Civic body officials sing on stage to save themselves embarrassment after music system blares out wrong anthem

As is the practice usually, the invocation to Tamil Mother, the State song, is played before all proceedings at public meetings in the State.

At one such event conducted by the civic body in the city recently, reporters, officials and the general public stood up for the anthem before the presentation was made. To everyone’s brief amusement, the music system started blaring out the beginning strains of ‘Sare jahan se achcha.’

Amid silent chuckles, one of the officials hastily grabbed the microphone, and, backed by two politicians, formed an impromptu choir to belt out the invocation song. What added greater humour to the normally serious practice was the fact that their singing was peppered with endearing off-key moments, ending in a grand and fevered crescendo, leaving all those attending slightly stunned.

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Averting a child marriage it seems is no child’s play. At a recent consultation on reducing instances of child marriage in the State, a speaker recalled how the persons who had gone to stop a wedding were tied to a tree.

Talking about the risks they take, resource persons spoke about how they faced resistance not just from the family, but also the community at large in some cases.

In another instance, a speaker said that they were locked up in a place of worship.

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It seems doctors have turned into tutors too. When it was the turn of a young patient to speak at a press conference on a particular cardiac procedure at a government hospital, a doctor swiftly moved next to her and began whispering.

Before mediapersons could understand what was going on, the girl began to speak. While all of them expected her to talk about her health condition and progress, she, while struggling for the right words, started to thank the Chief Minister for the treatment and surgery.

She managed to complete her sentences with help from the doctor. When one thought this was over, her mother too was made to repeat the same words of gratitude.

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A function hall turned into a school assembly recently when an educationist, who was invited to felicitate visually-challenged students who topped the public examinations, began giving orders to the audience.

The speaker made the audience, mostly students, repeat his greetings with a loud ‘goodmorning, sir’. The audience was also asked to give a round of applause to the toppers and the organisers.

Later, explaining the reason for his behaviour, the speaker said teachers and educationists felt encouraged to address the audience amid such greetings and applause.

(Reporting by Evelyn Ratnakumar, Asha Sridhar, Serena Josephine M. and K. Lakshmi)

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