Sunday, 31 October 2010

Arty Changing Times in Mumbai

The Making of Sunday Mid-day Preview Mumbai  

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Ladies Local

Many years ago there used to be just one ladies compartment in Mumbai Local trains, but times changed when number of women increased ten fold so much so that we had ladies local at certain time of the day.

It was fun watching only women board the only-for-ladies train while men do the bird watching.....

Just gaping hahaaha

Now--a better progress, Mumbai local has its first woman driver.

Like lakhs of Mumbaikars, 34-year-old Priti Kumari rode a local train on Tuesday. The only difference was that she piloted it, becoming the first motorwoman of Western Railway (WR) to do so. Kumari, who hails from Bihar, drove the 2:29 pm local between Churchgate and Borivli and was guided by a chief loco inspector.

Kumari, mother of 10-year-old girl, is the history graduate, who also has a diploma in electronics, she joined the railways in August 2009. On October 11 she and two other motormen were asked to give tests and go through final training in front of senior WR officials. Her husband works for the Indian Air Force, and she will play the crucial role of running more than 1,200 services every day.

“We have to remain alert constantly, especially with the signalling system and at crossovers,” said Surekha Yadav, Asia’s first woman train driver who has been running engines on Central Railway’s long distance trains since 2000. “I am hopeful more women will join the fleet.”

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Shades and Hues of Navratri Festival in Mumbai

Last year, when I had travelled by a local train in the Ladies compartment during the Navratri festival, I noticed that all the women in the ladies compartment were dressed in blue.

The next day when I had travelled again I saw that they were all dressed in yellow.

Seeing two women dressed in the same colour is normal but seeing more than twenty ladies sitting next to each other in similar colours in a public place is rare, especially if they don’t know each other.

So how did they decide on same color?

Good question!

I was naturally amused and I had approached one woman to ask her about this dress code and that’s when I learnt that women who celebrate Navrati festival observe a dress color code which is similar to the color of sari worn by Goddess Mahalaxmi idol at Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai during the festival.

Legend has it, that Goddess Durga wore a different coloured saree for each of the nine days of Navratri.

Quite a fashion statement, I must say!!

I am told that the colours to sport during this period are :

Pratipada – October 8, Friday- Green
Dwitiya – October 9, Saturday - Grey
Tritiya – October 10, Sunday - Pink
Chaturthi - October 11, Monday- White
Panchami – October 12, Tuesday- Red
Shasti – October 13, Wednesday- Blue
Saptami – October 14, Thursday - Yellow
Ashtami – October 15, Friday - Violet
Navami - October 16 , Saturday- Peacock

So don’t be surprised if you see women in same color outfits OR maybe you could join in too by wearing the right colour.

Will you??

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Oberoi Mall in Mumbai

Everybody has been raving about Oberoi mall since a long time. I was not very keen to visit this mall since this one is quite far away from my house in Bandra.

One question, please, if you don't

Don’t all the malls look-alike? Some are twins, exactly the same - (if made by the same builder) and some blood brothers,(if made by copy-cat builders). Its like- 'If you have seen one, then you have seen them all'. All the malls have same things, same brands, with only slight change in styles that suits the demography of that place and the people.

But my friends calls - visiting a mall- ‘an outing’…ah well - so for the sake of one another 'outing' to a faraway suburb, here I am - visiting one more mall, on a Saturday afternoon – a mall that I have never visited before… Yes! It’s Oberoi mall at Goregoan.

But wait a minute- what is this?

Just opposite the mall is this ‘chalta firta’ book stall that sells the latest books at 1/3 the original book (store) price. Guess why?? Yes.. you guessed it right - they are photocopies of the original books - but since there are buyers who are willing to buy cheap books and some are actually seen bargaining with these guys to cut the price still further,  so its worth doing this kind of business, isn’t it..?? (I would cringe if I saw my book on sale in that pile- ooooh!shudder*) bitchnish..hehee

And then there are more guys selling fresh flowers in case you are in a romantic mood and want to buy flowers for some one (new?).

Well this is Mumbai - like - it is rightly said that this is the city of opportunities and there is job for everyone, (good reason for exodus) you just have to be innovative and hardworking. In Mumbai, people are very fond of shopping, it is the second best thing they do it well (first choice is eating of course, if you were wondering)

 So we head towards Oberoi mall, a big poster outside the mall announces ‘Women’s Wednesday…wondering what that is?? Well, the management of this mall wants to make a gambler out of bored women. Every Wednesday, they organize Bingo games for idle, desperate housewives who have nothing better to do…hahahaa!!

Oh yes! One more thing- remember you have to be brave enough to face heavy traffic, yeah - dodge the bus, the car, the auto to cross over to reach this mall.

And if you were expecting something different other than these escalators and the row of shops all around, then let me remind you that there is nothing extraordinary inside the mall, well – don’t be disappointed, I don’t mean to scare you, Why not just go up to the third floor, gliding up the escalators and plop in the food mall to enjoy some thing to eat, eh? I mean ‘pet pooja’….or maybe a cup of coffee? or better still, just come out of the mall and sit outside to enjoy the water fountain or the polluted breeze…

That’s what an average Mumbaikar does in Mumbai…

What else can one do??

Its either keeping cool inside the AC mall or go outside on the crowded streets and sit on the steps, no there are no benches, this is India, here they have a phobia of beggars using the public seats.

But there is a better option too, of walking over to the nearest joggers park….

Wink, wink*

The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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