Bollywood actors perhaps have no choice while appearing in public but to employ a posse of guards to make sure they’re not bothered by fans. Unless they’re in court. This week, during a hearing of the 2002 hit and run case trial, actor Salman Khan’s guards stopped lawyers from entering the courtroom. One lawyer promptly argued: “No one is a celebrity in court.” The actor himself looked away hastily, but the others in the courtroom who had been made to give up their seats for the actor and his entourage seemed rather happy at the loud protest.
HARD PRESSED FOR SPACE
The press room in the Mumbai Police Commissionerate at Crawford Market is generally not frequented by constables, a scene that changes drastically every time there’s major cricket match on. At such times, constables on guard duty and those passing by inevitably duck into the Press Room to check the score on the television. Some stick around to watch and soon there are more policemen than reporters in the room. Senior police officers have issued strict orders forbidding juniors from gathering in the Press Room to watch the match, leaving the constable in charge of the Press Room as the most harassed man on the campus. On the day of the India Vs Bangladesh match, the situation got a little out of hand and finally the poor man locked the door of the Press Room from the inside, opening it only to allow journalists inside.
TAKING THE TC FOR A RIDE
A ticket checker was outwitted on a local train by a collegian travelling without a ticket but with plenty of presence of mind. Asked to pay a fine, the lad claimed that he was the police commissioner’s son, even dialling a number on the phone and handing it to the TC. But as soon as the railway official took the phone, the line was disconnected, following which the ticketless student claimed his father’s phone may have died. At the next station, the somewhat wary TC asked the boy to alight and write out his father’s number, proceeding to call the number himself. Even as he dialled, the boy vanished, leaving a sheepish TC calling a number that doesn’t exist. Now if a ticketless traveller claims to be a relative of a high profile person, the TC makes sure he levies the fine.
Fearing negative publicity, the police officers of a police station in the suburbs have demolished the benches made outside the police station premises as they observed that reporters are hanging out on the benches waiting for stories right outside the police station. There were 10 benches which were kept outside the police station which were demolished after a newspaper printed a story against the officers of that police station.
HEALTH SHOULD BEGIN AT HOME
Following the state government’s cue, while the civic body has initiated a strong anti-tobacco campaign, it is facing a serious struggle in its own backyard. The employees working at the civic health department’s office in Parel can be seen randomly spitting gutka on walls. While fresh coats of paint can be seen on corners of staircases to hide the stains on top floors, the first floor staircase wall has vivid splashes of red. Looks like the BMC needs some sensitisation for its own employees first.
METRO A ‘VILLAIN’ HERE
The Shiv Sena’s processions across the city to mark Gudi Padwa, the new year as per the Hindu calendar, involved the usual lezim, bhajans and dances. But in the Marathi heartland of Girgaum, among all things sweet and pleasant, the party’s procession hit a sinister note. One of the floats had a demon riding on a train, depicted mercilessly tearing through buildings. The float depicted the exact image that Shiv Sena has been trying to conjure up in the minds of the residents here in its protests against the 32.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro Rail. The party, furthering its ‘sons of the soil’ agenda, has been opposing the displacement of Marathi families from Girgaum to make way for the construction of a Metro station. The demon had a name too, imprinted on the body: ‘MMRC’ or Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation.