Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Whispers

Apr 15, 2015, 08:13 IST | Hemal Ashar, Fiona Fernandez, Waleed Hussain, Shashank Rao, Vidya Heble

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

Pouch that ouch
There are awards and there are awards. Most of these are genuine, but there are also awards that fall in the ‘spoof awards’ category. Which basically means individuals are rewarded for doing something or saying something inane, ridiculous or being plain bizarre.

Now the Mumbai Press Club, also known as the Glass House, has jumped into the fray with what it calls the ‘Mumbai Press Club’s Golden Ouch Awards’ for the Craziest and Most Embarrassing Moments in media. Some nominees include Shobhaa De, BBC and The New York Times. Others are Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Gen V.K. Singh.

On Monday April 20, the Mumbai Press Club gives away 10 ‘prestigious’ awards for the craziest moments in media at a function to be anchored by stand-up comedian Anuvab Pal. This is a whet-your-appetite teaser to the main course which is the more serious Mumbai Press Club RedInk Awards on April 30, 2015 that celebrate the finest in Indian journalism.

We hear for the flip one, the s expected, the Mumbai Press Club has been flooded with ‘tongue in cheek’ nominations in 10 different categories that cover a wide range of subjects from ‘gender equality’ to ‘science reporting’ and ‘food criticism’, to name a few for the ‘ouchies’.

We hear competition has been particularly intense in categories like ‘Most Sexist Comment of the Year’. The event is to be held at the Mumbai Press Club’s ‘Ouch’ Awards night at 7 pm, April 20 at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh Hall. Ah, we never tire of satire.

Watch a maestro in action
For dance aficionados, this is a chance not to be missed. Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj is conducting a workshop along with his associate and senior student Saswati Sen, on April 25, from noon to 4pm. Venue: West room 1. Registration fee : Rs 1500. Contact: 9869112010/ 8879114939 or

Pt Birju Maharaj
Pt Birju Maharaj

The workshop follows the duo’s Kathak performance, Shyam Chhabi, the previous day, April 24, at 7pm, at the Tata Theatre. Tickets start at R 200. These are part of the Mudra Dance Festival at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (

Let the fabrics flow
Lovers and followers of India’s vast repository of textiles can look forward to the opening of a spanking new Textile Gallery in the city, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, sometime next month. We were given a sneak peek into the gallery and we were wowed with what we saw, despite it being a work in progress.

There were workers buzzing around, experts were overlooking details as the glass cases awaited their exhibits. With expertise like Brinda Somaiya on board, the end result, we are sure, will be another feather in the cap of the CSMVS. The little of what we saw be it the fabrics, curiosities or the threadwork, was impressive. We can’t wait for the real deal!

A spark in a sea of blue
As the clock struck the midnight hour, a sea of Mumbai Indians fans were on their way home in a slow Virar local. The flags, they were being waved; the air-horns, they were being blown; the high-fives, they were being exchanged. It seemed like the party had moved from the stands of Wankhede to the first-class bogie of the Western Railway local.

In the midst of all the din and hullabaloo, an apparition dressed in flowing red chiffon boarded the train from Santacruz and stood by the gate. Her red dupatta began blowing in the wind as the train made its way out of the station. Her long, wavy, golden-dyed locks joined the flaming red dupatta and caught the attention of the entire motley gang of celebratory fans.

Pin-drop silence followed as many elbows were nudged and several eyebrows pointed knowingly in her direction. Two stations passed and the Lady in Red continued to hold the attention of the crowd. Whispers began to make their way around the compartment, as Andheri approached.

The object of everyone’s attention turned her head and crossed the compartment making her way to the exit on the other side. Her twinkling gaze made contact with the peering eyes for the first time since she had boarded the train.

Many jaws dropped, many just stared at her. With a knowing smile and a rather victorious shrug of her mane, she got off the train and joined her fellow ladies of the night who awaited her at the platform. “Aye Rukhsana, kaisi hai re tu,” she exclaimed with joy.

N is for Kasara
Commuters on the Central Railway are by now used to the quirky abbreviations of some of the major local destinations. But these still leave newcomers bemused and often confused. Kurla, for instance, is indicated with the letter C. This makes absolutely no sense to most people, and many have accepted it as one of those things.

There is a reasoning to this, however and it is the fact that during the days of the Raj, Kurla was spelt Coorla. And the C has been carried over from British times. Then come the stations further north, such as Karjat and Kasara. The former is indicated by S, and the latter by N. Confusing? The answer lies in the points of the compass.

Karjat is south of the biggie junction, Kalyan, hence the S. And Kasara is to the north so it is N. Remembering this is a chore, and we asked some commuters how they remember. Most said they just look at the full form on the indicator, to make sure the right train is arriving. One woman commuter said, “There is S in the word ‘Kasara’ so I know that the opposite (N) is Kasara.” Convoluted reasoning, but if it works, why not?

In case you were wondering why Khopoli, also a far-flung station on the Central line, is indicated by the easy-to-figure-out KP, that’s because it was introduced later and — well, we guess they didn’t want to go so far as to name it after any more points of the compass!

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