Mumbai Diary: Sunday Shorts

Sep 07, 2014, 05:33 IST | Hemal Ashar, Anu Prabhakar, Phorum Dalal and Shakti Shetty

The news of what various online reports called ‘India’s first style helpline’ by a leading online shopping store, warmed the hearts of scores of fashionistas and wannabe fashionistas, including this diarist

The helpline that was not meant to be
The news of what various online reports called ‘India’s first style helpline’ by a leading online shopping store, warmed the hearts of scores of fashionistas and wannabe fashionistas, including this diarist. The reports were effusive in their praise — the ‘telephonic helpline’ promised to help customers ‘avail advice from expert stylists’ and ‘offer solutions for the right apparel choice and suitable accessories’, in addition to make-up tips. An email we received even said we can share our ‘style queries with expert stylists’. We started to look forward to days where formals didn’t mean a funereal black and work didn’t mean ‘the first piece of cloth you see in your cupboard’. So it was with the image of us sashaying down the office corridor in slow-mo, that we dialed the helpline one evening.

Woman call
Pic for representation only

Alas, it was not meant to be. A bewildered lady pointed out that we have reached the customer care service and that we have to give a miss call to another number. No one said the path to being stylish ala Victoria Beckham was easy and we were determined to remain hopeful. We gave a miss call to the new number, only to be greeted by a recorded message. The one-sided conversation came to an abrupt end with the line, ‘Thank you for subscribing’. And ever since then, we have been bombarded with ‘style tips’ in the form of text messages by the service, which go something like ‘Looking truly sexy involves knowing what to bear and what to keep under wraps’. So while we wait for the real helpline to kick-start operations, its back to black at work.

Forty shades of winks
It’s telling how bloodshot eyes in the morning are commonplace — nowadays. Everyone from college-going students to professionals look like they would do anything to get a second of sleep. Perhaps only school-going kids sleep deep in the urban world. No wonder we often bump into fellow citizens who are caught napping during working hours. Well, you can’t blame them. According to science, a human body is supposed to spend one-third of a day asleep. And going by the way things are right now in the city, that number has turned elusive for most grownups. Add to this scare the growing distractions, courtesy technology. Interestingly enough, this distressing characteristic is irrespective of societal class.


Fight with heart
At a time when we are used to gloomy headlines, one sliver of sunlight piercing through the dark is welcome. So, it is all smiles ahead as we hear that one of the pioneers in India of the Rotary movement, The Rotary Club of Bombay announced a scholarship for Suha Nitin Ivalekar, daughter of Late Nitin Ivalekar, the fireman who passed away dousing the fire that raged at Lotus Business Park in Andheri West on July 18, this year.

IN MEMORY OF OUR CONTEMPORARY HERO: President of Rotary Club of Bombay, Shailesh Haribhakti presents a citation to the wife of late Nitin Ivalekar

In this scholarship, the club takes care of all her education, including school, tuition fees and textbooks. A Rotary Club of Bombay spokesperson simply said that the money has come from the Rotary Suraksha Fund, set up after the Kargil War. “At that time, the Rotary Club of Bombay held an art auction, the proceeds of which were used for the educational needs of the family of defence forces. We soon expanded this to other arms like the police and civil defence families.” One must say that, for all the proclamations about heartless Bombay or Mumbai, the city has shown a large heart when it comes to Ivalekar. All this, though, must not obfuscate the fact that our firefighters need better equipment and firefighting needs an upgradation. Meanwhile, Ivalekar’s spirit lives on.     

Not without a ticket

When this writer stood on Andheri station’s platform no 2, she spotted a South-African national being pulled up for travelling without ticket. She begged the ticket checker to let her go, as, unfortunately, she had no money to pay the fine. This went on for a good 20 minutes. While there is no mercy on breaking the law when we travel abroad, we felt that the ticket checker should let the tourist go. By then, the train arrived on the platform and the writer took off. But, wonder what came out of the ordeal.

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