I want to ride my bicycle!

May 23, 2012, 07:03 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

Having spent most of our childhood at a caf � (declaration of interest: The Samovar) we are understandably biased towards them

>> Having spent most of our childhood at a café (declaration of interest: The Samovar) we are understandably biased towards them. And the Kala Ghoda Café, that little oasis tucked away in one of the nicest lanes of Mumbai, is one of our favourites.

So it is with particular delight that we learnt that its promoter Farhad Bomanjee has come up with a unique way to make Sunday morning breakfast hour even more fun: free coffee for any one who turns up on a bicycle!

Photographer and film maker Rafique Ellias, who often avails of this service while tucking in to a peerless akuri says that it takes him approximately under half an hour from his home at Breach Candy to the café where he hooks up with like-minded friends.

Bomanjee, an avid cyclist, who often cycles to Juhu says the number of cyclists is growing, “especially in the last one year.” Incidentally, Ellias whose film Love You To Death just released, tongue firmly in cheek compares the experience of producing an indie film to that of a being cyclist on Mumbai’s roads
“Battered, bruised — but very happy”!

Concerning raves and raids
>> As some one with a voice and a platform, we would like to make it amply clear that we stand firm in our fight against hypocrisy and misguided moral policing. From all accounts the party at Oakwood Hotel was a ‘sundowner’. Till now, there’s been no ‘prostitution’ racket unearthed. The results of the blood and urine samples have not arrived.

And there is no evidence of ‘semi-nude’ guests. All we have seen, so far, are images of hapless young people scared out off their wits, for being caught at a party who are being treated like criminals. For God’s sake — let our able but sorely outnumbered lawmakers focus on areas in the city that so desperately need policing: organised crime, terrorism, the land mafia and sleazy politicos. And, respect the rights of citizens to be judged guilty only after proven so.

A towering Inferno
>> The lovely Rohita Doshi, entrepreneur, art impresario and concerned citizen, called us recently to bring to our notice the yeoman work she and a group of activists like — Dilnar Chichgar, Prakash Munshi, and Vinod Shah have undertaken under the auspices of Carmichael Friends to fight the menace of cell tower radiation. “A few of us got together some months ago because of the clusters of mobile towers that we noticed in our neighbourhood. Many residents have found that their health has suffered because of the effects of these clusters — from migraines to joint pains, cardiac issues, memory loss, miscarriages to tumours, cancer and even deaths,” she said. “While there are vested interests vehemently trying to convince us that there are no harmful effects from radiation, there is overwhelming research to show that it is very unsafe especially at certain levels, duration of exposure, distance from towers,” she continued.

“We have approached the central government and the state government to bring in regulations .We all want cell phones, networks etc but we want it without compromising on our health. This is possible with some changes. The power from each antenna needs to be reduced from 20 W that the government allows to 1 or 2 W. (Right now some buildings like Maheshwar Niketan have 18 antennae each emitting at 20W or maybe even more.” Fortunately, Rohita and her group are not alone in their campaign. “Yesterday, hundreds of people came to support our area in a banner campaign,” she says. We like!

Fighting Words
>> The inimitable Sylvie da Cunha had his own two bits to add to the SRK–MCA incident:

‘SRK, who’s really a cool guy,
Lost his cool and let uncool words fly.
For being impolite
He was ordered to write
Hundred times “Kuch kuch hota hai.”
-Sylvester da Cunha

MCA’s ‘Dadagiri’
îWe are not members of the Garware Sports Club and were not present when the notorious SRK vs MCA fracas took place. But we would like to bring to readers’ notice how even ordinary citizens have been subjected to MCA’s behaviour. The writer of this mail, a member of the CCI club, wishes to be anonymous in fear that the authorities will single her out for retribution. But in the event that some one wants to ascertain the authenticity of the complaint, we are willing to share the contents of the mail, with the sender’s name removed. “Just because SRK is a star, correction, super star, does not mean, it is okay to highlight this issue and blame him, or use his past incidents to add fuel to the fire.

However, personal experience with the MCA, surely gives us a biased opinion. What transpired a couple of nights ago (May 20, 2012), while members of the club had gone to have dinner, gives room for this. The group of friends wanting to park their car on D Road, close to the Garware Clubhouse Gate was flatly told by the then watchman that they absolutely could not. On being questioned as to why not, considering it was a valid parking spot (not even belonging to the club); the watchman stated that MCA members usually park their car there. I’m sorry, but we are members too! Why the discrimination? Not wanting to bow down to this act of clear ‘dadagiri’, we parked it rightfully so. However, post our dinner, the MCA car driver had very conveniently parked his car right behind us, with no way for us to remove our car from parking. Only after a long and tiring wait, and argument ,was the head of security summoned to resolve the issue. Funnily enough, he knew exactly which MCA member’s car it was and called the driver immediately. Our question is — if you are aware, and you know a car cannot get out if you park there, or allow the car to park there (mind you, there is ample parking space available) then why show us this face of dadagiri? It also should be noted that the watchman was reeking of alcohol, ironical: their security smells of alcohol, yet they accuse ‘others’ of being drunk? To conclude, maybe review SRK’s situation as well, since acting like bullies clearly seems to be MCA’s forte.”

(Name withheld on request.) 

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