Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Whispers

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

Sunny days in Paris
Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar is not just pitch perfect, he also goes places. And not just for cricket.

Sunny and friends Gavaskar with former Argentine polo star Martin Valent and UAE polo star Rashid al-Bwardy in Paris
Sunny and friends Gavaskar with former Argentine polo star Martin Valent and UAE polo star Rashid al-Bwardy in Paris

We came across this picture of the Little Master enjoying the balmy air of France as the greats battled it out on the tennis court at the French Open. And why not it’s the sporting spirit, after all.

Paint and Park
It was still sunny at Shivaji Park on that late morning that this reporter went there. A few kids were milking the last of their holidays playing cricket. The maidan was also getting ready for its monsoon mallakhamb camp to begin soon.

That sends well thought of art. The residential buildings opposite the Park
That sends well thought of art. The residential buildings opposite the Park

Birds were chirping in the trees above and if this was a P G Wodehouse novel, one would say that it looked like all those gentlemen walking out of the Shivaji Park Gymkhana (like they did at the Drones Club, in those Wodehouse books) would agree that all was right with the world. Making things righter, (is that a word? We think not) but making it actually brighter is some graffiti on the walls opposite.

Shivaji Park seems to be spouting a lot of artists as paintings on small building walls opposite the park, indicates. This fairly recent addition to the residences facing the park is colourful and though some slogans seem trite, is thought provoking. A welcome dash of colour to our world, we think.

Go wild in the Amazon this winter
Made plans for winter travel yet? Too soon, you say? Not if you head to South America. When people from colder climes head to Mumbai, the season does pick up in our favourite city but it can get a little predictable at times. So if you want a change, join the Bombay Natural History Society’s Wild Amazon and Cloud Forest of Ecuador trail, in November.

Macaws, m’deah
Macaws, m’deah

With 15 per cent of the world’s birds found in a country about one twelfth the size of India, you can imagine the scale of the diversity in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian Amazon constitutes a small but mostly untouched part of the largest rainforest in the world which contains over one tenth of all the earth’s living species. Ecuador also holds more species of mammals and amphibians per square metre than any other country.

You can see the Smooth-fronted Caiman (a relative of the crocodile), Southern Two-toed Sloth, Red Howler Monkey, and White-fronted Capuchin. One can also see birds like four species of parrot, Toucan species like White-throated Toucan, Golden-collared Toucanet, and Ivory-billed Aracari, Plum-throated Cotinga, and Chestnut-fronted Macaw.

The Cloud Forest of Mindo is an Important Bird Area (IBA) situated in the western slopes of the Andes, and is famous for its large variety of hummingbirds, especially the Sword-billed Hummingbird. You can also see birds like the Velvet-purple Coronet, White-billed Woodstar, Green-fronted Lancebill, Golden-headed Quetzal, Golden Tanager and Orange-bellied Euphonia.

For details: Call at Hornbill House, 22871202/22821811, Mon-Fri 9.30am to 5.30pm, or e-mail bnhs.programmes@gmail.com.

...a wave of her hand
We're quite accustomed to seeing men gaze (read: ogle) at women, although we’d have thought they would be tired of it by now. Sometimes, too much staring can prove detrimental, however. The other day we noticed that a superfast mail train on the Western Railway line was about to leave from Vasai.

The driver happened to be a woman and she was waving the green flag to indicate that the train was moving out. On the opposite local platform, several men who spotted her stood or slowed down, transfixed. So rapt were they, that they nearly missed the Virar-Churchgate local that had arrived, and many had to run for it.

Two-minute chuckles
Of all the Maggi Noodles jokes going around on social media, we liked this tweet by @WisemonkIvan: “Exchanges NSE and BSE meeting to decide whether Nestle should be in Metal index or FMCG.”

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