Archive for the ‘News Gems’ Category

Writer owns up to breaking lamp, 68 years later

6 September 2012

From Star of Mysore:

Mysore, September 6: People usually like to forget the mistakes they committed in the past and would seldom want to recall them. But here is a rare example of a noble soul who not only confessed of his crime committed out of childish naughtiness but also punished himself.

The noble soul is litterateur Dr N. Ratna, a resident of the city and former director of the all Indian institute of speech and hearing (AIISH).

He recently wrote a letter to the Mysore city corporation (MCC), confessing to his “crime” of smashing the lamp globes of streetlights when he was a boy, about 68 years ago.

Dr Ratna says the guilt had been pricking his conscience ever since and he wanted to compensate for the loss he had incurred to public property.

Taking the occasion of the 150th anniversary of MCC as the right opportunity to absolve himself, Dr. Ratna wrote in his letter that though he had lived in Mysore for half the number of years of the 150th anniversary and had served the city in many ways, he intended to punish himself for smashing the light domes by paying a sum of Rs. 2,500 to the MCC.

The letter enclosed a cheque for the amount.

He also added that he was prepared to undergo any punishment that the MCC meted out to him for his “crime”.

What’s in a nama? Our honour, My good lord.

22 November 2008

From Deccan Herald:

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday adjourned a matter pertaining to anointing the deity at Melkote’s Yoganarasimhaswamy temple with a nama.

The Court was hearing a petition by Anandalwan, a member of the Tengalai sect of Sri Vaishnavas, who had moved the High Court challenging the action to anoint the deity with Vadalai nama. His contention was that the deity should be anointed with Tengalai nama belonging to the rival Vaishnava sect.

He submitted that the local court in Srirangapatna, in February 2000, had directed the temple authorities to follow tengalai tradition of worship and hence the use of nama of other sect is illegal. The muzrai department on January 2008 had passed an order to use Vadagalai nama after the temple ornaments were stolen.

However, the petitioner said that the order was illegal as the department did not hear the Tengalai devotees.  Justice N.K. Patil adjourned the matter after the State government sought time.

It happens in Incredible India i.e. Amulya Bharat

18 November 2008

Amarnath Tewary on the BBC website:

“A Dutch couple visiting India’s Bihar state, were charged an astronomical 10,000 rupees ($204) for four samosas, the spicy potato-stuffed snack. They paid the sum to a hawker at the famous cattle fair in Sonepur after a ‘heated argument’.

“The price worked out at $51 per samosa. They normally cost about two rupees 50 paise, about five US cents. The tourists then sought help from police who forced the salesman to return 9,990 rupees ($203.87).”

Read the full story: Tourists in India in samosa shock

Link via Nikhil Moro

Raj Thackeray st Bombay b Iqbal Abdulla 19

7 March 2008

The under-19 Indian team which won the World Cup last Sunday had only one player from Bombay: Iqbal Abdulla. The left-arm spinner had a 10-wicket haul in Malaysia, and was given the onerous task of ferrying the trophy from Bangalore, where the team landed, and handing it over to the BCCI authorities in Bombay. The class XII arts student hid the Cup in the kitchen of his 350-square foot flat in notorious Kurla.

Devendra Pandey reports in The Indian Express:

“With fame and some money pouring in, Abdulla is keen to change a few things. Like getting a first-class pass to travel in Bombay’s local trains instead of the second-class one which he says is a “pain”. As a newcomer to Bombay, he used to be thrilled watching planes take off and land at the airport as his house was on the flight path. Later this week, he will be putting his parents on a plane home, their first flight.”

His parents, Raj Thackeray kindly note, are from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Abdulla was spotted and brought to Bombay four years ago by an eager coach, and made his Ranji trophy debut last year.

Beware the wrath of the stolen dachshund!

21 February 2008

TRIVANDRUM: A thief who made off with a tailor’s pet dog from Cochin a year ago has belatedly made repentance by leaving a puppy at the house and also pledging to exit his ‘trade’.

After 10-year-old Ruby, a dachshund, went missing in December 2006, M.J. George had decided not to raise pets any more. But on February 4, his son Jose spotted a small puppy in the vacant kennel in a small cardboard box along with a computer-printed letter there.

“Life has turned worse for me since I took your dog. So I am returning it in this form. I am leaving this job for good. Do please inform all. I am sorry to have caused so much inconvenience to you all. I won’t come to your locality ever,” said the letter in Malayalam. The author signed off as kallan (thief) which he scribbled with a pencil in the end.

What Seetamma’s son could teach our netas

19 February 2008

Two standout pieces of news from the papers today; stories that shine a light on the India id est Bharat.

Item #1: Pandit Basanna Konalli, a dalit boy hailing from Sarasamba village in Aland taluk of Gulbarga district, has overcome the early loss of his father, gut-wrenching poverty, and braved untouchability and other social hostilities, to bag seven—yes, seven—gold medals in MA (Kannada) in Gulbarga University. Basanna lost his father when he was in the seventh standard. The family neither owns land nor has a definite source of income. “We were required to make our living on my mother Seetamma‘s labour. My paternal uncle helped me a lot. But unfortunately he passed away a fortnight ago and is not here today to witness this glory,” said Basanna. He has bagged six gold medals for scoring the highest marks in MA (Kannada) and the seventh for scoring highest marks in MA Kannada linguistics/ comparative Dravidian linguistics. Basanna always had a fascination for Kannada language and literature. His intense love for the language has helped him get where he is today—and he now wants to complete his research and become a Kannada lecturer.

Item #2: Five of the 65 newly elected councillors of the Mysore City Corporation yesterday could not read the oath of office that was administered to them in Kannada. According to a report in Deccan Herald, Shakeel Ahmed of ward 38, M. Lakshmamma of ward 48, Syed Hasrathulla of ward 49, Ayaz Pasha of ward 54, and Sajidabi of ward 59, would not read the oath. “The election officer read it out for them and they reproduced it, and some of them found it difficult to do even that too,” reads the report. A report in The Hindu says that the regional commissioner announced that any councillor who could not read would receive help.

Stock brokers never wear bull bottom pants

31 January 2008

Brokers at the Bombay Stock Exchange are clamouring for vaastu experts to be brought in to change the direction of the bronze bull statue that has been erected at the footsteps of the BSE building on Dalal Street, reports the BBC. They say that the posterior of the five-foot-tall bull, installed on January 12, points towards the traders which makes it inauspicious. The installation of the statue has coincided with some of the worst falls in stock prices.

Photograph: courtesy Hindustan Times


“Angry when hungry”, AMAR NARAYAN forwards a picture of the Wall Street bull and brings some heartwarming, well, handwarming news:

“The New York bull’s rear end doesn’t seem to affect these happy tourists. I’ve even seen some over-enthusiastic tourists posing for photos with its brass balls in their hands.

“Directly behind this bull’s behind is a small park, beyond which is the beautifully constructed Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian (red ones, not brown). Earlier, it used to house the US Customs office. But I have no idea if they are/were suffering losses.”

Also read: Cheaper jet fuel at the Deve Gowda petrol bunk?

What the stars foretell for you—yes, you—this week

A movie without a casting couch or underworld

2 January 2008

BOMBAY: The filmi ambitions of 150 producers will be realised this Friday when Humne jeena seekh liya hits the screens, reports Nitin Patil in the Indian Express. The second co-operative venture in Hindi, after Shyam Benegal‘s Manthan in the 1970s, tens of students, doctors and engineers from all over Maharashtra have pooled in money to make the full-length feature film.

“I contributed Rs 70,000 for the film. But compared to the money I put in, what I got to learn is invaluable. The film’s shoot served as a real workshop for understanding the art of film-making. It was like contributing for a family ceremony,”  says Gaurav Khande, a student of Symbiosis College, Pune.

Based on the Marathi novel Shaala by Milind Bokil about the coming of age of four friends studying in Class IX, the movie has been made by the Spandan Parivar Cinema Movement at a cost of Rs 85 lakh. Besides about 80 schoolchildren, the film also features seasoned Marathi actors Milind Gunaji, Reema Lagoo and Girish Oak.

Read the full story: 150 producers wait for release of their one movie

Ask Dadaji: all that glitters is really not gold

6 December 2007

NAGPUR: The originator of HMT (Sona) rice variety Dadaji Khobragade has decided to return his Krishi Bhushan award to Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh after discovering that the 14 carat gold medal was actually substandard silver. Sexagenarian Dadaji, who has invented ten varieties of rice on his one-acre farm in Nanded village in Chandrapur district, was presented the 50 gm gold medal, a cash prize of Rs25,000 and a citation from Maharashtra governor S.M. Krishna at Raj Bhavan in Bombay on October 13.

Facing financial problems, he decided to sell his medal. That was when a local jeweller informed him that the medal was made of sub-standard silver and had gold polish. The state government has already lodged a complaint against a professor of JJ School of Fine Arts, who was entrusted with the responsibility of designing and production of the contentious medals.

Link via Cho. Du. Rama Rao

Not love, not exams, not stress but cricket

1 December 2007

NADIA, West Bengal: A woman cricketer who had been a regular in the Bengal under-19 team killed herself yesterday after failing to make the State’s senior squad. Twenty-three-year-old Jhuma Sarkar—trained by the coach of Jhulan Goswami, a fellow Nadia fast bowler who has made it big on the world stage—had been depressed at peers pulling past her, the girl’s family said. The former Calcutta University player hanged herself with her dupatta from a ceiling fan at her home in Hanskhali, about 75 km from Calcutta.

Rule 60: Don’t drink and drive your father nuts

30 November 2007

Ananthakrishna, a widower who stabbed his son, Avinash, to death, unable to withstand his vices, and then hanged himself in Bangalore on Wednesday, has left a suicide note:

“God is great; Vajpayee is great; Abdul Kalam is good; Dharmasthala Manjunatha is good; please make Yediyurappa chief minister. Construct my grave next to my first wife’s. I have killed my son and I am responsible for my death. God, never give sons who choose a sinful path.”

Very soon, they will move into the Last Resort

30 October 2007

News item in Star of Mysore:

Bangalore: After staying in Ramanashree Comforts and Prakruti Resorts on the outskirts of Bangalore, the MLAs of JD(S), owing allegience to H.D. Kumaraswamy moved to a third resort yesterday.

After visiting Raj Bhavan to submit individual affidavits, the MLAs were taken to Eagleton Resorts in Bidadi instead of Prakruti. The JD(S) MLAs are on the move fearing horse-trading by the Congress.

Sources said the MLAs will not return to Bangalore till the Governor gave green signal to BJP-JD(S) to form Government. Kumaraswamy, who was not with the MLAs yesterday, is joining them today.

No wonder everybody loves a good drought

18 September 2007

Rajiv Gandhi it was who said that of every rupee that is benevolently sent in the direction of India’s poor, only 14 paise reaches its intended target. No wonder.

New Delhi: In the last three years, Rs 31,585.98 crore worth of wheat and rice meant for the poorest of the poor was siphoned off from the public distribution system. Last year alone, Rs 11,336.98 crore worth of foodgrain that the government is supposed to distribute to the needy at subsidised prices found its way into the market illegally.

Every year, India’s poor are cheated out of 53.3% of wheat and 39% of rice meant for them. […] The North-East is in a class of its own. Of the eight states here, not a single grain of wheat supplied to six—Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Assam—reaches the targeted poor.

When the going gets good, polls aren’t far away

14 September 2007

# New Delhi: Sharad Pawar‘s agriculture ministry approves the import of 790,000 tonnes of wheat  from Australia at $390 a tonne. This works out to roughly Rs 1,600 per quintal, which is double the Rs 800 that is offered to the Indian farmer. This is $160 more than the $230 per tonne paid by the same government to import wheat from the same country last year. And this is $127 more per tonne than the $263 quoted in response to a tender floated in May this year which the same agriculture ministry deemed as too high.

# New Delhi: An empowered group of ministers (EGOM) “unanimously” agrees to allow market prices to prevail for companies investing in the oil exploration and production activity and approves the pricing formula for gas of Mukesh Ambani‘s Reliance Industries at $4.2 per mbtu (million british thermal units) as against the $4.22 per mbtu quoted by it earlier for a five-year period. The CPI(M) says the government had weakened the case of the State-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which is fighting a legal battle against RIL. The private firm was obligated to supply gas from KG basin at rational price of 2.34 dollars per mbtu.

In Rama’s name, disgraceful drama in Pataliputra

13 September 2007

Patna: The protests by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad against the Centre’s submission that there was no “historical record” to show that Lord Rama existed affected emergency services.

A pregnant woman who was on her way to hospital for her delivery, found her route blocked by a traffic jam, and was eventually forced to deliver her baby on a street.

Maturity is in the eyes of the Bollywood beholder

4 September 2007

NEW DELHI: Actor Sanjay Dutt, responding to a question on the controversy surrounding his reported use of a government car for his pilgrimage to the Vaishno Devi cave shrine, has told reporters: “I have no idea about it.” Dutt, 48, did not respond to any other question and said “Jai Mata Di” as he left for Bombay.

BOMBAY: Salman Khan has said his family was “upset” that he had been released after being jailed in the black bucks’ killing case. Asked if he had matured in the nine years since the row broke, Khan, 41, said: “I have been mature since I was born.” On when he planned to tie the knot, Khan said: “First let your child grow up and get married. I will get married after that.”

‘Live’ and in colour, the sickness of a society

30 August 2007

NEW DELHI: A television sting operation has bared a lady mathematics teacher allegedly filming her girl students in a “compromising position”. The girls claimed that the teacher, Uma Khurana, was blackmailing them into prostitution by threatening to pass on the CDs to their parents if they did not cooperate with her.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has barred the media from showing nude photographs of former actress Monica Bedi, said to have been taken by a camera hidden in the bathroom of the jail where she was imprisoned over a forgery case. Bedi, said the pictures shown by one TV channel violated her right to life and dignity.

CHANDIGARH: A former Congress minister’s grandson Ramneek Lal Sharma has been arrested for installing spy cameras in a house he rented to girls as paying guests. The first floor of the house reportedly had spycams installed in various places, including one in the bathroom. The cable of the camera was found linked to the television in Sharma’s bedroom.

God save IAS when a DC is as starstruck as a PC

29 August 2007

RANCHI: Bokaro Deputy Commissioner Praveen Toppo has been issued a show-cause notice after television footage showed him touching the feet of JMM President Shibu Soren when he reached Bokaro yesterday.

BOMBAY: R. Kalekar, a police constable has been suspended and eight others served notice for shaking hands with Bombay blasts convicted Sanjay Dutt upon his release from Yerwada jail in Poona.

Salman Khan & Ootaram. Pravin Mahajan & Dossa

28 August 2007

JODHPUR: Salman Khan is keeping himself busy in Jodhpur central jail reading the spiritual book God Speaks gifted to him by girlfriend Katrina Kaif. On Sunday, the actor met his parents, brother and sister, and Katrina, according to jailor Ootaram Rohin.

BOMBAY: Pramod Mahajan‘s brother, Pravin Mahajan, has meanwhile been giving English lessons to 1993 blasts’ accused Mustafa Dossa in exchange for good food and gutkha. Dossa complied till Mahajan asked him to facilitate a hot water bath. Dossa then had to show who the boss was.

Say hello to Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh

30 July 2007

Police in Moradabad have registered a case against Union human resource development minister Arjun Singh, his wife Beena Singh, grandson Abhijeet Singh, and three others on charges of dowry harassment.

A complaint by Madhvendra Singh, the father of Arjun Singh’s grand daughter-in-law Priyanka Singh alleged that the minister’s family had been demanding a Mercedes car and a flat from him and his daughter was being tortured when their demand was not met.

Read the full story: Dowry case against Arjun Singh

All Bharat Mata gets from her sons is lip service

29 July 2007

“For every celebrated token of women’s empowerment like the first female President and every Kiran Bedi who complains of being passed over, there’s a Sunita and a Kajal in Mother India’s son-struck, conveyor-belt child factories.

Sunita Rajput, 27, has alleged she was forced by her husband to have six abortions in nine years of marriage because each time she had conceived a girl. In between the abortions, the mother of two girls from Vadodara says, husband Rajesh would drive nails into her earlobes, starve her and beat her.”

Read the full story: Son-struck Mother India

Six or nine, boy or girl, cutlets or cutlery

16 July 2007

Bhubaneshwar: Police in a coastal Orissa village have arrested a daily wage earner, Ramesh Naik, who killed his six-year-old son Rakesh on Saturday after the boy ate away his father’s share of ‘aloo chops’ (potato cutlet).

Hyderabad: A cloth dealer has been arrested for severely beating up a nine-year-old girl, Y. Padma, working in his house for breaking a porcelain tea cup. Police suspect suspect that the girl’s father Gokarna might have sold her to Mahesh. She was being paid Rs 200 per month and the money was collected by her father.

A prick in time saves nine. But why, oh, why?

12 July 2007

The following piece of news appears in today’s Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad. It’s a piece of news that might (or might not) gladden the heart of India’s next President to be. But it raises the all-important question: just because they make a lot of money and are so much in the public eye, is it fair to expect the IT industry to take the lead in everything?

Hyderabad, July 11: Hyderabad district health officials will be knocking the doors of corporate and information technology companies to launch a drive for male sterilisation.

Hyderabad district medical and health officer Dr G. Jaya Kumari said, “Vasectomy operations are very few when compared to the number of tubectomy operations and we have decided to launch a drive in the new action plan.”

“We will start with IT companies. We will explain its importance to male staff and tell them that they should come forward for male sterilisation operation surgery,” Dr Kumari said.

In 2007 from April to June a total of 6,365 sterilisation operations were conducted in Hyderabad out of which only 62 were vasectomies. The remaining 4,658 were tubectomies.

Disclaimer: ǝʌoɯ uoıʇɐɹodɹoɔ ʎʇıɔ pɐqɐɹǝpʎɥ ǝɥʇ ɥʇıʍ op oʇ ƃuıɥʇʎuɐ pɐɥ ǝʌɐɥ ‘ıpɐƃuɐ ʎɥʇɹnɯ ‘ʎɹɐıpısqns sʇı ɹou ɯoɔ˙ıɹnɯnɹnɥɔ ɹǝɥʇıǝu

‘Learn to keep your mouth shut, sweet heart’

11 July 2007

ANAND R. in Salt Lake City, Utah, forwards a farewell letter written by a J.P. Morgan Chase employee that is, well, to be read to be believed.

The letter has gone around the world several times in the last week, with recipients either saluting the brave letter-writer for having the courage to say what he has said, or for slamming him for burning his bridges.


Dear Co-Workers and Managers

As many of you probably know, today is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type “Today is my last day.”

For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I’ve hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express.

I would especially like to thank all of my managers both past and present but with the exception of the wonderful Saroj Hariprashad: in an age where miscommunication is all too common, you consistently impressed and inspired me with the sheer magnitude of your misinformation, ignorance and intolerance for true talent. It takes a strong man to admit his mistake—it takes a stronger man to attribute his mistake to me.

Over the past seven years, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects—an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.

Your demands were high and your patience short, but I take great solace knowing that my work was, as stated on my annual review, “meets expectation.” That is the type of praise that sends a man home happy after a 10-hour day, smiling his way through half a bottle of “meets-expectation” scotch with a “meets-expectation” cigar. Thanks Trish!

And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.

But to those few souls with whom I’ve actually interacted, here are my personalized notes of farewell:

To Philip Cress, I will not miss hearing you cry over absolutely nothing while laying blame on me and my coworkers. Your racial comments about Joe Cobbinah were truly offensive and I hope that one day you might gain the strength to apologize to him.

To Brenda Ashby, who is long gone, I hope you find a manager that treats you as poorly as you have treated us. I worked harder for you than any manager in my career and I regret every ounce of it. Watching you take credit for my work was truly demoralizing.

To Sylvia Keenan, you should learn how to keep your mouth shut, sweet heart. Bad mouthing the innocent is a negative thing, especially when your talking about someone who knows your disgusting secrets.:)

To Bob Malvin (Mr. Cronyism Jr), well, I wish you had more of a back bone. You threw me to the wolves with that witch Brenda and I learned all too much from it. I still can’t believe that after following your instructions, I ended up getting written up, wow. Thanks for the experience buddy, lesson learned.

To Don Merritt (Mr. Cronyism Sr), I’m happy that you were let go in the same manner that you have handed down to my dedicated coworkers. Hearing you on the phone last year brag about how great bonuses were going to be for you fellas in upper management because all of the lay offs made me nearly vomit. I never expected to see management benefit financially from the suffering of scores of people but then again, with this company’s rooted history in the slave trade it only makes sense.

To all of the executives of this company, Jamie Dimon and such. Despite working through countless managers that practiced unethical behaviour, racism, sexism, jealousy and cronyism, I have benefited tremendously by working here and I truly thank you for that. There was once a time where hard work was rewarded and acknowledged, it’s a pity that all of our positive output now falls on deaf ears and passes blind eyes.

My advice for you is to place yourself closer to the pulse of this company and enjoy the effort and dedication of us “faceless little people” more. There are many great people that are being over worked and mistreated but yet are still loyal not to those who abuse them but to the greater mission of providing excellent customer support. Find them and embrace them as they will help battle the cancerous plague that is ravishing the moral of this company.

So, in parting, if I could pass on any word of advice to the lower salary recipient (“because it’s good for the company”) in India or Tampa who will soon be filling my position, it would be to cherish this experience because a job opportunity like this comes along only once in a lifetime.

Meaning: if I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself.

To those who I have held a great relationship with, I will miss being your co-worker and will cherish our history together. Please don’t bother responding as at this very moment I am most likely in my car doing 85 with the windows down listening to Biggie.


Yoga may be good. Not always, not everywhere

9 July 2007

Bombay: A yoga instructor and his film producer-student drowned in the Arabian Sea off Versova while trying to perform exercises in the water. The duo have been identified as Gopal Kapila, 64, and Jainendra Kumar Bhagwan Kutiyar, 37, a small-time producer.

Kutiyar had joined the classes two days ago. On Saturday, Kapila told Kutiyar that he would demonstrate water yoga lessons with pranayam, and took him to Versova beach. Minutes after both entered the sea around 9am, they were swept away by the strong current.

Not as popular as regular yoga, its water version is usually performed by experts. It involves some standing exercises with pranayam as well as performing asanas while floating. Experts believe water yoga is more effective than that on land and improves immunity levels dramatically and purifies the digestive system.