IT IS monsoon time and the skies have opened in coastal and Malnad regions of the State. It is either raining misery or beauty — depending on which side of the economic fence you are on.

While the Malnad monsoon can make for pretty pictures, for many travelling in buses it can be quite a dampener.

It happened to 63-year-old passenger, who was going to Mangalore from Bangalore by a KSRTC Rajahamsa service. No sooner had the bus crossed Hassan than it started raining. The passenger, who got a good sampling of the downpour, soon realised that the windowpanes were not rainproof. Fortunately, there was another vacant seat in the bus and the conductor was kind enough to accommodate him there and he spent the rest of the journey in relative comfort.

However, a passenger who boarded the bus en route was not so lucky. He had to take the old seat and completed the journey in wet misery.

It is not uncommon to get drenched in KSRTC and BMTC buses as the corporations appear not to have done the pre-monsoon works on their vehicles. Whenever it rains in Bangalore, one would find all the window seats in BMTC buses vacant because of seepage from the edges of windows. In cases of old BMTC buses (there are quite a few), commuters have no other option but to unfurl their umbrella.

Where is her story?

IT WAS a different but effective argument. The audience, mostly women in traditional attire, listened to her with rapt attention, sometimes breaking into applause.

The men occupying the seats on the other side of the hall looked decidedly pale-faced.

R. Poornima, editor of Udayavani, who addressed them at a function organised by the Sri Banashankari Cooperative Bank, fired the first salvo with her remark on the total blackout of women in history books. Even the story of men unfortunately mostly concern themselves with their successes in wars and in inflicting cruelty. This is because, she says, it is HIS STORY and not HER STORY.

Next came her analysis of Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati, the goddesses of power, wealth and knowledge who are worshipped for bestowing these three valued gifts. But look at the irony, she said. In real life women are deprived of these attributes and enjoy no recognition in the family or society.

Ms. Poornima had a piece of advice for the women in the audience: don’t be carried away, she said, if anybody tries to flatter you by likening you to a goddess.

Disclaiming doc

IT WAS a literary event in which just everyone on the dais had a Ph.D. to their credit. The organisers had generously attached a “Dr.” to Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde’s name as well, perhaps in an effort to make him feel at home in the august literary gathering.

But the Lokayukta decided to come clean at the end of his short speech. He said that he did indeed have a doctorate. But that was an honorary one and the Supreme Court had clearly stated that a doctorate of that kind cannot be attached to names. “They have called me Justice Doctor. That is a contradiction in terms,” he further elaborated.

The compere then decided to step in and make him feel better.

“You are a doctor taking care of the health of our society, sir,” she beamed. Not an argument that would convince the upright legal luminary.

The power of camera

WHAT DOES press coverage mean these days? With television channels springing up all over the place, people, especially those hankering after publicity, seem to be satisfied only if at least one television channel arrives on the spot.

Recently, two daily wage workers tried to commit suicide by consuming poison. They were rushed to a government hospital where they were placed on ventilators. This reporter rushed to the spot in hope of getting some reaction from the members of the association they belonged to. While a functionary was narrating what happened, a TV reporter walked in, followed by a cameraperson. The functionary stopped mid-sentence and rushed in their direction with nary a glance at the reporter who was talking to him all the while.