Mumbai Masala: No more sizzlers

Mumbai Masala: No more sizzlers

Presenting a small slice of Mumbai, the city of dreams, with a tempering of aspirations, passion and its bheed [crowd].

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, April 24, 2023, 10:22 AM IST
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Mumbai Masala | File Photo

No more sizzlers

In 1993 a little restaurant called Over Fresh opened at Shivaji Park. It served some excellent pasta, garlic bread, sizzlers, etc. The kitchen was behind a large glass pane and you could look while your order was being prepared.

However, the restaurant has undergone a change and not entirely for the better. The kitchen is not transparent anymore and, shockingly, it has stopped serving its sizzlers, which were the best in town. When this diarist recently asked a stewardess for the reason she replied, “Lot of people were complaining about the steam emerging from the sizzlers as they were being brought hot from the kitchen to the dining area. They were coughing and what not.”

But they served sizzlers for years. Why stop? The Gujju owners also refused to open a branch elsewhere “since we want to ensure that there is no compromise on quality”.

That is also changing now. On Saturday they opened a branch in Lonavla where they will be serving, among other things, Gujarati thali!

The RBI conundrum

Can an employee association be older than the organisation? It sounds impossible. But that is what is happening with the Reserve Bank of India Employees’ Association. It is currently celebrating its centenary year while the RBI has to wait for another 12 years for its own centenary. The reason for this is that currency management was vested in the office of the Controller of Currency under the then-British government. The employees of the currency office in Mumbai formed the Currency Employees’ Association in 1923. On the formation of the RBI in 1935, the same association was rechristened as the RBI Employees’ Association.

At present, the pillar of the association is its general secretary, AN Subhedar. A Shiv Sainik, he is soft-spoken and gentleman. He would give a patient hearing to any employee. Over the years, all governors have considered it a pleasure to deal with him. Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar and other leaders of the party honed their skills at the association. In fact, leaders like Kirtikar, who formed the Sthanik Lok Adhikar Samiti, were responsible for getting jobs for middle-class Marathi people in the RBI, LIC, ONGC and other PSUs.

Celebrating Books

People buying books in Fort area, Mumbai on  World Book Day; the first Book day was celebrated on April 23, 1995

People buying books in Fort area, Mumbai on World Book Day; the first Book day was celebrated on April 23, 1995 | Swapnil Sakhare

Nightmare at Nariman Point

Nariman Point at night becomes a nightmare. There are any number of slides, merry go rounds, mini giant wheels. They are dirty and dangerous. The place is dark and it’s difficult to drive one’s car through the crowd. The ponies look malnutritioned. The children understandably look scared to sit on the painted contraptions. But their parents don’t appear to mind.

Nariman Point appears to be neglected. There are jhopdas on pavements. A water kiosk stopped working ages ago. Attendants make a killing by encouraging double parking. The pavements are uneven. The BMC appears to have forgotten to include this district in its Rs 2,000-crore beautification plan

The chaos outside Siddhivinayak Temple

A visit to the Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi is increasingly becoming a frustrating experience. There are any number of illegal flower stalls, which charge a bomb for a ‘tokri’ of flowers. The price can be upwards of Rs 250. Even as you are negotiating your way through the crowd, scores of little girls pester you to buy roses. They accost you till you enter the main building. While the Ganesh deity itself is a picture of serenity, the chaos outside is unbelievable. Why can’t someone devise a way for crowd management, so that devotees can have darshan without being jostled? The problem is that the temple management is in the hands of politicians who lack the expertise to improve the situation.

Compiled by: S Balakrishnan

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