Mumbai, take ‘Khar’, keep safety ‘Antop’ of the list
Mumbai Police have coined puns to drive home the message. Gateway of India has led to ‘Vaccine GATEWAY to a safer INDIA’; the Worli sea link led to, ‘Do you SEA the LINK between vaccine and safety’
Alarmed at the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the city and the increasing number of people going without masks, Mumbai Police have come up with pithy warnings and signboards. Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale and his team have coined some pithy puns to drive home the message for “Mumbai-Nagariya”.
The iconic city monuments have been used to good effect. Gateway of India has led to ‘Vaccine GATEWAY to a safer INDIA’; the Worli sea link has been used to coin, ‘Do you SEA the LINK between vaccine and safety’. The business district of Cuffe Parade has been utilised to coin, ‘If you CUFF don’t join the PARADE’ or ‘Mask is the BEST’ (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking)–in a tribute to the city’s bus service which serve their best even in the worst of times.
There are also some slogans with local and suburban appeals: Mumbai, please take KHAR (a suburb in Mumbai, punning on care), Always CURREY mask while on ROAD (a reference to the Currey Road station)’ and ‘Let’s keep safety ANTOP of our priority list (Antop Hill locality).
It started with a stern warning on the Mumbai Police’s social media handle pointing out “how Mumbai is in Danger” because of the growing number of irresponsible citizens, who saunter around without care for others.
For better effect, Mumbai Police displayed the figures of the reckless people caught without face masks -- August 23 (481), August 26, (498) which shot up to nearly double to 920 on August 29 -- as a potential ‘third wave’ is menacingly hovering at the doorstep.
“Risks high, precautions low! Get serious Mumbai! THE THREAT IS REAL.”
“Look at the rising number of people caught roaming without masks last week and this might just be the tip of the iceberg. How we wish the fines you pay could keep Corona at bay. Alas!” rued the city police.
A ‘rakhi’ designed with the Covid-19 virus with strings on both sides, the Mumbai’s Big Brother with the invisible cane came up with the plea: “Tie the threads of safety for protection from Corona... This ‘Dahi-handi’ day, smash the Covid-19 virus! Layer up for safety. An extra layer of mask will always keep your immunity unbreakable, away from grip of Covid.”
Generally considered among the friendliest police forces -- at least on social media – the cheerful and light banter has elicited likes, appreciative comments and retweets. A smile is more effective than a fine or the baton, quipped a man in uniform.
The Mumbaikar agreed.