Mumbai Diary: Monday musings

Aug 24, 2015, 09:04 IST | Clayton Murzello; Uday Devrukhkar

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

What's the score? It's 44!
Today, it is 44 years to the day Ajit Wadekar’s Indian team beat England at The Oval in London to win their first Test series in England on August 24, 1971. It was a hard-fought win against the then No 1 team in the world. Remember, Ray Illingworth’s team beat the Australians Down Under to clinch the Ashes!

Skipper Ajit Wadekar and teammate B S Chandrasekhar wave to cheering crowds at the Oval after India won the Test series against England in 1971. Pic/Central Press/Getty Images
Skipper Ajit Wadekar and teammate B S Chandrasekhar wave to cheering crowds at the Oval after India won the Test series against England in 1971. Pic/Central Press/Getty Images

The hero at the Oval was of course Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, whose 6 for 38 befuddled the Englishmen, but according to Dadar resident Kenia Jayantilal, India’s 12th man in that game, it was Eknath Solkar’s presence at close-in which also scared the Englishmen.

“Chandra bowled brilliantly and Ekki was feared with him being so close to their bats,” recalled the 67-year-old former batsman. Jayantilal also recalled a very calm dressing room while India were chasing 173 for victory. “Ajit’s 45 was the best knock in my opinion that day.

We were determined not to lose wickets but we ended up losing six. However, we were very confident of getting to our target,” said Jayantilal. He went on to describe the celebrations once Abid Ali and Farokh Engineer returned to the pavilion after the winning runs were hit: “Someone kept a crate of champagne in our dressing room.

We never came to know who did so, but champagne flowed and some of our guys had a lot to drink. They had to be carried to the coach which took us to Sussex for our next game!” A small price to pay for a memorable win. Let’s salute our 1971 cricket heroes, today.

Heartfelt thanks
This city is never short of good Samaritans, contrary to the perception that it is completely cut-throat. A colleague tells us that he misplaced his wallet at a Jogeshwari store recently, as he had gone there to buy some things for his daughter.

It was when he reached home that he realised his wallet was missing. He was worried, naturally, since it contained important cards like his credit card, PAN card as well as his workplace identity card. Mulling over what to do, half an hour later, he received a call on his cellphone.

The voice on the other line informed him that his missing wallet was located and he could come pick it up. The Samaritan had found the wallet, he spotted the number of a work colleague jotted down inside and promptly dialled the number, tracking down the rightful owner.

Not a single item was missing inside. When our colleague offered a token amount as a note of appreciation, he flatly refused. Good Samaritan Santosh Kalgutkar, if you are reading this, thank you.

Good heir(loom) day
Kolkata-based designer duo Swati and Sunaina are on a mission, to sustain and revive heirloom traditions of India’s woven textiles.

Designers Swati and Sunaina
Designers Swati and Sunaina

So, expect a tribute to their cause at the upcoming fashion week in the city when their bespoke label will open the show on the Textile & Handloom Day, which falls on August 27. The two designers ensure that each style from their creations is woven in pure zari, each colour way is a single edition piece and is never repeated in that style.

Each sari is packaged in a wooden box that encloses the certificate of authenticity, real silver/gold thread for testing, care instructions and style guide sharing the design details, sari serial number, weavers name, the number of days taken to weave, fabric, warp and weft details, thread count, weaving technique, zari weight and purity details and sari weight and hand loom and silk authenticity details. And... we’re talking saris here, not jewellery.

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