Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Whispers

Butt naturally!
Cigarette smoking

An activity like stubbing a cigarette and then walking past is what this diarist does not count as something ominous, particularly when not near wires or inflammable objects. So we were surprised when someone was calling out from outside the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum prior to an assignment. Interestingly, this man — stocky, slightly suspicious and way shorter than me — called me “Ei chhotu…tsch tsch.” So we went asked what the matter was. He pointed to the mutilated butt in the drain and hollered, “Is this where you throw cigarettes?” We must admit that like most of the cigarette smoking urban population, we do. But taken aback by this possibly immensely conscientious citizen or lunatic, we apologised. It’s when he began to unbutton his shirt that we felt threatened. He, however, took out a card from somewhere and said that he worked for the BMC and there was a fine for this kind of action. He suggested that we settle it among ourselves or be ready to be taken to the police station. Despite being fascinated by the prospect of following up this cigarette trail, we had a deadline to meet and so we arrived at a negotiation where neither speaks about the other. From then on we ask each time, “Dear sirs, where do I stub this cigarette?”

Dance like Shahenshah
Dance like Shahenshah
Even if you are not a die-hard Bollywood fan, we feel the dialogue,“Rishtey mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Shahenshah” strikes a chord. The epic costume and Big B’s histrionics make the character unforgettable. Recently, this diarist received an email about Orchestra Shahenshah Returns, which was a part of Independence Day celebrations. The mail mentioned that the orchestra would “incorporate all latest trends in the last 25 years in the music world.” The highlights, it claimed, would be “the big and spectacular sets, Bollywood-style lights, turbo sound system, DLP Projector, 8 x 8 feet screen, disco platform, dance performance by famous dancers, marvelous choreography and amazing music direction by Nitin Shankar.” Also, an AV showing a clip of the original song will be screened simultaneously. We missed this one, but we’re sure it would have had crazy flashback moments!

Happy World Photo Day
Happy World Photo Day
Did you know that camera phones didn’t exist till 15 years ago, or that the 35mm SLR camera is just 90 years old? But this isn’t why this diarist is sharing these facts. Today, August 19, is celebrated globally as World Photo Day, and there’s a story behind that. 176 years ago to this day, the French government bought and released the patent for Daguerreotype, a photography process developed by Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre in 1837, calling it a free gift to the world. That day is now being hailed globally as World Photo Day. World Photo Day held its first global online gallery in 2010 with 270 photographs from across the world, and has entered into the sixth year. So, whether you are at home, the workplace or in the outdoors, bring out your cool camera/smart phone and get clicking. To share your pictures as part of World Photo Day celebration register on

Laugh riot police
laughter therapy

SMILE...PLEASE! This laughter therapy instructor seems to be putting in his all to get his students in khaki to chuckle, as a part of a laughter therapy session that was held at the Gamdevi police station last morning. Pic/Atul Kamble

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