Four days after the inauguration of Chennai Metro, commuters are facing a new kind of problem — travelling with media savvy politicians who want to give sound bytes while riding on the Chennai Metro. The politicians, along with a unruly mob of party cadre, got into the station posing an issue for the limited staff to maintain order. Even in the train, camera crew and mediapersons make the life of commuters a bit difficult. “What can we do. They (politicians) have to understand that it is a public space. If they want to make political statements they have to do it outside the station,” said an official.
A ‘Brush’ in Time
It was around 2 pm on Thursday. Just outside a swanky Tech Park in Guindy, the police, as per the new rule, were fining motorists sans helmets. They stopped six men and began questioning them for not driving without helmets. Meanwhile, another policeman stopped a woman motorist for the same reason. When questioned, she stylishly removed her scarf and let her hair loose. Smitten by her long locks, the policeman quietly stared as she ran her fingers through her hair and gave him a reason. Within a minute, he let her go. One of the six men who was waiting to be fined sighed and said, “All we need is long hair, a clean shaven face and the ability to make cops blush to get away with trouble in this city.”
The Joy of Giving
At a time when most donations are mere publicity stunts, the act of a group of 10 school boys who recently donated two wheelchairs to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital was truly heartwarming. A senior doctor of the hospital told this reporter that a group of 10 students from a matriculation school in the city approached the hospital to donate two wheelchairs recently. “The boys who had completed Class 10 were not from any NGO or Trust. On enquiry, they revealed that they were schoolchildren, and that they pooled their pocket money to make contributions to the poor and needy people. The wheelchairs were also bought from their meagre pocket money that they got for their personal expenses. “Moved by the words, I asked for their contact number, they replied, ‘We can not afford for mobile phones and all sir’. They even refused to pose for a photograph and left saying, ‘We will come again here with someother items to donate.’ Moved by this, the management of the hospital gave them an appreciation letter,” the doctor added.
It was the day of the Metro’s inaugural run and just like anyone else, this scribe too was excited to be able to take in the experience. Inside the train, it was all activity. Everyone was busy talking with the person seated next to him or her. Groups of people were discussing how the train was spacious and how cool the view from top was. Among them was a bunch of dhoti-clad men who were talking about a stalled marriage. The scribe moved closer to eavesdrop on what was being said. Apparently, the groom’s family had asked for last minute dowry and the bride had called off the wedding in front of all those assembled. Convinced of its newsworthiness, the scribe got introduced to the group and sourced contact details for what turned out to be an interesting story in the end. Whoever said the masses are not the medium?