Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

Jul 16, 2014, 08:08 IST | MiD DAY Correspondent

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

Flex and cheques
Even the finest equines in India cannot outrun inflation. The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) Horsepower gym on its premises has upped its rate since yesterday. Members now pay Rs 12,000 annual membership, up from the Rs 10,000 earlier, while guests pay Rs 20,000 pa instead of Rs 16,000.

Cartoon/Amit Bandre

RWITC officials say that there have been huge improvements in gym ambience including an “upgraded” dressing area. There is also a coffee bar with light breakfast in the morning, and there are plans to add tea and snacks. They say the hike was “overdue” because the ambience is “unmatched” and most importantly, there is “easy parking.” Hmmm. The wallet is a trifle lighter thanks to Horsepower. The more important thing is: are you?

Truck on the beach what rubbish!
The downpour yesterday affected traffic not just on the streets, but on the beach too. Revellers at Juhu Beach were surprised to see not a ship but a truck stuck in the sand. It was a garbage truck which was clearing trash from the beach, and overturned at around 1pm.

The entrenched vehicle at Juhu Beach
The entrenched vehicle at Juhu Beach

D Bunty Rao, a lifeguard with Baywatch Lifeguard Association which mans the beach, said, “The driver suffered mild injuries and was given first aid. The pouring rain and high tide has made it difficult to extricate the truck.” As the rain kept pelting and the tides kept raging, the truck got more entrenched in the sand and a crane was called to get it out at low tide, but the rescue operation could not begin until the rain had abated.

Rao said the truck had overturned due to the weight of the garbage it was carrying, and the wet sand. “All the garbage which was cleared up has now gone back into the water,” he lamented. The lifeguards were keeping people away from the truck and the rough sea to avoid any calamity, but they said many people were going near the truck to click selfies.

Barefoot devotion
We know that devotees of Lord Ganesh walk to Siddhivinayak temple barefoot on Tuesdays. But 45-year-old Pooja Gagwani takes it a step further, as it were. She has not worn footwear at all, for the last nine years. Gagwani has asked for a wish (mannat) from Lord Ganesh and she says she will not don footwear until it is fulfilled.

Pooja Gagwani
Pooja Gagwani

Gagwani’s determination to shun footwear has not prevented her from travelling all over India as well as abroad. “People always ask me why I am not wearing chappals. I get hurt with stones and other sharp objects on the roads,” says Gagwani, who has also acted in some ad films.

An animal lover, she regularly feeds stray dogs, cows and goats in the locality. “I believe that feeding them brings me luck. Also, we can talk and ask for our food when hungry, but they can’t. I feel pain for them,” she adds. In tribute to her beloved deity, she serves in Siddhivinayak and other temples as a queue manager.

Free Starter
A city taxi driver gave us this useful tip when the cab was crawling along a flooded road yesterday. “If your car stalls and refuses to start, don’t try to keep starting it,” he advised.

“When water touches a certain part of the engine, this happens. You just have to wait till it dries, then it will start again. Wait for a few minutes.” Being a savvy cabby since 1992, we guess he knows his onions.

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