Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Somebody to lean on
It surely seems like a happy birthday for Kailash Kher as he is joined by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju and Ranjit Barot on stage at an event in Bandra on Sunday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Well, what an entrance!
Popular YouTuber Dan Mace's arrival in Mumbai yesterday can only be summed up as bad timing. As the South African boarded a cab, little did he know that he would have to drive through water, thanks to the incessant rains. Posting a video on his Twitter feed to over 100k followers, he wrote, "Arriving in Mumbai was very intense. The cab driver was praying loudly the entire ride. I saw a group of people swimming across the highway and getting washed into a rickshaw." While many fans from the city sympathised with him, one advised him to go to Dadar station during rush hour for a free massage. Like a true sport, Mace replied, "Will do. Nothing like a local's advice. Free swimming pool and massages! Can't wait."
A knotty affair
One particular matrimony site has managed to truly use the class differences of the country to suit its own needs. It turns out that besides having separate verticals for each religious community, the parent website also has a sub-section for "elite" candidates. But they took it a notch higher when they delved into a faux pedantic report that had findings that were rib-tickling and astounding in equal measure. One, for example, stated that their "Elite customer base comprises 38 per cent female registrants and 62 per cent males". Of them, apparently 56 per cent women and 52 per cent men were seeking partners settled abroad, with USA, UAE and Canada topping the charts. So, pick up the phone and tell your bua that she can finally chill, because your hunt for a desi-videshi shaadi ends with this site.
A view of Mumbai that's bohot hard
What if your city were a person in flesh and blood? What sort of a man or woman would he or she be? This was the subject of a thread that took over social media recently. It was triggered off following a John Berger quote on similar lines. And Mumbai, one user wrote, is "the young boy who did stunts on the footboard of a train and lies on a stretcher on the dirty floor of a BMC-run hospital on a flooded day, wearing a 'Bohot Hard' T-shirt and a bloodstained 'Apna Time Aayega' cap". Now that's a grim interpretation.
The other India
That urban India lives in its own little bubble was well and truly reiterated recently when this diarist ended up watching the critically acclaimed Article 15, in a swish SoBo multiplex. Loosely based on the Badaun gangrape-murder case, the storyline about the murder of two teenage lower-caste girls by upper-caste male members including cops, had gripped everyone in the hall, such that it was the talking point among patrons during intermission. This included a family of viewers in the same row as us. "I doubt if this happens in Maharashtra. Mainly up north; I mean, they are really backward," said Aunty No 1 in heavily accented English. "Are you kidding! This is rampant across the country," Aunty No 2, who seemed to be the Bombaywallah among the two, corrected, adding, "Caste issues have no borders and take place even in our state; wake up, girl." Aunty No 1 seemed positively surprised. Aunty No 2 took a while before she could get back to sipping her Coke. Throughout the little debate, we noticed how Aunty No 1 referred to the issue of caste politics as "this". So much of waking up needed, really.
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