Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

Mar 05, 2014, 08:59 IST | MiD DAY Correspondent

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

Eye in the sky
When our world seems to be a mess of violence, we may wish to escape to some calm, quiet place — such as outer space, perhaps.

The Storm of Stars in the Trifid Nebula, which is located 5,400 light years away in the constellation Sagittarius. Pic/courtesy NASA
The Storm of Stars in the Trifid Nebula, which is located 5,400 light years away in the constellation Sagittarius. Pic/courtesy NASA

The night sky does appear gentle and tranquil, a canopy of twinkling heavenly bodies punctuated with the occasional shooting star. Think again, because it’s actually a violent universe out there, according to a new show called ‘Violent Universe’ that is currently on at the Nehru Planetarium, Worli.

The planetarium has just launched its new sky theatre programme, showcasing the various violent phenomena that occur in our universe and examining their significance. The universe itself, of course, is believed to have started with a Big Bang, and successive collisions, explosions and implosions have led to the formation of our heavens as we know them.

In fact, evolution itself is a series of catastrophies, with ages being wiped out and species rendered extinct by galactic events such as meteor hits. Your curiosity should be piqued by now, so do head over to the planetarium. Shows are in Hindi (noon and 4.30pm), Marathi (1.30pm) and English (3pm). Call 2492 0510 for more details.

'Shift'ing allegiance? Not!
With the elections announced and code of conduct a day away from being enforced, politicians have to get creative to woo supporters.

In one instance, yesterday, committee members of the BEST Undertaking from the Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party went hammer and tongs at the administration over the suspension of employees, following their protest over timetable shift changes.

The committee members raised their voices at BEST general manager OP Gupta and insisted that the suspended employees should be reinstated immediately. But the IAS officer stood his ground and roared back that there is no room for any “criminal intimidation” by any employee, and that an inquiry would be conducted.

He agreed however that there was a technical issue over the working of the new staff-management system in which at least 20 per cent of the drivers and conductors, out of the 30,000, were forced to do multiple duty hours.

Sporting blood
It’s no secret that this city loves sport, and that we at this newspaper love our sport, and we love discovering new talent from our maidans. Ajit Tendulkar, elder brother of a school cricket player named Sachin (he who retired recently), mentioned in his book how mid-day had first discovered his sibling’s talent and interviewed him in 1987.

Manish Shah’s 1987 news clipping
Manish Shah’s 1987 news clipping

And so it was that reader Manish Shah wrote in yesterday thanking us for featuring his son Vivaan, who played brilliantly for Campion School against eventual champions Don Bosco in the under-10 inter-school football final.

But we feature school sports stars regularly. What was so special about Vivaan and Manish? Well, it so happens that in 1987 (the year we discovered Sachin), mid-day had also featured Manish for his own cricketing exploits for St Mary’s ICSE School.

This is not the first time that a city father-son duo is making its mark in sports and also in the media. Mumbai’s more famous father-son cricketing pair of Sunil Gavaskar and his Rohan, too, are in the media spotlight, currently commentating at the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. We are somewhat certain of a Mumbai sporting gene hiding somewhere in the genome map.

Caring conductor
The tragic case of Esther Anuhya may have been on the mind of this avuncular BEST bus conductor, when he saw three young women in the bus giggling over a video clip on a mobile phone, yesterday afternoon. After giving them their tickets, he advised them kindly, “Don’t waste the charge (the phone’s talk/data time) unnecessarily. You might run out when you are in need.” City commuters are often quick to take offence at BEST staffers, but these youngsters heeded his advice and stopped the clip.

Groovy move
For a generation born in the 1980s, the Sixties might seem as ancient as, say, the Indus Valley Civilisation. But it was a time to shake and shimmy as flower power took hold, and socialist India also grooved to the sound of changing times.

Journalist Sidharth Bhatia has picked up the beat in his book India Psychedelic: The Story of a Rocking Generation, which is about the music that formed the background as midnight’s children found their voices and set out on their voyages of discovery, seeking liberation from older attitudes and values. The book will be launched on March 11 in the suitably appropriate environs of city club Blue Frog, but the highlight of the evening may not be the book or even its author.

Set to play at the event are some of the original bands and musicians of the era, including Suresh Bhojwani, The Savages (Bashir Shaikh, Ralph Pais, Prabhakar Mundkur, Barry Murray and Joe Alvares), Nandu Bhende and Deveika Bhojwani. Entry is free for this event, which begins at 8.30pm.

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