Apathy for history
The average Indian on the streets has little understanding of history and even less respect for relics from the past. Dozens of valuable remnants of history lie scattered across Mumbai, most of them neglected and forgotten, with their worth rarely recognised. One such gem resurfaced in Bandra, the queen of suburbs, last week following the action against hawkers who had occupied the open space outside the railway station. It’s a plaque proclaiming the inauguration of Turner Road --- named after the then president of the Bandra Municipality --- way back in 1913. Needless to say, this one, too, is a testimony to the apathy of the authorities as well as the general public towards objects of historical value. The plaque was being used by hawkers to display their fares.
Electric buses make a comeback in Mumbai
While the smog-choked Delhi is still debating the odd-even formula and is squabbling over more DTC buses, the BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) introduced electric buses in Mumbai last week. Though there were some technical snags and the buses couldn’t hit the road immediately, they’ve generated hope for a pollution-free public transport in the city. This is not Mumbai’s first experiment with electricity driven public transport. Old timers will recall that BEST ran electric trams in the city from 1907 to 1964 and electric buses from 1962 to 1971 before they were phased out. So, it seems old wisdom prevails. But the most interesting feature of the new buses is that they will generate electricity whenever the driver applies the brakes. Those who know the Mumbai traffic would know that the possibility of these buses getting discharged is very low.
Mumbaikar Mayor in US
A local lad is going places in the US, making the city proud. Hemant Marathe, a native of Dadar and an alumnus of IIT Bombay, who moved to the US in 1984, has become the first Indian American Mayor of West Windsor in New Jersey. Marathe, who has been living in the town for over 20 years now, served nine years on the school board as its president before he ascended to the City Council last year. He has also served as council liaison to the Affordable Housing Committee, the Zoning Board and the Parking Authority. Transparent administration, good roads and better civic facilities – the promises that the administrators of Mumbai have been making since ages – formed the core of Marathe’s campaign and fetched him 48 per cent votes. The only difference is that he will be directly responsible for fulfilling the promises, unlike politicians here in Mumbai.
Elderly die a lonely death
It’s a lonely life for many a senior citizen in our cities. Sadly, it’s a lonely death, too, for some of them whose children do not even bother to bid them a final farewell. In their mad rush for money, success, better career opportunities and a more comfortable life, they often leave their old parents to fend for themselves. A few months ago, US-based NRI techie Rituraj Sahani, upon his visit back home after nearly a year, was shocked to find his mother Asha Sahani’s skeleton at their Andheri home, where she lived alone. A similar case surfaced last week. When Fransis Kutinho, a 60-year-old resident of Fort, died last week, there was nobody to attend to him. Neighbours came to know about his death only from the stink of the decomposing body. Shockingly, when the police contacted Kutinho’s NRI son Kelvin, he replied over email that he was too busy to come for the last rites of his father. The police then searched for other distant family members of Kutinho and performed his last rites.
Swanky new home for Akshay Kumar?
Actor Akshay Kumar is learnt to have purchased four swanky flats at a super-luxury tower in Andheri last week. The flats, measuring 2,200 sq ft are on the 21st floor of the tower, which has several amenities ranging from swimming pool to jogging track, infinity deck, barbeque corner and fitness centre. The complex also has special facilities for children such as an exclusive zone and a multi-purpose court. Sources said Akshay, who currently stays at a sea-facing apartment in Juhu with wife Twinkle Khanna and children, might be thinking of shifting to this new swanky address, though there is no official announcement from the actor yet.