Mumbai Diary: Wednesday whispers

Mar 12, 2014, 09:40 IST | Team MiD DAY

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

Schedule duel
It was a race across town for irate journalists yesterday who were first invited to share the plans of the 53rd Dai ul-Mutlaq Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, at the Trident Hotel, Nariman Point at noon. For those not in the know, the Bohra community has been cleaved into two. A succession battle exploded into public view as Syedna Qutbuddin claimed that Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin Saheb RA, who died on January 17, 2014, had appointed him as successor a few years earlier. Another part of the community believes that it is the Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin Saheb’s son who is the successor. The split is hugely acrimonious. 

Yesterday, the press were invited to the Trident to listen to what Qutbuddin’s sons say was the truth and listen to future plans. On Tuesday noon, journalists got a shock when they went to the Mexican Room at the Trident where the press conference was supposed to be held. The room was locked. Only after frantic dialling, did some angry press persons find out that the meet had been rescheduled for the Bandra Kurla Complex. According to Qutbuddin’s spokesperson, the hotel cancelled their booking because of religious sentiments, claiming it was a security situation. Hence, they had to hastily re-schedule it. Post the 40 days of mourning, things are heating up once again in the battle of the Bohras.

Wrong number, RJs!
So, we at Wednesday Whispers were having our usual breakfast of buttered toast with synthetic, overly sweet jam on the side to beat the new WHO guidelines on daily sugar intake, when a radio commercial for a new song got our antennae up (pardon the turn of phrase).

We are generally not against radio ads for new songs; what we choked on was the description of the two performers, Mika and Yo Yo Honey Singh. The RJ helpfully told us to listen to the new song “from two iconic singers”. We choked, yes, but once that was out of the way, we laughed out loud and wondered how, in this age of hyperbole, anything goes. Admittedly, both singers are popular and have unique voices, but to call them iconic may be stretching the term a bit far.

Just to help our friendly RJs, here are a few Bollywood singers that make the cut for the “iconic” tag: Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Jagjit Singh, KL Saigal, Talat Mahmood, Geeta Dutt, Noor Jehan, and a few others whom we really, really love and admire. Sorry, Mika and Yo Yo Honey Singh, but you have some way to go before you make that august list.

Credit where it’s due
Satyamev Jayate’s second season has begun tugging at TV-watchers’ heart-strings this month, and the first burning issue it tackled was “fighting rape”. The focus of the episode was on establishing a one-stop rape crisis centre, but as a few organisations have pointed out, this demand already exists and the government is moving towards establishing such centres. Some organisations, we hear, asked the producers of the show (which is hosted by actor Aamir Khan) to refrain from taking credit for the move, once it is implemented. “We have worked for years towards this and we do not seek limelight, but it is unfair for Aamir Khan to step in and take credit at the end of the process,” a member of one of the organisations told Wednesday Whispers.

It’s true that when a star puts his weight behind an issue, it’s likely to get resolved speedily. However, we doubt that Khan will be inclined to steal the thunder from those who have been working for the issue on the ground. After all, he is the “hero with a heart”.

Guns and poses
Security personnel in banks are supposed to guard the premises and the customers. So one would expect to see them, toting guns (never mind if they are as ancient as the police force’s Lee Enfields), deterring potential burglars. A sight one definitely is not prepared for, is of a security guard in uniform, complete with rifle, busy punching in queue numbers and issuing tokens!

Desk duty: Gun at rest, securityman at work…

This particular picture was taken by a colleague, but we must note that such a sight is common in banks. While we commend the multi-tasking ability and zeal of the security personnel who help the bank’s regular employees in this way, we can’t help wondering — is this not a security lapse?

Manipur Moves
Calling you, you and you of rainbow hue. The North East is waking up to gay rights. Just a while ago, Guwahati in Assam hosted the first ever gay pride march in the North East. In fact, activists were seen fund raising for that in Mumbai during the city’s Gay pride march. Now we see that Manipur is waking up to pink power — fuchsia pink is the gay colour. C’mon get your gayminology right, now. On Saturday, March 15 the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex (LGBTI) community will hold a walk in what is a path-breaking move for Manipur. So, if you happen to be in the North East, a trip to Manipur would be in order to support the movement. Whatever your reason, more people only means more power to the cause. We approve.  

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