When presspersons asked about amount of investment being made by builders in Mangalore, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI) did not have a straightforward answer. A witty office-bearer, however, said the question is “beautiful” and that CREDAI would soon be able to answer it. One couldn’t help but feel that it was a way of praising the journalist to win him over.
But Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.’s Deputy Chief Commercial Manager Nandu Telang who held a press conference in Mangalore recently offered a different reason why he would call a question “good.” He said one of his teachers would frequently call questions “good” and not answer them. It was only years later that he had realised why the teacher would do so. Narrating this he told a journalist, “So, I say your question is a good one.” That the journalists persisted with his question and got his answer from another officer sitting by Mr. Teland is a different story.
Why do both bell and sirens are used to herald the movement of a fire engine? Chief Fire Officer H.S. Varadarajan has his own explanation.
Addressing students who are part of District Disaster Response team, Mr. Varadarajan said the fire engine was the first to use bell on their vehicles. “Then ice-cream candy man began to use it to attract consumers.” The fire services then went for use of sirens atop their vehicles. “But this was adopted by police and other government officials.”
“Therefore we are now using the bell as well as the siren. Nobody I think will adopt this,” he said with certainty as students had a hearty laugh.
At a recent event in the city, a high-ranking lady consular official from Israel was introduced at a business meet to the guests with some details that many people thought were not necessary. Other than the mandatory information about educational qualifications and work background, the introduction mentioned how many children the official had and, with a dramatic pause, her age was mentioned. The lady noticed the introduction.
One source from the business circles of Mangalore said that the personal details were uncalled for. Even if the information had been made available, mentioning it was not necessary, they said. Another person asked whether such details would have been announced had the person been a man.
Comedy of errors
For the reporter, it was a comedy of errors during a raid on a club in the aftermath of the attack on college students in a rented house in Padil. Call it ‘Chinese Whispers’ or improper translation, the news that there was a raid on a club soon evolved into ‘attack on pub’, sending city reporters into a tizzy.
However, on landing there, reporters found out that it was only a tahsildar who had raided a recreational club which was believed to be used for gambling. The raid was a damp squib as inmates of the club fled as soon as officials turned up. There was no concrete proof of gambling in the place. Owners of the place insisted that it was a “legitimate enterprise”.
When officials had left the place, a visibly inebriated man approached the correspondent and claimed to have lost money in the melee after the officials arrived at the club. “We bet on dice, and I had bought Rs. 15,000 worth of chips,” said the man as he displayed the chips which had the recreation club’s name on it.
Even though a crowd had gathered behind asking the inebriated man to keep quiet, slyly whispering that he was talking to a pressperson, the man continued to spill the beans.
When it dawned on him that he should not have said this to a reporter, he held out an unsteady hand and said, “Friendship?” hoping that that would seal the deal.