30 Sep 2011


How to make Mumbaikars open their jebs.

This ex-professor from SP Jain and Marine Engineer can give you a crash course in how to touch the hearts of those bored expressionless men in a typical western line first class gents compartment and make them open their purses.

In the time it takes to reach Goregaon from Jogeshwari (which is a little longer than most other stretches), he gives a talk about his life mission: running a free school for kids in South Konkan.

He starts by waving laminated copies of news reports about him in English and Marathi. he then talks about his school and introduces himself (in English and Marathi). When he starts talking, most of them lift their eyebrows and look at him like they look at that unfortunate second class ticket holder who got into first class by mistake. Then they keep their ears open and either look back into the newspaper or close their eyes and pretend to sleep. However, by the end of his horizontal elevator pitch and when the transparent box with cash comes before their face, they are already pulling out Rs. 10, 50, 100 and 500 Gandhi notes out!

His name is Professor Sandeep Desai. This is his Mission: Shloka. The trustees.

He's not the only person I have seen doing such magic. Mumbaikars actually shell out a lot of cash if convinced that the person deserves it. The other magician is a guy who plies the Kurla -Vashi section. He plays one of those 2 string contraption to play music from the Kumar Sanu era. But he plays it so beautifully that people, who don't blink while downloading illegal music, open their purses, and just give. There's hope for those who make music - good music.


Nilay said...

Seen our Siemens Print ad about Mumbai Locals? Could have used you as our photographer! Cheers.

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Nilay. Next time :)

rashmi said...

Brilliant! and now your blogs have a dedicated follower! Can we find you on twitter?

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Thank you.
Yes. I'm on twitter:


Chitra said...

lovely post. loved the story/ies. :)
and the pics too.

Iniyaal said...

Interesting, and inspiring as well :)

Curry Spice said...

hey lovely post. I admire the way you collect stories about this city. There is so much heart in what you do. I salute your work.

The Floating Clouds said...

Nice one. In the second class, the purses might have opened more easily I think, but Desai might not have found space to move so freely.

Mareta Kusumaningrum said...

Two Thumbs Up for Professor Sandeep Desai. Just open his mission, great picture work and also the story :)

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