Category Archives: Mumbai Life

Of European Elections and Holiday Halloween-ing


As you’ve all no doubt heard by now, France is done with its first round of voting in its national election. They’re getting a new President soon, and they want to make sure that they give the top 2 candidates a fair shot at the title, so they have a 2 stage process – phase 1, which just ended, featured all of the candidates wooing the voters (including this one who took technology to transcend the physical limitations of the human body); phase 2, which is later in May, features just the top 2 candidates from phase 1. It’s a fairly simple process compared to the complex electoral process followed most recently in a nation that elected a fairly complex president, but only slightly less complex than in my own country, where there is a somewhat layered approach to electing a Prime Minister.  Anyway, for the first time in a very long time, none of the mainstream politicians are eligible for the 2nd round voting in France – both Macron and Le Pen have unseated the long-favoured socialists and republicans and have set up a unique race in France; not a surprise, considering the exit polls, but certainly an indication of changing winds. And for the second time in a very short span of time, we may have yet another not-so-orange-faced-but-certainly-orange-minded President to contend with. With Brexit on course to derail the EU and one candidate’s clear indicates towards a Frexit or a Fra-tata, the world is following this election. Me – I’m not. I’m binge watching Fargo (Martin Freeman is such a classy actor that you’ll want to watch the series again, just for him.)

Meanwhile, my neighbourhood decided to honour Halloween in mid-April. We had Halloween decorations, candy, people in costumes… everything to believe I had indeed crossed the Atlantic. Why they decided to harbour the belief that we need Halloween, I don’t know. Why they felt we needed it in the middle of April, I get though… its super duper hot and I can only believe that ghosts and witches and the paranormal are responsible  for it(climate change – pfft!).

Conjuring witches and pumpkins in Mumbai y’all!
The laziness of pulling down decorations transcends borders

And on a side note – Adnan Sami still performs. He performed at this Halloween extravaganza the other day and he was pretty good. His band almost broke the window panes of my house with their bass settings and amplification, but he was pretty good. I had a headache from the extremely loud music which didn’t reduce despite me blocking every single crack through which sound waves could creep into my house, but he was pretty good. Apparently, local residents complained that it was a bit too loud for their liking, but the cops may have told them,

He was pretty good…!

Until I find more relevant news and/or annoying local tidbits. Ciao!

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Things social media throws up…


… That may make you throw up.

As I was horsing around on Twitter today I found this tweet courtesy of a media house.

Let me give you some background on this groundbreaking quote. Earlier this week, the municipal corporation of Mumbai (where I reside) passed an order banning the sale of beef and mutton for four days, allegedly to appease the followers of Jainism, who began their annual 10 day fast on 10 Sep. Let me say that again. Ban on beef and mutton. Chicken was explicitly allowed to be sold, as were fish and eggs.

The over imaginative people that we are, we spent the last 4 days wondering why other “non veg” foodstuffs were exempt from the ban. We thought beef and mutton both pertain to meat obtained from sacred animals. (albeit sacred to different religions… The Hindus worship cows. Jainism is a religion that believes that ALL creatures are equally sacred.)
Than we thought they were trying to save us few bucks by asking us to buy cheaper meat for a few days.

But this logic had me stumped.
Fish are dead as soon as they are out of the water so they aren’t slaughtered??! Did they willingly fly out of the water and into the waiting nets? Or did they just love your pretty mug and decide to surface to “take a selfie” with a cute duck face? Lack of oxygen apparently implies that a creature isn’t slaughtered… So that’s probably a safe method to take care of your boss eh…?

I’m trying to be as respectful as I can about religions and how politicians interpret them to suit their needs. Because if we are truly a ‘secular’ country… This sort of ban says very little about how tolerant we are about others’ beliefs.
This kind of reasoning sets us back many many years… And make me wish that we never evolved to make it out of the waters in the first place.

P. S. As I wrote this post (through the course of the day) the corporation chickened out (tee hee) and was forced to retract the ban to just 2 days. We could argue that there is simply no rationale as to why a 2 day ban would make people of a religion feel less “offended” than usual… But maybe there’s a logic that will follow in a tweet tomorrow. Like how 2 is the only even prime number less than 10 (duh of course) and how even numbers are more auspicious than odd ones.

Do you have any ideas on why chicken is exempt from the ban? Tell me… Or tweet about it 😉

P. P. S. In a juicy twist to this meaty controversy, the High Court has (apparently read my blog and) stayed the ban on meat on the same grounds that I rubbished it in the first place – why only certain non-vegetarian foodstuffs and why only certain days!! While it is still unclear on whether I will be inducted into the bench in order to assist them in their future efforts to keep this city safe (and sane), this fellow vegetarian blogger is happy to announce that the ban has been er… banned. Two negatives make a positive. Math lives on!

3 things my city police does so well that I sometimes faint


… from laughing out loud.

As I walk/ride around this gem of a city called Mumbai, I am often treated to sights that… frankly have me on the floor rolling in laughter. Not surprisingly, many of them are courtesy of our super vigilant police force. Don’t get me wrong – I completely respect the effort the force puts in to keep our city safe every now and again… But I think sometimes they take a break and leave us in peels of laughter.
These are 3 things I’ve seen around the city that baffle me to the point of stomach cramps

1. Incorrectly placed signage

image

(If you can’t read/understand Marathi, here’s the translation:
Mumbai Police
Matunga Police Station (pertains to the locality where I nabbed this image)
Stop.)

Exhibit A is this beautifully constructed and exquisitely painted sign asking a vehicle to stop. Problem is… it is placed right behind an electricity junction box so that the only person who sees it is an unsuspecting pedestrian who maintains a ridiculous blog.
I took the cops seriously and stopped.
😀

2. Incorrectly positioned checkpoints
There is a faux checkpoint (because it is temporary construction and not cemented/bolted down) not far from where I work that I am forced to navigate every day. What makes this the most incorrectly placed checkpoint in the history of checkpoints (other than Checkpoint Charlie) is
a. It seems to serve no purpose since the cops don’t really frisk/ scan anything or anyone.
b. It is so strategically placed that it blocks 1 lane of a 2 lane approach road to a business district.
c. Sometimes it isn’t even manned!

So basically… It’s a blockade in the wrong place and (during peak office traffic) at the wrong time. While on foot once, I asked a cop what the checkpoint was for. He answered, “Sahab bole laga ke gaadi ka checking karo, hum laga diye”. (Translation: My boss asked me to put it up and check vehicles, so we put it up). It still didn’t answer my question, but his answer was so sincere that I left him to his fate. And the traffic to its own.

P. S. Most days I pass by the checkpoint with a mix of laughter and anger, so I’ve never been able to steady a shot of the place. But I promise to make an honest attempt of sharing this most spectacular checkpoint for y’alls amusement.

3. Confusing parking/tow zones
I’ll start by accepting that I’m not quite sure who’s responsible for updating the signs informing people about parking zones… But since you have to get to the cops to get it ‘untowed’ I’d say the buck stops with them. I know the signs are put up by the traffic police… But I’m sort of unclear on whether it’s their job to update it or that of the municipality folks.
I am proud to state that my city is home to the most complicated parking zone signs ever seen (by me or you or any extra terrestrial creature). Exhibits B and C below explain how a particular side of the road is a no-parking zone on even (or odd) days. Even. Days. What’s next… quizzing me about parking on prime days??! Or Fibonacci days?! Or god forbid Perfect days?!

image

image

And I wonder how would you really enforce it…? Would you drive around as 12:01 am on the morning of the 3rd to tow away cars? And do you really expect me to set an alarm for 12:01 am every other day to re-park my car??! I don’t even see dog owners being as punctual!! At this rate I would need to invest in a smart car just to tell me which side of the road to park on (and smartly park itself on the other side at midnight).

P. S. I own a two-wheel one-gear bicycle. It has never been towed on odd or even days.

With a promise to bring you more earth-shattering news from the financial capital of India… This is me signing off.