Mumbai diary: Sunday Shorts

Aug 10, 2014, 08:41 IST | Contributed by: Hemal Ashar, Shakti Shetty, Phorum Dalal and Kareena Gianani

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

Namo comes to Vile Parle
During and after the 2014 elections, our newly-elected Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, was christened NaMo. What followed was an overdose of NaMo jokes, slogans and wise cracks.

Namo farsan shop at Vile Parle West. Pic/Phorum Dalal

On a rainy day, when this writer stepped out of Vile Parle (West) station last week, a newly-opened farsan shop caught her attention. A foodie at heart, however, it was the name of the shop that caught her attention even before the smell of the fried samosas reached her. No prizes for guessing — the yellow-and-white board read Namo. While the word means ‘to bow’ in Sanskrit, we won’t be surprised if the owner is a
NaMo fan.

Gone with the wind 
It is Raksha Bandhan today, an apt time to ruminate about how all those bhai-behena kind of scripts have been eased out of Bollywood. Those with a little salt ‘n’ pepper in their hair, the salt threatening to usurp the pepper very soon, will remember movies in which the brother-sister bond was told with soppy, sentimental songs. Many plots revolved around heroes avenging their sister’s sexual humiliation. Several scripts were punctuated with shrieks of ‘behena’. Now, of course, thankfully, this seems to have vanished out of the Bollywood oeuvre along with other aspects such as the perennially sick mother (the late Nirupa Roy always afflicted with TB and coughing hysterically), the angry woman stuffing clothes into a red suitcase (again for mysterious reasons always red) and screaming hysterically, “Mein meri maa ke ghar jaa rahi hoon,” while the hero tries to stop her with a song. 

So, just like two flowers coming together to signify a kiss are passé, celluloid couples no longer cavort around trees during courtship, but have moved on to cavorting around beds, we could conclude that people have no time, baby.

While we do have plenty of contemporary inanity in today’s movies, one can only say thank god for small mercies, like the vanishing of suffering behenas. Hai na?

Cash, not kind
In Mumbai, beggars are everywhere but more prominent inside local trains and on the over-bridge at railway stations. However, a recent incident made us notice the difference between performing and begging. A little girl in ragged clothes entered a second-class compartment only to belt out some old Bollywood numbers. 

Although her immature voice and lack of training was apparent, she came into her own while doing the rounds for collecting money from the passengers. On being harangued by an elderly gentleman — “Chhutta nahi hai” — our pocket-size heroine had a ready reply. “Toh note do na, saab! Bheek thodi maang rahi hoon!” This not only earned her laughs, but also some forthcoming contributions.

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