CHENNAI: Police officers are always a bit over zealous to ‘prove’ that crimes in their jurisdiction have reduced. Recently, senior officials of the city police compelled a family member of a victim to talk before a bunch of TV cameras and reporters. Already traumatised by the loss of his mother, the young man was hesitant to come inside the press meet hall. Pushed and prodded by the officers, he finally walked to the stage. A senior police officer told him to say that no jewellery had gone missing from his house when his mother was murdered. The police wanted to make the point that the murder of the woman was committed by her own husband and not by robbers, as they thought initially. They wanted to emphasise on the point that it was not the failure of the police to check the free run of robbers in the city.
The man, who was in his mid 20s, was visibly traumatised by the loss of his mother and the subsequent arrest of his father. He walked out of the room after saying a few words, while a few TV cameramen kept asking him to come inside the frame. Within seconds, the police officers addressing the press meet received phone calls. Soon after the call, the officers summoned the young man to come to the room again. This time, the young man waved his hand in frustation and raised his voice to say, “Nothing went missing, all jewels are safe in my house.”
Amid Alien Language
Being assigned an event where the subject is Greek and Latin to the reporter is common enough. The subject actually being a foreign language is a different ball game altogether. For the first half an hour of the event, this reporter sat listening to children speak in German. The words sounded like ‘uh’ and ‘buh’, rapid rejoinders and laughter.
There was a sudden feeling of being transported to a different country, except for the fact that it was in the heart of Chennai with women in saris and alu-gobi for dinner. Thankfully, the first word of English was spoken after a while, so that the blank pages of the reporter’s diary could be frantically filled.
Coconut at a Discount
For the past one year, Mylaporeans are lucky to have tender coconuts at nearly half of the price it is sold in other places. The normal price of a big size tender coconut ranges from Rs 30 to Rs 40. But since last year, there have been a few stalls on roadsides started selling tender coconuts at Rs 20 with a placard saying ‘you can call this mobile number if they sell tender coconuts for more than Rs 20 per piece.’
After six months, the number of stalls had gone up in Mylapore and Mandaveli. Following this, those who used to sell tender coconuts at a higher price, were forced to put placards saying ‘tender coconut price Rs 20’. Now, one can get tender coconuts for Rs 20 in most parts of Mylapore and Mandaveli.
This change has become reality, thanks to Jayakumar, a post-graduate who is doing the business. He employs people to man these stalls and pays them Rs 10,000.
These salesmen reveal that Jayakumar looks after their daily needs in an exemplary manner. Apart from the salary, they are able to earn Rs 10,000.
In the last week of every month, he arranges for a get-together of all salesmen along with their family members at a very popular hotel. For bachelors and those who do not have a dwelling place in city, Jayakumar even offers one.