Going by the swank interiors of the low-rise building in Worli, one could have easily mistaken it for a plush corporate office. The men worked on their laptops inside the complex with its Italian flooring, stylish bathroom fittings, tasteful upholstery, well-organised cabinets and colourful wall paintings. The erstwhile drab office, belonging to the Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation, has been given a new look over the past several months since Mumbai’s former police commissioner Arup Patnaik took charge as its new managing director. Also on the anvil is an annex building to be constructed at a cost of Rs 12 crore. Patnaik who has been trying to push for better number and quality of new housing stock for the police, if required even in collaboration with the private sector, attributes the new look office to his personal interest in interior designing. “Also, if you are trying to sell Cartier or Hermes, the showroom itself has to look impressive,” he quipped.
To cap it all
From being associated with the independence movement to being appropriated by the Aam Aadmi Party, the humble Gandhi cap has undergone quite a transformation in the last 60 years. But astute Mumbaikars have now started using the cap for more mundane purposes. A recent congregation held in South Mumbai attracted visitors from across the state. The organisers, in order to ensure that the visitors who also did some sight-seeing didn’t get lost in Mumbai’s crowds distributed Gandhi topis to the group. Interestingly, the caps were also emblazoned with the names of the cities the vistors came from. Asked why he was wearing the printed cap, one of the visitors replied: “In this city you can’t see anything but people’s heads. So wearing this cap ensures we can identify our group members.”
While Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) at the Mumbai airport have no time for anything else, thanks to the busy air traffic, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is taking no chances with safety. While AAI frowns upon mobile phone usage during shifts, it ensures that ATC officers do not even attempt to charge their mobile phones. Pasted on almost every equipment and computer in the ATC skytower at Santa Cruz is the note,” Do not use USB ports of keyboards and CPUs for charging mobile phones or any other purposes,” with a clincher, “It may lead to system failure.” Such a system failure is impossible, revealed one of the ATCOs, not very pleased about these notes.
Confused passengers in an Air India flight on Saturday were in for an unusual experience when the pilot started speaking over the microphone. It was a 6 am flight to Delhi and the pilot, after giving general specifications about the duration of flight and expected altitude to be taken, paused, and said: “I apologise for the high temperature in the cabin. This is an older aircraft and it will take some time before temperature cools.” Passengers could only smile and wait for airconditioning to kick in.
Quite an ‘aam’ solution
After undertaking a ‘referendum’ about the fate of a playground that abuts Bhau Daji Lad museum, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) was initially supposed to declare the results on February 10 but postponed it by a day. On being asked why, a senior leader said, “People are quite overwhelmed by the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) sweep in the Delhi elections, so we decided to wait for a day before we announce our overwhelming results on the museum.” At a press conference, the leader also said that if municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte failed to take action even after the referendum, the MNS would give Kunte’s phone number to residents. “They can start sending the commissioner personal messages that they want to retain the ground,” he said. Rather impressed by AAP’s methods, apparently.
Coconuts cost dear
With the electronic media shooting their piece to cameras outside the residence of social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand on Thursday, three casually dressed men, one carrying a yellow and black nylon rope, hurriedly walked away. Turns out the trio worked at R K Coconuts, a store less than 50 metres from the Setalvad residence. Having visited as they do every few months to get coconuts down from the coconut trees in the compound, the three found themselves stuck inside with the Ahmedabad crime branch team waiting to arrest the activist. “We have been going to their house for several years to take coconuts from the trees. My men went at 9 am this morning, finished their work by 2 pm but we were kept until 5 pm without any and food or water,” complained the store owner, Muhammad Kutty.