Offbeat medley: News Today goes freewheeling

By A Harsha Vardhan Published on Sep 02, 2017 06:38 PM IST

This is not your regular news. News Today correspondents give you experiences of life that you won’t find in regular news reports.


This reporter was talking to his friends about ISRO’s latest launch and how it turned out to be a failure. The conversation drifted to former President A P J Abdul Kamal and this scribe recalled that he got a chance to meet the missile man in person. "I was at the 13-day National Scouts and Guides Jamboree at Haridwar when I was in class nine. Scouts and Guides from all over India participated in it and Abdul Kalam came to see a one-day cultural show by children. In the middle of the event, Kalam, suddenly broke protocol and started walking briskly towards the performers. Before security personnel realised what was happening, a sea of children surrounded him. He was shaking hands and interacting with child-like enthusiasm. The spectators present there could feel the love that Kalam had for children." This was one of the most heart warming things that this reporter has seen in his life.


There are some voices in society which cannot be ignored, like a 90-year-old woman activist in Adyar. MLAs, the Mayor, Corporation officials and even police visit her regularly and answer her phone calls without fail. Her personality is such that she speaks her mind openly and publicly. Recently, the police department arranged for a public meeting with the Commissioner as chief guest. Policemen of lower ranks begged her not to say anything which would put them in trouble. When she began her speech, they held their breath. True to form, she ended her speech by saying an official in the neighbourhood doesn’t answer her calls.


This scribe was on his way home on Friday night. It had rained a few hours back and he took the Guindy-Velacheri route to reach Selaiyur. He quickly rode down Race Course Road, which was free of traffic. However, his joy was short-lived. The moment he reached Velacheri junction, he faced severe bottleneck all the way to Medavakkam. He enquired about it to a passerby, who said. "This road was laid a few months back, but the rains have damaged it. Several potholes have made the stretch difficult to ride."


When this scribe returned home on a rainy night, he heard his young mongrel barking for no reason. It took sometime for him to understand why the animal kept doing it. Each time there was thunder and lightning, his pet started to bark. The dog had not witnessed thunder or lightning in its life and was confused and angry about the sounds. That night was sleepless for the scribe’s family as the dog did not stay quiet.


There is a big plastic cover laid under a small bush at Guindy railway station. You could easily mistake it for a careless person littering the place. But this correspondent one evening found out why it was there. There came a passenger with a bottle of water and filled the plastic cover - using it as a trough to hold the water. Then came a mongrel behind him and lapped up the water with gusto. To add to the dog’s joy, he also left behind some food on the floor. All plastic is not litter, thought this correspondent.


This reporter was covering Independence Day celebrations of a residents welfare association in Nanganallur. After the customary speeches and distribution of sweets, the tri-colour was about to be unfurled. Sadly, the flag tied to a pole on the terrace of the third floor of a building, could not be hoisted as the rope gave way when the chief guest tried to unfurl it. A few rushed to the top of the building and took efforts to set things right. Thankfully, the organisers started singing National Anthem and this made the audience overlook the event.