Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Whispers

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

They're playing your song
We know the classical music season is upon us, when concerts start raining down on us like fat raindrops.

(Left) Ustad Rashid Khan and (right) Suchismita
(Left) Ustad Rashid Khan and (right) Suchismita

Hindustani Classical music vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan and young vocalist Suchismita are to perform at ‘Tradition’ a classical music concert series with the theme: ‘From Generation Next to a Legend’ at Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai on September 25 at 7 pm.

Ustad Rashid Khan says poetically, “just like the monsoon brings life to the nature, classical music enriches our soul and adds richness of our culture and tradition…” Log on to for tickets; priced at Rs 500, Rs 400, Rs 300 and Rs 200. They are also available at Nehru Centre, Worli. Call: 24964680

Quiz time on the Mumbai local
Over time, that saccharine-sweet female voice announcing, “Agla station … pudhil station” over the audio system in a local train has become an integral companion in our daily commute. We’re also getting accustomed to ad jingles being played in local trains.

Illustrations/Uday Mohite
Illustrations/Uday Mohite

But an announcement of a promo quiz? Well, that was a first, at least for us. When we boarded the train from Mahalaxmi on a weeknight, the announcement mentioned of a quiz question shortly, and that the winner would get movie tickets from a popular theatre chain.

Curious, we kept our ears perked up and after 30 long minutes, as we were nearing our destination, the question was announced! It was a multiple-choice question about the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and his number in the list of Indian presidents.

Said in a jiffy, we couldn’t decipher the SMS number and hoped for a repeat of the announcement. But in vain! Though unsure if such announcements would be heard over the din during peak hours, it surely upped the entertainment quotient on an otherwise half-empty local.

Samanth in Samuel Johnson longlist
Samanth Subramanian’s This Divided Island (Penguin Random House) has just been longlisted for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Award in the UK. The longlist covers a range of topics from current affairs to sports and politics.

The longlisted book
The longlisted book

Reacting to the news, Subramanian said, “Every year, I look to the Samuel Johnson longlist for guidance on books to read, and I’ve always been delighted with the titles I’ve found. So it’s a massive, massive honour to even be named into the longlist.

Samanth Subramanian
Samanth Subramanian

I still looked eagerly at the other nine books, though, to see what I should read next.” Good luck, Samanth, whose earlier works including Following Fish won both critical and popular acclaim.

Now, it’s Helicopter Parenting
We thought it was bad enough that insurance companies keep asking us “kya aap ek ache dad hain,” in their commercials. Recently, an email promoting a new website called taught us a new term, ‘helicopter parenting’.

The term refers to parents who do not give their children adequate privacy online, afraid that they would end up viewing content that isn’t age-appropriate. Sigh! Oxford, are you listening?

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