Accompanying a party candidate during elections does have its perils. For one, the public thinks that the accompanying reporter is a flunkey of the politician. And the latter is fully aware of possible mileage.

This reporter accompanied M. Francis Jackson, the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate for Shantinagar constituency, during this visit to Linganapalya on Sunday. Residents garlanded and performed the arati to the furious clicking of cameras.

Mr. Jackson was aware that the reporter had brought along a digital camera.

As the photographs were being clicked, he asked the reporter whether he was interested in taking one.

The candidate completed his campaign with the reporter not taking any photographs.

This was not to the liking of his supporters.

“Do you need a film roll to take a photograph? Why are you not clicking?” bristled a supporter.

It took some long-winded explanation to convince him that the reporter was not a member of Mr. Jackson’s constituency.

Those sweet extras

Reporters covering the 42nd convocation of the University of Agriculture, Bangalore, on Monday were in for a surprise seeing a bulky press kit.

A closer look at the packet revealed something in addition to the customary copies of the speeches of the Vice-Chancellor, the chief guest and the list of gold medal recipients: the extra was a modest box containing bakery goodies, which looked to have emerged from the university’s in-house bakery.

There were also two tetra packets of juice, a mineral water bottle, tissue papers and wet tissue.

Bemused reporters looked at each other before someone concluded: “It looks like an indication to make us leave without meeting the officials concerned.”

Gender bender

There is no escape from sexist remarks wherever you go. Not even while standing in a long queue as “equal citizens” of this country to get your voter identity card.

A booth in Channammanakere Achkattu in Banashankari III Stage had two queues for women and men and there were two separate computers for each queue. When the one meant for women broke down, the men’s queue kept moving while the women just waited and watched the obviously unprofessional computer operator struggled with the machine.

After 15 minutes of patient waiting, one of the women in queue suggested to the policeman manning the booth that women and men could be allowed inside by turns so that both share the agony standing in the mid-afternoon heat.

The policeman said: “Wear a pair of jeans and come back, then I will consider letting you in.” Not a particularly appropriate thing to say considering that the woman was in her 50s. But the plucky woman didn’t even blink before she said: “How about getting me a pair, sir?”

The policeman pretended not to hear, while the women around sniggered.

RAGHAVA M.,

BAGESHREE S.

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