Mumbai Diary page: Tuesday Tales
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
It’s a ‘go’ for low profiles
With great power, comes great responsibility, right? Well, for Indian politicians, great power leads to great arrogance. And the opposite is also often true.
So here we were, driving our way to the office when we had the good fortune of being followed by two politicians’ cars one was Gopinath Munde of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and other was an unidentified member of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). As is our wont, we stopped at all the red signals that dot our route.
Munde, whom we saw being chauffeured in his rather large Lexus SUV at Bandra, was reading the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, and his driver probably aware of his boss’s dwindling stock within his party not only followed all the traffic rules, but did not honk even once.
Given how politicians and their drivers think that they have the right of way, it was a pleasant surprise to see Munde’s car, even if followed by security, behaving just like any other vehicle on the road. A few kilometres ahead, it was the turn of an NCP car, another large SUV which also waited at a signal at the Parel State Transport depot. If this is what being out of power and out of favour does to politicians, may we suggest that they are kept out of it all the time?
T-shirts and tea-cups
It was a day when NaMo was the name on all minds at least, if not lips. Newspapers and other publications have been gearing up for the day of the swearing in of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister and the rest of the Cabinet too, and the front page of our sister publication mid-day (Gujarati) on Sunday featured an eye-catching photograph of glasses of tea arranged in the form of a giant cup, in honour of Modi.
Fortuitously from the photographic point of view a reader happened to be scanning the paper while sitting in front of a shop which had NaMo T-shirts for sale. Just made for the photographer’s lens, of course, and there was one passing by.
With reports coming in thick and fast about the military coup in Bangkok and the situation on the ground in flux, Mumbai resident Nianne-Lynn Hendricks, who has been based in Bangkok for some years now, seems unfazed. Hendricks says, “Besides the inconvenient curfew, life goes on as normal in Bangkok.
Anti-coup protesters demonstrating in Bangkok. PIC/AFP
I have been through two coups in Thailand, and during my 13 years here, I have never once felt unsafe. As long as you follow the news and know which areas to avoid, life as an expat is pretty unchanged from normal times.”
A place in the sun
When members of the media get awards, it is of course an honour, but once the first flush fades, the award is plonked on the shelf (or the Facebook profile) and life goes on. But some honours carry an aura that gleams for much longer.
The winning photographs on display at the MCC’s Warner Stand
Our lensman colleague Atul Kamble recently won the prestigious Wisden-MCC Cricket Photograph of the Year 2013, for his image of Sachin Tendulkar walking out to resume his innings against the West Indies in his farewell Test on November 15, 2013 at Wankhede Stadium.
Besides being much celebrated, the honour has, we learnt the other day, been cemented in the Maharashtra Public Service Commission’s examination as one of the General Knowledge questions.
Add to that an email from Marylebone Cricket Club saying, “The winning photographs are now on display to the rear of the Warner stand and once again they are proving a popular attraction with visitors to the ground.” We are feeling very chuffed indeed. Carry on, Atul!