Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

Aug 27, 2014, 08:29 IST | MiD DAY Correspondent

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

Tied and twisted
Irony plays itself out in our local trains. Recently, a college girl had to get into a general compartment at Matunga as she was running late for her lectures. The train was crowded and she found it difficult to find herself a place to stand.

In the midst of everything, she felt something groping her back. Quick to react, she caught hold of the hand and squeezed it so hard that the guy was startled and made his way out at the very next station. She couldn’t help wondering how a hand adorned with multiple rakhis could do such a shameful thing.

Meet the Pickleball king
Most people are familiar with the pickle we eat, adding a touch of zing to our meals. Or, sometimes, one would say that one is in a bit of a pickle, when in a spot of bother.

Pickle has now taken on sporty connotations and we have something called Pickleball. Mumbai boy Varun Motasha was crowned the Maharashtra Pickleball Winner after he won the tournament held in Ahmednagar over the past weekend.

Varun Motasha,  Pickleball winner
Varun Motasha,  Pickleball winner

Interestingly, Motasha was first acquainted with the game 12 weeks ago. It is a mix of badminton, a sport he plays, tennis and table tennis, which he pursues for leisure. He says, “My former badminton coach got in touch with me and asked me to come by the Andheri Sports Complex to have a look at how the game is played. I liked what I saw and started training.”

Motasha won the city tournament and qualified for the state competition. He says, “The movement in Pickleball is very similar to badminton and so I needed to concentrate more on my diet and fitness. The net is like tennis and the racket like a table tennis wooden paddle, so playing the game was comparatively simple for me.”

International Fitness Association (IFA) which has been championing the cause of Pickleball in India has helped the sport reach far and wide, reckons Motasha. He adds, “At the state competition, there were participants from 22 districts in the state. The level of play was top class. I went into the games not knowing what to expect. I was thoroughly challenged in every match.”

Motasha plans on pursuing the sport further as he hopes to get fitter and play some national and international level matches, soon. We are tickled, or should that read pickled pink by the Mumbaikar’s achievement.

Meanwhile, how about pickle companies everywhere keeping an eye out for these athletes, so that they can sponsor them in the future? We think that is a good idea.

Good egg, Clegg
Bacon and eggs? No, in fact, Nick Clegg. The P D Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Center in Mahim, may not serve the classic English breakfast of bacon and eggs being vegetarian. Yet, it got a whiff of all things Brit with the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg, MP along with The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt. Hon. Ed Davey, MP yesterday.

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (C) reads to  schoolchildren at the Muktangan school for under-privileged children in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/AFP
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (C) reads to  schoolchildren at the Muktangan school for under-privileged children in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Hinduja was a stop on the Mumbai leg of a three-day visit to India by a 50-member delegation. Clegg is meeting his counterparts in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to explore how India and the UK can work closer together through various partnerships. The British Deputy PM was visiting Hinduja to understand the research and social responsibility philosophy of the hospital.

Clegg and his delegation wanted to boost links between India and the UK in the fields of research, education and healthcare delivery. Meanwhile, it was not just Hinduja but Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Muktangan which also saw a visit by Clegg. He read to the children, a pleasant departure from the trademark and stodgy felicitation, garlands, speeches, thanks etc, that such visits entail.

Like P G Wodehouse would say, good egg, Clegg.

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