There aren’t very many things you can do when a shopkeeper rips apart a product you found broken and then sells it to you anyway for a few hundred less, except appear shocked. And if you are desperate enough, buy anyway. That is exactly what happened in view of this reporter last week as the city’s commuters scrambled to find themselves a helmet. Even as this reporter watched, a prospective customer picked up a beaten up second hand helmet with a Rs 1,100 price tag. With no other choice and no cheaper options, the customer proceeded to take out the money, only to find in the last minute that visor was broken. When the customer refused to pay for a ‘broken helmet’, the attendant calmly took the helmet from the customer, ripped out the broken visor and said, “There, this will cost you Rs 900,” to the shocked customer. What was worse was that the man eventually paid the Rs 900 anyway. Anything for a helmet, yeah?
Where did all the sound go?
There’s always a problem with having two separate podiums for the same programme: your esteemed chief guests on the dais often wonder which way to go. And so it happened at a recent programme In the city where two podiums with different mics were set up at either end of the stage. When the person handling the proceedings picked the podium on the left and introduced people, the audience quickly realised that the sound was restricted to speakers kept at the back of the hall.
After the first speaker, perhaps in the spirit of good roulette, used the other podium, it became infinitely clear that sound from this mic was blaring away from the speakers behind the dias - and was infinitely more clear. As this process of you-take-one-side and i’ll take the other continued the time came for the person of interest to step up to the plate. Anticipating that he was going to head to the side with the softer mic, the section of crowd who wanted to catch what he wanted quickly made their way to the back of the hall and positioned themselves comfortably. Sadly, the comfort was short lived.
Alive to the acoustic issue on hand, one of the wiser gents on stage quickly motioned the man of the hour to the other podium. And he, gallant gent that he was, accepted the redirect without question. The only people who were dismayed by this chevalier spirit were the ones who had to quickly move to the front to fill the seats up front - more in the desire to hear what was being said than to be front benchers.
‘Please Tell Him I did It....’
When the police nabbed the gang of abductors who kidnapped a child, recently, they would have perhaps thought the high drama was over. However, that was not to be. In this case, it was the mother of the child who was asked to deliver the ransom. Despite being terrified, she played her part perfectly.
As soon as the kidnapper was secured about 30 hours after the incident, the woman, with tears in her eyes, demanded that the senior IPS official in charge of the operation tell her husband that she did well, that she did not ruin it by her lack of wit. Tell him that I played the part exactly as tutored by the police, she insisted, even as the personnel tried to pacify her. Finally, she calmed down only after seeing her son who was kept in a car near a railway station in Avadi.