Mumbai Diary: Friday frolics

Apr 11, 2014, 08:43 IST | Shrikant Khuperkar, Hemal Ashar, Richa Pinto, Maleeva Rebello, Vidya Heble

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

Spice girl keeps it fresh
WE TAKE our hats — or rather topis — off to Rakhi Sawant, not just for her verve, vim and vigour in contesting the elections, but for her determination to launch her campaign on the vibrant, hot green chilli. Having secured the official okay for the symbol, Sawant must be thinking up innovative ways to serve the fiery fruit (yes, it is a fruit and not a vegetable), and the one we like the most is her designer earrings, made in the shape of the green chilli.

Hot stuff: As the song from the film Don says, Rakhi Sawant is “Kaisi gori gori, oh teekhi teekhi chhori, wah wah!” Pic/Nimesh Dave

In a world of changing fashion trends, where earrings can go from understated studs to chandelier lookalikes in the space of a scene change, we like Sawant’s style — elegant, and to-the-point. Now, all we want to know is — where can we, too, get these earrings?

Cable fable
SUBSCRIBERS of the Seven Star Cable television service in the western suburbs, between Bandra and Andheri, have found that some national news channels have become hard to find over the last fortnight or so. The channel numbers had changed, and some users had to call their cable provider to find the channels. They are wondering whether the impending Lok Sabha elections have anything to do with it. News, after all, is what everyone turns to at election time, and it also helps in making up their minds. Seven Star says that it is a technical glitch caused by an issue in the main console room and would be rectified soon. But as Andheri resident Manish Mote said, he could only find the missing channels by searching in the online programme guide. Oshiwara resident Pranjali Manjrekar pointed out that viewers surfing the news channels band would not bother searching for the missing channels, but would end up watching whatever was easily available. A new way of confusing the electorate?

Lifeline look
THE milling crowds at the CST station have an interesting break in routine, if they wish to pursue it. Take a couple of minutes from the hurly-burly of commuting life, and go to platform 10. You will see the Lifeline Express, which is a hospital on a train there, going to be stationed at the station (sorry, could not resist that one) till tomorrow (April 12). The train, which is a mobile hospital going to the remote corners of the country treating persons for different ailments, is in Mumbai on an exhibition for two days, after which it will go for some repairs and maintenance. Post that it moves to the National Rail Museum in New Delhi for a couple of days. Then, it gets down to business after its Delhi stop, moving to Jharkhand (Baitinathdham) to be precise. There it will be involved in some projects like surgery for cataract, middle ear and club foot, as well as polio corrective surgery. There is also plastic surgery, which will deal with cleft lip problems and post-burn contractures. Epilepsy is also to be tackled in the project. Dr R Gurshahani of Hinduja Hospital is slated to be on the Lifeline. Meanwhile, CST No 10 seems a bit like Harry Potter’s King’s Cross Platform No 9 ¾ to Hogwarts.

Paper capers
EXAMINATION time is harrowing no matter what one’s age, and this was evident at the MA Part I English Literature exam conducted at a suburban college recently. One of the people answering was a man in his 50s, who was caught copying blatantly with what seemed like endless piles of “chits”. The supervisor asked the man to hand in his paper on being discovered, but he began pleading that he needed to finish the exam as it was vital for his promotion. The supervisor, torn between sympathy and duty, asked him in exasperation, “Whom should I tell? You, your mother or your wife?!” The man could have been debarred for copying, but he was allowed to hand in his paper and go unpunished. His discomfiture may have been torture enough!

Taken for a ride, literally
TRAVELLERS to Nashik have a choice, either take a Mumbai-Manmad long-distance train, or travel by local train to Kasara and proceed further by road. Taking a train all the way means waiting a while as long-distance trips are few and far between. So a lot of people choose the road option from Kasara, and this is where they are met by a flock of predatory taxi operators who, hawk-like, feast on the travellers’ need to get to their destinations quickly and with minimum fuss.

Wheel Steal: It’s taxis as far as the eye can see outside Kasara railway station. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Travellers can take State Transport (MSRTC) buses to Nashik, but before they reach the buses they have to deal with rows of share-taxis parked just outside Kasara station. Systematically organised, the first row of cabs charge R 100, the next R 70, and the last row of taxis charge R 60. Each cram in about 15 to 17 people per trip which is illegal and downright dangerous. If the authorities could organise the share-taxis to be both safe and non-extortionate, we are sure travellers to Nashik would be grateful. 

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