Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Whispers

Updated: Mar 25, 2015, 08:34 IST | Hemal Ashar, Vijay Pednekar, Varun Singh, Shadab Khan, Vidya Heble |

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

Of clothes, communication and the CM's wife
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is, of course, very much in the news. (We wouldn’t think much of a CM who wasn’t seen, would we?) But another Fadnavis who is being noticed is his wife, Amruta. In fact, she is said to have hired a public relations firm to help with her image and media relations.

Amruta Fadnavis at Fashion Week...
Amruta Fadnavis at Fashion Week...

There appears to be a bit of doubt over who approached whom, but the fact remains that Hallway is the PR firm for Mrs Chief Minister. Amruta Fadnavis herself says that the firm has been appointed on a trial basis, and she is not entirely sure whether she needs it. She says she is accessible to most mediapersons, and things have not changed much for her.

...and at home in her kitchen during Gudi Padwa
...and at home in her kitchen during Gudi Padwa

“I will try it for a month or two, and see how it works. I answer the phones of all the media people whom I know. If there’s any new social cause, this firm may be of help,” she told us. Hallway has already made waves of sorts, by announcing on their social media page that they were handling Fadnavis as a client.

They also put up a picture of her cooking in the kitchen of the official residence, Varsha, during Gudi Padwa. However, the announcement and the photograph have since disappeared — but not before we managed to get a copy of it. Oddly enough, Fadnavis is at home in the same dress that she wore when she attended Fashion Week recently.

Obviously, she is a “real person” ie, not a model or a professional celebrity who is never seen wearing the same thing twice. But when a you are a company whose business is image, just make sure your client is not so obviously seen in the same outfit, in such drastically contrasting contexts. Seems that it is not the CM’s wife but the PR firm which needs “handling”.

Game, Set, Match, Click?
WHO needs frail human players when robots can take part in sports? There was, of course, the world-famous Deep Blue which (or should we say “who”?) played chess rather well. And machines are known to do all sorts of other things that save people a lot of time. But games, as played on court and field, are meant for relaxation and recreation.

Students of KJ Somaiya College demonstrate the robots playing badminton. Pic/Shadab Khan
Students of KJ Somaiya College demonstrate the robots playing badminton. Pic/Shadab Khan

Well, in case the whole sports thing is just too much of a drag, here are robots to the rescue. Yesterday, students of KJ Somaiya College of Engineering in Vidyavihar demonstrated the robotic badminton players they fabricated for their entry to the robotics event ABU-Robocon 2015, held recently in Pune.

Somaiya qualified for the 26-team Super League, but the event was ultimately won by Ahmedabad’s Institute of Technology, Nirma University. Pity we can’t pin up posters of robots. Guess human sportspeople will still win the day!

Wisdom Gleaned
Yesterday was World Tuberculosis Day, designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to combat it. The slogan was and has to remain reach, treat, cure every one.

Mumbai’s Dr Sameer Garde, Pulmonologist, Global Hospital, says that that maintaining good hygiene is one of the preventive measures of TB. Yet, it is his point: “Public spitting is the main cause of spreading TB,” which is especially relevant. “Avoid spitting in public places,” he says.

It should resonate with Mumbaikars especially, who see people spitting every day, out of cars, standing on bus stops and even in public buildings and infrastructure, which at times has walls stained with red, thanks to paan. Cut it out, Mumbai. It gives us the heebie-jeebies and some, TB.

Telling it on two wheels
It is comforting to know that not all two-wheeler riders are reckless rule-breakers. Although, on any given day, this does seem to be the case. We saw this biker in Thane who has a notice, apparently permanently affixed to the back of his motorcycle, exhorting people to follow the rules.

Heed Moru’s message, it’s a good one! Pic/Vijay Pednekar
Heed Moru’s message, it’s a good one! Pic/Vijay Pednekar

He has invoked the name of a popular fictional character, “Moru” and titled the poster “Moru Mhane”, sort of an equivalent of “Simon Says”. Follow the rules and prevent accidents, says the poster; and oh, how we wish everyone would read it and practise it!

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