Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Be for broom
If charity begins at home, then shouldn’t cleanliness begin on the street? Before thinking of an answer, allow us to take you back a few months when the FIFA World Cup fever was at its peak. Japanese football fans, who travelled to Brazil to see the match, won hearts, both online and offline, when they cleaned up their own mess after each match. And they did so even when their team was on the losing side. Dig a little deeper and we realise that they were able to carry out these civic responsibilities so effectively — in a foreign country nevertheless — because of their education. Turns out, it’s a common practice in Japan to conduct cleanliness drives not only in schools but outdoors as well.
School students participate in a cleanliness drive in Vashi
Now it looks like our schools are trying to catch up with the rest of the world. Given the sudden, but much-appreciated, attention to public sanitation in our city, we were glad to spot a group of young students from St Mary school engaged in cleaning a public area in Vashi. Moreover, the enthusiasm shown by the kids made the whole thing very heartwarming. We hope to see more such scenes in the near future.
Kids revive Christmas tradition
Christmas is less than 20 days away and the children of St John the Evangelist parish, Marol, have a special plan for carol lovers in the city, which includes celebrating the build-up to the festival by singing Christmas carols in the parish, the old-fashioned way. At 7 pm today, the 40-odd children of the parish who are part of The Angelic Voices choir will stage an Evening of Carols in the church. The children, who are aged between seven and 14 years, plan to spread Christmas cheer with their rendition of popular and traditional carols. The children began rehearsing for the event about a month ago by attending choir lessons by choir master Christopher Khan, every evening after school. “Many of the traditional Christmas carols are fading away as the festival is becoming commercialised. The children, on their own, decided that they want to keep the Christmas tradition alive and they came forward, saying they wanted to learn the authentic way of singing Christmas carols. I just helped by training them,” says Khan.
It’s a very merry caroling start to the
jolliest season in the city!
We have a bone to pick with the Railway authorities over the ticket counters at Sewri railway station. Or rather, the absence of one. Harbour line commuters may still remember the massive construction work that took place at the station, which involved the demolishment of one ticket counter. However, we were comforted many months later, as a new and swanky ticket counter sprung up in the middle of the platform, instead of the old one. But months later, to our utter dismay, we found (and continue to find) the counter shut on several instances post 8pm. So now, we are forced to naviagate our way through a platform swamped with tired, sweaty men, children and women (and sometimes, their fish baskets), just to get to the station’s sole ticket counter. By the time we battle long queues and huff and puff our way back to the ladies’ compartment, we end up missing a train a two.
We can either point out to the obvious (one ticket counter for thousands of people is just bad math) or bellyache about what truly disgusts us. And since we prefer the latter, here it is — Mumbai is a city that prides on its suburban local train network. It’s a pity that a ticket counter may just ruin it all for some of us.
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Amrita Rao and Environmentalist Chinu Kwatra collect broken Ganesha idols