SHILLONG JOTTINGS

No vehicles allowed!

On Sunday evening an irate resident of Police Bazar frantically called up this newspaper office because he was not allowed to take his vehicle along the proposed beautification project. He gentleman said, “Are we living in Pakistan or under some Taliban rule that we cannot even bring our own vehicles to our residence? My 92-year old sister was taken ill but I had to get permission from the nearby police station to bring the car to her residence at Police Bazar and take her to hospital. And all this in the heavy shower.” When asked why he did not put a representation to the Government on this issue he said no one was willing to listen to argument on this issue. While some people feel that the area should be completely pedestrianised others are of the view that the residents too have their rights.

Sensible questions

At the book launch at Bookmark on Saturday an interesting question came from a student of Class IX. He asked Sudeep Chakravati the author of Highway 39 why the North East does not figure prominently in the mainstream newspapers. He pointed to an explosion that took place at Khyndailad some months ago and where a simultaneous blast occurred at the same eating joint somewhere near St Edmund’s School. The young adolescent said that if a similar explosion had taken place somewhere in Delhi it would have been shown on TV channels round the clock. Responding to that query, Chakravarti said, “Interesting question young man. Why don’t you take up journalism when you get out of college?” This is a question that reverberated at a training workshop for working journalists and aspirants to journalism. Unfortunately, many who study mass communication do not join media organizations as a first choice but take up some other profession. What a loss for journalism!

Time Van

The Shillong Municipal Board Garbage Van is not only doing a yeoman service by picking household refuse from every locality in the city but is also doing the work with the precision of a clock. Every morning the van plies from locality to locality to collect garbage and thus keeps the city clean. But how do the householders know that the van has arrived. As soon as it reaches a locality, the van driver beeps the horn for a minute or so in order to indicate that the van has arrived. This has now helped the residents to keep a tab on time. For example, the residents of Laban Last Stop know without looking at the watch that it is 7:30am when the van arrives and so do the residents of other localities in the city. But this disguise of time keeping can also prove to be wrong sometimes. It so happened that a resident came down a hundred steps since he heard the beeping sound from the van. But on his arrival at the scene he found that it was another vehicle which was blowing its horn. This resident did what most people do. He quietly left his garbage by the side of the road. Immediately dogs arrived on the scene and scattered everything around.

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