Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Look before you...
Politics is in the air. Everybody is discussing elections and the politicians are giving our T20 world cup stars a serious run for their money. Of course, if there is a buzz around a subject, then the great gems will always be found on Mumbai’s local trains. The other day, this diarist was travelling in a first class compartment when he couldn’t help but overhear two fellow commuters having a fiery discussion about how the present central government’s days were numbered and how it would also bring all those corrupt leaders to justice. “All those fellows who were taking bribe, will be sent to jail now,” said one of them. Their conversation was interrupted at that precise moment by the ticket checker, who sought to see their tickets. Our rabble-rousers suddenly turned meek. Both of them were in possession of railway passes that had expired the week before!
The burden of education
The first day of school is always a tough day for young minds, particularly toddlers. So when a six-year-old suddenly finds himself sandwiched between 600 other bawling, confused, or fidgety kids — along with equal number of mothers and fathers — school becomes the last place on earth he wants to go back to. A well-known city school that boasts of multiple ‘best’ awards did just that to hundreds of children earlier this week, when it asked students of all 12 sections (yes 12) of Class I to land up for their first day of school at the same time. Mayhem resulted. One narrow door, 600 kids and 600 parents, maybe more, 10 teachers trying their best to get the kids in while pushing over-eager parents back — one could be mistaken for thinking a Bollywood superstar had arrived. “Maybe Darwin went to a school like this to develop his ‘survival of the fittest’ theory,” joked the mother of a child, even as she tried to ‘survive’ the ordeal of getting her child inside the school.
His father’s so
There are hearts of gold in every corner of the globe. This one is from the Midlands in England where Rohan, the son of former West Indies batsman and captain Alvin Kallicharran lives. The Birmingham Mail ran a story last week which said that Rohan (39) attempted suicide twice and the failed attempt eight years ago was actually the turning point in his life.
Rohan Kallicharran. PIC COURTESY/BIRMINGHAM MAIL
He got over his depression and now raises funds for Mind, the mental health charity. Recently, he raised more than £4000 in a year for the organisation through five half-marathon efforts and a 20-mile road race, according to the newspaper. Soon it will be a rowing competition for charity and London Marathon. “My family has been absolutely fantastic. My dad lives in the US now but he’s very proud of how I have turned my life around,” says Kallicharran junior.
Alvin Kallicharran. PIC/GETTY IMAGES
In defence of stray dogs
It’s election time and many of Mumbai’s arterial roads and lanes are dug up with various kinds of repair work. And while everyone else, especially pedestrians are complaining about the construction material dumped on the footpath or on roads, stray dogs are happy. This diarist spotted at least three different debris mounds where dogs were sitting on top of the pile, surveying everything around them. With temperatures rising, these mounds serve as cool retreats for the strays. Here they can dig in and snuggle into the debris to avoid the harsh rays of the sun and humans who kick them away from footpaths. While we are sure the strays won’t object to removing these ugly and dangerous mountains from the roadside, this diarist hopes fellow humans allow them to share the city.