences, we have decided to extend additional help to them. Our mission is to ensure a safe, secure and accident-free festive season. This is also our small endeavour to ease the burden on the police.”

Another measure the union is taking is encouraging taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers to take accident victims to nearby hospitals, and is offering to reimburse the fare in such cases. Union vice-president Sharif Deshmukh said, “We are happy to help Mumbai Police and look forward to a safe and secure December 31.”

We echo that, and remind readers to ensure your personal safety while having fun. Don’t carry or wear unnecessarily valuable items, and keep whatever you carry safely with you. When going back home after your revelry, try and travel with several other people there is, after all, safety in numbers.

Women, you can avail of women’s taxi companies such as Viira (booking number 61206120, or Priyadarshini (booking number 43333999, Women can also take the precaution of texting your taxi or rickshaw licence plate number to the Mumbai Police at 9969777888. The police can track your location using the GPS on your phone. You can also send the number to someone you trust, for an added safety measure.

Men and the movies
If anybody thinks that 2015 is going to be a year with a difference, you are probably right. The gay community may see a rainbow hued beginning with a screening of three films on masculinity, Milind Soman Made Me Gay, Roots of Love and Mardistaan and discussion with filmmaker Harjant Gill scheduled at the Films Division on Saturday, January 3 at 4 pm.

A poster of Mardistaan
A poster of Mardistaan

With growing concerns about the sexual harassment of women and violence against gay, lesbian and transgender persons, there has also been much debate about the role masculinity plays within Indian society. How do Indian men think, act and react when confronted with events or issues that challenge patriarchal norms? These three films, by Chandigarh-born US-based filmmaker and visual anthropologist Harjant Gill, explore different facets of masculinity.

In a nutshell
What: Film screening and discussion
Screening of three films, Milind Soman Made Me Gay, Roots of Love and Mardistaan and discussion with filmmaker Harjant Gill.
When: January 3, 2015: 4 to 6 pm
Where: Films Division, 24, Peddar Road (near Jaslok Hospital).
Tickets: Entry free, on first come first seated basis
Meanwhile, we know this is a verrrrrry serious topic but cannot help being amused by the title of the first movie, Milind Soman Made Me Gay. Wonder what Soman, the original Shivaji Park poster boy and former supermodel, thinks of that. If this is the first time he is reading about it, he is going to stop in his tracks while running through Shivaji Park, training for the upcoming Mumbai marathon.

Sweet season in Raigad
Mahableshwar means strawberries, and often the other way round too because where else would they be cultivated? You’d be surprised Pune resident Girish Dange has actually been growing strawberries on his farm at Usar Budruk village, near Mangaon in Raigad district.

Juicy delights come from this little plot of land, tended by caretaker Ravindra Kadam (right). Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar

The extreme cold there led him to think about strawberry production on his 2-acre property. The farm is looked after by caretaker Ravindra Kadam, while Dange visits when he can.

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