Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Whispers

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

The hills are alive...
Guess what is celebrating 50 years this year? The movie The Sound of Music. And while this page is dedicated to happenings in the city, wethinks, given the universal appeal of the Julie Andrews classic, that Mumbaikars must know about this too.

The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music

So, those who still have your vinyl records and players, put on The The Sound of Music and let it fill your homes. Let your imagination take wing and pretend you are in Austria. Meanwhile, those who do not, hear the songs on YouTube, and for a while pretend the city is Salzburg.

As for Mumbaikars who are travelling to Europe and actually to Austria in these months, we hear there are celebrations on in Salzburg. Don’t forget to tell us when you return, because The Sound of Music transcends all borders and still has the world’s ears...

Cover me in calligraphy
In the dreary grey of the monsoon in the city, a splash of colour is only too welcome. And when the hue is on that essential accessory, the umbrella, it can even be transformed into art.

This is what calligrapher Achyut Palav showed media people at a demonstration in the city yesterday. Palav, who is well known for his off-the-wall work, holds workshops in calligraphy, as well as exhibitions of his creations.

Lost in French translation
If an elderly gentleman, a friend of ours living out his days in opinionated bliss in an eastern Mumbai housing society, is to be believed, then the team of chefs and waiters at a fast food joint in the neighbourhood seems to suffer a bout of dyslexia from time to time.

This reading disorder is generally not to be taken lightly, but the situation our friend told us about, is. He orders food from this joint on occasion, and enjoys a serving of French fries as well. But on two of the seven recent occasions that he has ordered ‘French fries’, he has received ‘Fried Rice’. But at the price of ‘French fries’.

Now, that’s a deal, if we may say so. Our friend is cannily not sharing the name of the place, however, although he relishes sharing the anecdote and, of course, gloating.

Password? LOL FTW
On Monday, when the Indian media was busy deconstructing the Sushma Swaraj-Lalit Modi emails and scandal involving the former cricketing tycoon’s immigration papers, the man in question tweeted an update with so many emoji icons that it almost looked like a non-serious tweet.

Its intent was to create a sensation, and what better than Twitter to do that. But this small story is not about Mr Modi’s emoji fascination, but a rather interesting development that took place in the land of the Bank of England.

A British technology firm has claimed that it has a new password system that would make bank hacking almost impossible. If this happens, and our bank accounts are better protected, then we are all for those silly emojis.

The firm explains that a regular four-character PIN (Personal Identification Number) has 7,290 unique non-repeating number permutations, while an emoji password will have almost 3.5 million unique permutations of non-repeating faces.

This could significantly enhance the security of your bank account, even if it does not make it completely unhackable. What we are really worried about is this: Thanks to social messaging services, emoji has become a language of communication, especially when we are lazy to write what we feel (yes, we have become THAT lazy).

But then again, we remember pictures more easily than numbers. So maybe they have hit upon something there. Up to the banks now?

Raining jokes
A motorist driving through heavy rain sees a man’s head sticking out of a huge pothole. He stops and asks the man if he needs a lift. “No thanks,” says the man. “I’m on my bike.”

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