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>Today’s Times of India headlines

>It’s a different world over in India, as exhibited by some of the stories currently running on the Times of India website. The old saying goes ‘only in America’ but I reckon that we’ll increasingly see the weird and bizarre from the sub-continent.

Part of the fun in these articles is the wonderfully flowery use of the English language. Another is what they come up with as headlines.

Constable accidentally pulls off firearm trigger, kills self

NAGPUR: A constable of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) died on Monday here after he accidentally pulled the trigger of his nine mm carbine, killing himself, GRP police said.

Dhananjay Singh, posted at the Nagpur railway station on platform number one, fell to his bullets, shot below his chin, in the wee hours, they said.

A case of accidental death has been registered by the police.

However, police sources say the deceased may have committed suicide since the bullet was found to have ripped through his jaws, as the gun was positioned at his neck below the chin.

Ya think?

Hundreds of prisoners in Bihar jail pledge to donate eyes

PATNA: Hundreds of prisoners in a Bihar jail, including Maoists, gangsters and even a jailed politician, have pledged to donate their eyes after death, an official said on Monday.

“More than 400 of nearly 3,000 prisoners in the Beur Central Jail in Patna have voluntarily pledged to donate their eyes,” said Kanti Mohan, the medical officer of the jail.

Official sources said Maoists like Ajay Kanu, the brain behind the infamous Jehanabad jail break in November 2005, along with dozen other cadres, gangsters Bindu Singh, Shiv Gope, Sultan Miyan and former legislator Rajan Tiwari have given their written consent to donate eyes.

“Prisoners are also human-beings, with heart and emotions. They were motivated to make a difference to others by donating their eyes,” Mohan told IANS over phone.

It took Mohan many days to convince and encourage prisoners to make the pledge.

“It was not an easy task. I worked hard for it and now the prisoners have responded,” he said.

Jail Superintendent Omprakash Gupta said the prisoners would set a positive example and it would change their bad image in the society.

“It will inspire inmates of other jails in the state to donate their eyes or other organs,” Gupta said.

I guess it’s better than what happens in China where prisoners are executed for the most trivial of crimes and have their organs sold into a lucrative market. Who came up with the idea in the first place and how did they convince the prisoners so quickly?

Two get bail in case of grabbing flats

The Pune Cantonment court on Friday granted bail to two members of the Feroz Rahim Bangali gang of Kondhwa in a case of grabbing two flats. Judicial magistrate first class A M Patankar ordered release of the suspects Mubarak Shaikh and Moiz Shaikh both from Kondhwa on bail of 20,000 with sureties of the like amount.

The suspects were ordered not to tamper with evidence, not to threaten witnesses and to give daily attendance at the Kondhwa police station. The alleged incident of grabbing of two flats at Grenade palace at Kondhwa had taken place in 2006 and the case was filed by Sayed Sarhan Sabir of Ghorpadi.

What the hell is that about??

Hero Honda to repay amount for defective bike

HYDERABAD: The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum III has ordered Hero Honda Motors Limited to repay Rs 43,000, the cost of a Hero Honda Passion Plus, for delivering a defective motorcycle to a consumer.

B Srikanth, a student, bought the motorcycle from Laxmi Motors in Malakpet on June 14, 2008. While driving home after the purchase, it developed a technical snag within 15 minutes. Incidentally, he was driving in the second gear. Srikanth brought the issue to the notice of the showroom three days later.

The showroom staff assured him that they would address the issue during the first service. However, Srikanth encountered the problem again and brought it to the notice of the showroom. After repeated representations to the showroom and the company when his grievance was not redressed, he filed a petition before the Consumer Forum III.

In his petition, he said though authorities attended to the problem, they could not completely rectify it. He demanded that the showroom replace the bike with a new one, but they flatly rejected it. His grievance was not even heard by the Hero Honda’s regional office in Himayatnagar.

Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum III president L Kedarachary, after hearing both the parties on February 27, ordered Hero Honda Motors Limited to either replace the vehicle or repay the cost with compensation.

Incidentally, he was driving in second gear.

Magical Melange Of ’70s

The mid-60s and arrival of director N Lakshminarayan gave birth to a new idiom. His Naandi and Uyyale were two path-breakers followed by K S L Swamy’s Gandhinagara. The ’70s unspooled the Golden Age where Kannada films won laurels, both at home and abroad. Pattabhirama Reddy’s Samskara with Girish Karnad in the lead role set a blazing trail. Then came gems like Kaadu, Chomana Dudi, Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Vamsavruksha, Ghatashraddha, Kanneswara Rama, Hamsageethe and Ondanondu Kaladalli.

The new style, new attitudes and new explorations set out by greats like Girish Karnad, Girish Kasaravalli, G V Iyer, M S Sathyu and B V Karanth made the country take notice of Kannada cinema. The new cinema created structural and thematic variations, its framework of norms and commitments. It aimed at a broader vision of life, deeper penetration into realities, scientific exploration of themes and more relevant socio-economic perspectives. Its purpose was not to sell romatic dreams but to show reality engagingly.

These directors were relentless in their search for relevant cinema which had a hard line of conceptualisation executed in an idiomatic manner.

In the ’70s, money-spinners Dari Tappida Maga, Yeradu Kanasu, Sharapanjara, Nagarahaavu, Upasane, Sampattige Sawal and Bilee Hendti were a fine blend of art elan and commercial masala. It was definitely the Golden Era.

Don’t tell anyone that pretentiousness is not alive and well in India.

Green butchers on the prowl on OU campus

HYDERABAD: Green murderers struck again, but ironically this time they chose the sylvan Osmania University (OU) campus and axed 15 trees around the university sports complex swimming pool. However, OU authorities claimed the trees were felled to protect the swimming pool.

The OU officials maintained that since leaves of the trees surrounding the pool were polluting the water, they had ordered tree trimming, but the contractor axed 15 trees which were between eight to ten years old.

They claimed the physical education department, which maintains the sports complex, including the swimming pool, was running up a huge bill of Rs 62,000 per month for just cleaning up the pool and filtering water and hence the diktat to ‘chop’ branches was ordered.

“We had given orders to trim the trees. The contractor carried out the operation without the university’s permission. We had ordered for trimming the branches as swimmers were complaining of skin infections caused by the decaying leaves and twigs,”director, physical education department, Lakshmikanth Rathod said. However, even trees which were a few feet away from the pool were chopped down with the consent of the OU staff.

“We are ready to plant as many trees elsewhere to make up for the loss. We have been taking up continuous planting of saplings for trees cut down for construction activities,” he said.

‘Green murderers’ is a term right out of the loopy environmentalist playbook. Is green butchery a capital crime in India?

(Nothing Follows)

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