Off the cuff: Citrus curse

The New Indian Express' reporters on the spicy happenings across Tamil Nadu in the week that was.

Published: 02nd January 2023 07:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2023 07:36 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representation purpose only. (Photo | Sourav Roy, Express Illustrations)

Image for representation purpose only. (Photo | Sourav Roy, Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

It is customary in government offices across the state that junior staff visit senior officials bearing gifts of lemons, as a sign of respect. However, recently, trade union members received a message that a certain top official in TANGEDCO was turning down fruits and lemons. As the rumours go, a member had recently brought him a ‘cursed’ lemon from a witchcraft ritual. Old tales tell us that curses travel through lemons. Heeding advice from others, the TANGEDCO official has stopped accepting fruits.

Irony unmasked?
As spiking Covid-19 cases make a grim return to China and other countries, Health Minister Ma Subramanian has instructed the public to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. Ironically, the minister himself is found flouting these guidelines. Subramanian is often spotted even in crowded areas without donning a face mask or maintaining social distance. One can only be reminded of the adage, “practice what you preach.”

Red flagging lorries
Visitors to Yenathimangalam village in Villupuram district might be welcomed with a peculiar sight — several youngsters waving red flags. A government-run sand mine had been set up in the village recently, despite opposition from residents who ‘flagged’ the mine’s adverse impact on the environment. A few days later, lorries carrying sand killed two goats while traversing the 10-ft wide village road. Meanwhile, taking matters into their hands, the youngsters volunteered for ‘flag pole’ duty. Deployed on the streets on a shift basis, the residents carry sticks tied with red cloths to warn multiple lorries about possible residents or furry friends on the path.

Shallot loot
In Virudhunagar’s Nazar Puliyankulam, unidentified miscreants stole over 400 kg of harvested shallots and a tarpaulin sheet covering the produce. A 41-year-old farmer had covered, with a tarpaulin sheet, the shallots painstakingly cultivated on his 2-acre land one Wednesday night. The next morning, upon waking up, he found all the vegetables missing. The stolen shallots were worth Rs 32,000 and the tarpaulin cost Rs 20,000, leaving the farmer with a dent in his pocket. ​

No shortcuts
Often, thieves make away with their loot by picking locks. In Sivaganga’s Perunjur village, some miscreants had a different idea while breaking into a house, owned by V Kamala, near Devakottai. They lugged a cupboard outside the house for few 100 metres. They broke open the cupboard, and after stealing Rs 15,000, they abandoned it in the area. Locals were left pondering why the miscreants didn’t just pick the locks instead.  

(Contributed by Sinduja Jane, S Guruvanmikanathan, Krithika Srinivasan, Harini M and Vignesh V. Compiled by Archita Raghu)


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