Mumbai underground

'Occupation'al hazard

A representative of an NGO, while arguing his case himself in court, claimed his NGO had filed over 50 public interest litigations raising various public issues. Often to state their credentials, litigants love to gloat about the work their NGO does or their commitment to social causes. But with the rising number of frivolous PILs consuming the court's precious time, judges have to take everything with a pinch of salt. When the builder-turned-activist proudly quoted the number of PILs filed by his organisation, a judge presiding over the division bench quipped, "So you are a professional? Is this your only occupation?" The red-faced litigant, however, told the court that his NGO was successful in "many" of the PILs that they had filed.

Sorry, Wrong address

Of late, several errors have been noticed in electricity bills of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). A few days ago, BEST committee chairman Ashok Patil received an urgent call from Mayor Sunil Prabhu. A glaring error in the set of bills dispatched to Shivaji Park residences had caught the Mayor's attention. Instead of Veer Savarkar Marg, where the Mayor's bungalow is located, the bills sent to residences of that road all had 'Chaityabhoomi' printed on them in the address. A red-faced Patil immediately took up the issue with the BEST administration in the next committee meeting.

Tongue twister

Of the scores of juveniles that are returned to their homes by police every month, Juvenile Aid Police Unit staff recall with particular fondness the account of a seven-year-old boy from Tamil Nadu. More than three years ago, the boy had taken a train to Mumbai after a quarrel with his parents. After arriving in the city, he befriended other boys and began to work at a hotel. A year ago, he was rescued during a raid and sent to the Mankhurd shelter for children. In the two years he had lived in the city, he had forgotten how to speak Tamil and picked up fluent Hindi. When the time came to take him back to Tamil Nadu, he could not remember how to get home. While he was travelling back to Tamil Nadu with two constables, he began chatting with a Tamil family and amazingly, started conversing in fluent Tamil. As he chatted away, he remembered the way to his home and was eventually reunited with his anxious parents.

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