Mumbai Diary: Wednesday whispers

Apr 09, 2014, 08:31 IST | Hemal Ashar, Shashank Rao, Vidya Heble

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

Slum bank?
Election time is when anything goes — including hit songs rewritten to suit leaders, with promises and punchlines galore. But sometimes the music is not enough to attract followers to the Pied Piper of the day. During MP Sanjay Nirupam’s visit to the Ganpat Patil slum pocket in Borivali yesterday, though the loudspeakers were doing their best to entice people with catchy numbers, Nirupam’s supporters had to still call through the gullies, “Baahar niklo, Sanjay ji aaye hain (Come out, Sanjay ji has arrived)!” Nirupam arrived an hour later than scheduled but did his best to win hearts and votes as he walked around the area. He claimed that he has visited the shanty area some 50 times in the last five years — so we can’t help wondering why the place is full of muddy paths, stony ground and filthy puddles. He gamely walked through it all, however; so at least for one evening, he was on the same page as his constituents.

Defending Yuvraj
Needless to say, Yuvraj Singh has been the butt of ridicule after Sri Lanka beat India in the World T20 cricket final on Sunday night. Jokes apart, some people on social media have been downright vicious in their attacks on Singh, apparently forgetting his stellar track record in the past. Brings to mind Singh’s TV commercial some years ago, wherein he says — in effect — that things go okay so long as the bat does well. The same ad was called to mind when Singh was diagnosed with cancer, and the nation cheered when he returned to the pitch. Now, that fervour has turned against him.

But there have been tweeple and bloggers standing up for Yuvraj too, such as this emotional tweet: “Sukh ke sab saathi dukh mein na koi ... No matter what, you are a true champion Yuvraj.” And one echoing the poll flavour: “We Indians are stupid. If Yuvraj doesn’t perform well we pelt stones at his house. If a neta doesn’t do anything for five years, we elect him again.”

Blogger “Heartranjan” in a passionate post upbraided people for targeting Singh, asking, “What really did he do? Did he pursue and hack someone to death? He had a bad day at work. … Have you ever seen anybody stone the house of politicians? No, sir. You know why? Because they are powerful. Because ... their bodyguards will punch you till your small intestine becomes your large intestine and your liver becomes a dier. And so we choose the easy prey. Actors, authors, cricketers, social workers, and women in pubs. Those not powerful enough to defend themselves.”

We agree. If only people cared as much about the government they elect, as they do about one lost cricket match.

Lessons in name-calling
SAVVY magazine from the Magna stable headed by magnate Nari Hira held a felicitation function for some of its “Savvy women”, who have been on the cover of the magazine for the past few years. The magazine made “Savvy men” give an award and felicitate the women. There were several Savvy men — Aftaab Shivdasani, Gulshan Grover, Kabir Bedi, whose still-deep baritone sent women sighing in the F-Lounge and Bar at the IndiaBulls Centre in Lower Parel. Former India cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar was also one of the Savvy men called up on stage to felicitate a Savvy woman. The compere, however, kept saying “Dilip Veng‘ser’kar” instead of “Vengsarkar”. The batsman told the young woman, “Do pronounce my name correctly, it is Vengsarkar not Veng‘ser’kar.” The compere apologised, saying, “Thodi si dikkat hai” (there is a little difficulty) but the elegant, wristy bat retaliated, “Shikaa, shikaa, tumhi shikaa” (learn, learn) to laughs.

Walking the toilet talk
City boy Shaunak Samvatsar has won second place for his cartoon (above) titled “Doli”, in the World Water Day cartoon competition organised by the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance in New Delhi last month.

The subject was “Breaking the taboo in talking about sanitation”, and Samvatsar’s cartoon takes a humorous look at the portable toilet. A cartoonist, writer and animation film designer, Samvatsar’s credits include the pre-production of two animated TV features and the TV series Pakdam Pakdai. 

A pat on the back to the talented Mumbai lad.



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