Delhi underground

Delhiites may complain about not being seen as cultural (or cultured),but sometimes it is not without reason.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2009 1:15:15 am

Differently cultured?
Delhiites may complain about not being seen as cultural (or cultured),but sometimes it is not without reason. At a recent show of one of the longest-running plays Ghalib,lead actor Tom Alter entered into a heated argument with an unrepentant spectator. Piqued by the constant ‘ringtone interruptions’ during the play,he remarked while interacting with the audience: “It is quite shameful that there were so many phones ringing during the play. I do not mean to offend anybody,but this gentleman in the second row was busy discussing business when Ghalib was crying his heart out over his dead nephew. It is so disheartening.” The remark did not go down well with the man. However,before the showdown could get uglier — and Ghalib himself could write a paean on the merits of switching off cell phones in theatres — the offender and his mobile were promptly escorted out of the auditorium.

Poor cousins? No way
The councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi say they are fed up of being treated like poor cousins of MPs and MLAs. Apparently,to mollify them,Mayor Arti Mehra has written to the Home Ministry ‘demanding’ a fixed monthly allowance for the unhappy councillors. The Mayor says like MPs and MLAs,councillors ought to get a monthly allowance between ‘Rs 15,000 to 20,000’. Meanwhile,to lift some gloom and entice the councillors to attend meetings,the Mayor has also requested that their ‘meeting allowance’ be raised from Rs 300 to 500.

Playing police,ably
Recently,the Tis Hazari court complex witnessed high-voltage drama when some people were “forced to take law in their own hands”,literally. A man was being forcefully dragged inside the court building by a group of 4-5 young men in full view of the police and lawyers. Reportedly,the man had been absconding since jumping bail,thereby delaying proceedings in a certain case. When the police failed to nab him,the aggrieved party in the case decided to do the needful and produced him before the judge.

Altered ritual
This Valentine’s Day,students of the Hindu College had to forego their annual ritual — decorating the ‘Virgin Tree’ in the college with condoms and seeking blessings of special goddess ‘Damdami Bai’ (an actress whose picture adorns the tree) to get a girlfriend. According to students,ever since the new principal has been appointed,no festivities are allowed in the third term as ‘it is time to study’. But the students did hold a small ritual by decorating the tree with balloons and praying to ‘Damdami Bai’ (Katrina Kaif this time). However,unlike previous years the photo of ‘Damdami Bai’ did not stay on the tree till evening to bless latecomers; it was removed immediately after the ‘bhog’.

For name’s sake
At a recent conference at the India Islamic Culture Centre,a man delivering a presentation constantly kept referring to Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely,who was the guest of honour,as ‘Mr Walia’. As Lovely squirmed and shifted in his seat,for the organisers of the School Choice Campaign,the choice was between ducking under their tables or correcting the man not paying any heed to their hushed reminders. Finally,the assistant director of the organisation intervened to correct the man,who quickly uttered a muffled apology.

Unqualified delay
Despite the huge faculty crunch in Delhi government schools,appointments of qualified candidates in the Delhi State Subordinate Services Board (DSSSB) examinations have been held up. Recently,a large number of these candidates gathered at the Directorate of Education office to demand their joining letters. “Our exam results were declared in September last year,but we are yet to receive appointment letters,” one said. Apparently,the reason for the delay is the medical examination that each candidate must undergo. But the medical tests have been already postponed twice. Now,sources say,it seems the candidates will have to wait till November for the tests.

On chief’s call
When it comes to propelling the Delhi Police into action,there is nothing quite as effective as the top boss Y S Dadwal expressing dissatisfaction with things. Recently,at an internal meeting with senior police officers,Dadwal was annoyed over the Delhi Police’s failure to procure ‘Criminal Intercepting Devices’. A tender for the devices used for ‘tapping phones and tracing criminals’ was promptly floated after the meeting.

Case solved,easy
Here’s a classic case of what the police call ‘effective policing’. Senior police officers say a recent case of burglary in the city was solved when during investigation the cops ‘stunned the accused into dropping the bag’ containing the loot and escaping. Reportedly,the thief saw the cops interrogating a few people and fled,leaving the stolen goods and cash in panic. So what if the cops failed to nab the thief,they at least managed to recover the loot.

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