Mumbai Masala: A Holiday From Voting

Mumbai Masala: A Holiday From Voting

The hotels and resorts of Lonavala, Khandala, Matheran, etc, are already overbooked on May 20. This is vacation time, so the well heeled, who lecture on the importance of voting, have already booked their seats to fly to the USA and other destinations.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, May 13, 2024, 09:29 AM IST
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Voting | Representational Image

Many citizens, who are forever busy writing or forwarding election-related messages on social media, are likely to do the vanishing act on May 20, voting day. The hotels and resorts of Lonavala, Khandala, Matheran, etc, are already overbooked. This is vacation time, so the well heeled, who lecture on the importance of voting, have already booked their seats to fly to the USA and other destinations. It won't be surprising if the percentage of voting is among the lowest this year in the city. Strangely enough, voter mobilisation by almost all the parties is also low. Earlier, one used to get cards from political parties informing you of the election booth where you are supposed to cast your votes. These days no party sends any cards. The election commission’s website is also not of much help. There is apathy all around. One feels sorry for the candidates who are taking out rallies under the hot sun appealing for votes.

Potty About Pottery

Navi Mumbai resident Madhu Shankar is an activist with a difference. She raises her voice against illegal hawking and other issues. But she also uses a unique therapy to help people, especially youth. She uses pottery to help people calm their minds. Over the years, she has trained several youths and others to help find peace of mind and improve their mental focus by getting them to do pottery. She says when a person creates something out of clay then he or she gets a sense of satisfaction. There is a feel-good feeling to pottery, which she uses to help people overcome depression and other mind-related maladies.

Seeing her work, the local police approached her to conduct workshops for their personnel, who often work under stressful conditions. "This is my way of helping those around me," she says. She is also into tree plantation. Recently, when she was planting a sapling outside singer Shankar Mahadevan's bungalow in Vashi, the artiste himself joined her. Incidentally, extensive planting of saplings and nurturing them is the solution to climate change. Experts have warned of permanent heatwave conditions in the next couple of years. Air conditioners and fans will be of no help. If each Indian plants and cares for a sapling then almost overnight we can reverse climate change. None of our netas realise this and are busy doling out more and more FSI to builders to develop whatever little open spaces are left.

For The Love Of Mother Nature

On Mother’s Day, which is observed on May 12, students and senior citizens participated in a beach
clean-up drive at Bandra’s Carter Road

On Mother’s Day, which is observed on May 12, students and senior citizens participated in a beach clean-up drive at Bandra’s Carter Road | Vijay Gohil FPJ

Weddings And Gastronomical Innovations

The wedding season is on and some of the adventurous guests use this as an opportunity to try their hands at gastronomical innovations. For example, there is this guy who has paav bhaji ka bhaaji with sada dosa or strawberry ice cream with steaming hot rice. Another guy loves to have chilled aam ras with pulao. A third one gets the caterer to put a filling of chhole inside masala dosa. Some people would like to enjoy their jalebis with mango pickle. Others pour sambar on chapatis and eat.

Nowadays a new way to beat the queues at buffet counters is to start with the desserts first and then come to the main course. Some people will do anything for food...I guess. By the way, many of the caterers prepare food in most unhygienic locations behind the mandaps. The plates are also cleaned in the open with water stored in drums. The health department of the BMC or the FDA rarely checks wedding venues. The glitter of the decorations often hide the liberties that many caterers take with the health of guests.

Save Water, Save Life

A video is making its rounds in the social media which makes eminent sense. In it a man can be seen appealing to people not to serve full glasses of water to guests. He says very often the guests have a few sips and the remaining water is thrown by the host into the sink. Like this, lakhs of litres of water goes waste every day. The man suggests that you keep empty glasses along with a bottle of water in front of the guests and leave it to them to pour how much water they want. A simple solution, but something which can be of great help in saving water.

Also, we could ask those washing cars to use the bare minimum of water. In the morning one can see in almost all housing societies, the guys washing cars doing virtual abhishek of water to the vehicles. What a waste. The hotel association can take the lead and advise all its members to serve only half glass of water to patrons and give more only if they ask for it.

There are a thousand and one ways in which we can save water, but sadly very few are aware of the impending water crisis. Rural Maharashtra is already facing acute water shortage with most of the dams having only 20% water. Mumbai may face a similar fate if we don't wake up now.

Tailpiece

The elections commission has come out with an innovative slogan: In the voting booth all fingers are the same.

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