Mumbai Diary Page: Saturday scene

Jul 04, 2015, 14:15 IST | Anu Prabhakar, Fiona Fernandez

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

They huffed, and they puffed...
Every male bodybuilder (and wannabe) must secretly wish he was Arnie (Arnold Schwarzenegger for the uninitiated). So, when a popular chain of city gymnasiums recently announced a Terminator Challenge contest to coincide with Terminator Genisys that hit Mumbai’s screens, we wanted to see what the buzz was all about. The event held across two of their outlets included an exercise and a physique based task. The exercise based task had participants do dead lifts and leg raises with technique. Some succeeded. Others tried, and failed, badly.

THE BIG HEAVE: Hard-pressed at the gym. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE
THE BIG HEAVE: Hard-pressed at the gym. Pic/Atul Kamble

The participant with maximum repetitions was declared the winner. With loads of sweat, and tears too (highly possible!), the event made a buzz. We’re not quite sure though if some of the unsuspecting participants would say “I’ll be back”, a la Arnie-style!

Making rural India urban
It took Ratan Tata “seven to 10 years to get a telephone”, the chair of Tata Trusts recalled of his school days on Friday. Tata was at his company's Bandra five-star to launch a digital initiative, in association with Google and Intel, for rural Indian women. The initiative plans to distribute hi-tech bicycles equipped with iPads, a charger and and an Internet router to its beneficiaries.

Ratan Tata at the launch of Internet Saathi, an initiative to bring more women online, on Friday. PIC/ SAMEER MARKANDE
Ratan Tata at the launch of Internet Saathi, an initiative to bring more women online, on Friday. Pic/Sameer Markande

The initiative, in its second phase, had women who had benefited from phase one, talk about how going digital had made independent. An aspiring fashion designer spoke about how she surfs the Net from her village in Madhya Pradesh, to stay in sync with trends. The three-way initiative comes on the heels of the Digital India programme launched on Wednesday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who pitched for a digital revolution in the country.

The initiative plans to cover 4,500 villages over the next 18 months, starting with Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jharkhand and aims to reach out to about five lakh women. Through the two-hour long event, Tata was the big draw. Bringing the focus back to how much technology had changed, he remarked to the audience, “Most of you in the room would not be even aware of them (telephones).”

Roger's just like us!
When Roger Federer is in action at Wimbledon, it’s poetry in motion. This diarist had tuned into live coverage on television that involved the Swiss champ’s match against American Sam Querrey in a Round 2 encounter. As the camera panned through the vista, it was a pleasant sight to spot many Indians enjoy the action in the crowd. A couple of festive shaadi-type turbans were also spotted to offer much-needed colour at the All England Club. But what brought a wide smile (apart from the fact that Federer was on a roll) to our face was when we caught a blink-and-miss frame of an Indian spectator holding a banner in between one of the champion’s killer returns. It read: ‘Spicy. Just Like Mumbai Masala.’ Finally, we can boast of a city connect with the tennis icon.

Jimmy Choo for Mumbai's traffic
We love to applaud the efforts made by the people who draft out messages at our traffic signals. They’ve managed to talk the talk by grabbing the eye with jargon-free, simple language.

Roger Federer. Pic/AFP

Having said that, there have been times when the signage on the electronic board reads truant (blame it on a fused light, perhaps), leading to chuckle-worthy bloomers. Savour this recent one: It’s better to not play on the road; it’s a game you cannot choo (the ‘se’ was missing, obviously). Now, if only we could have sent this ode across to the famous shoe designer.

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