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Aur Choti Choti Batyen A It seems my mobile is suffering from Alzheimer disease.

Every now and then it starts endless video recording. But who knows ? this madness proved to be an asset. The other day we decided to go to the Gate-way-of-india for spending the evening. The pot holes of Mumbai are like ringworm infections. It vanishes on dry day but returns in damp & rainy atmospheres. From Deshmukh to Chavan to Chavan three CMs have changed but the Pot holes remain where they have been for the last ten years. For compromising one pot hole near Mumbai Central turning , just before JJ flyover I skirted my vehicle towards right and then straightened towards left. A traffic police came running , stopped me and demanded my license told me that I have cut lane. 'It's the pot hole which is cutting lane - not me'. 'Sir you have to submit your license , I will give you a receipt. Tomorrow from the 'chouki' you can collect your license after paying the fine'. 'How come I've to come tomorrow for my license ?', I demanded. 'I don't have the fees book with me, that is available at the chouki', The man said quite rudely. 'Gentleman, that's your problem not mine, take fine and let me go', I ordered . He put the license in his pocket and was about to write on the yellow worn out book. I said , 'you are monitoring traffic here at this junction. You have stopped me for lane cutting and now you say that you don't have fees book for giving me receipt of my fine, I've to come to this bloody pot-holed place again tomorrow for paying fine and getting my license back. This whole thing is just not understandable'. 'It's upto you, whether you want to get your license back or not but if you don't push off right now we will tow your vehicle from here', He paused and looked at me. I was looking helplessly at my mobile when I discovered that it was on another fits of video recording mode. I took out the phone and hold towards the arrogant man. He was in the frame now. I stopped and played it back. He was little off balance at the clear reproduction of his own voice. I said, ' All our conversations have been video recorded here. You face & road is very neatly picked up . If something is fishy now then tomorrow you will be in soup'. He paused, and then handed over my license and told me to go. He even told me how to go to the Gate-way right.

I understand this is one of the Mumbai traffic police's typical way of threatening common man to fall back in their trap and then end up paying bribe. My cranky phone has saved me today. B The laughing club of the old men sits in the morning. They have a conductor who has to repeat the process continuously to keep them laughing. After laughing together for quite some time they sit on the nearby benches. Now they share jokes and the laughing continues without help from the conductor. This shows that wisdom is more powerful than mere will power. C 'The date is over we cannot accommodate any more budget proposals now' , My boss declared fist fully in the meeting and told me to lock the process immediately. Few minutes later the director entered the room and took chair. He then told my boss to keep budget provision for upgradation of the office of the director. At the break my boss told me to add up budget for upgradation of director's office. 'But you have told to lock the .', I hesitated a bit. 'Haven't you read George Orewel's animal farm ? , boss was apparently impatient. 'Yes Sir , got it - all are equal but some are more equal' , pat came my reply. D The other day one of the carom boards in our club was down due to maintenance works. But that did not pose any problem for the little kids for whom playing carom is very favorite while it rains outside. Sitting around one board all eight were intensely busy playing carom. 'How many hands are you using ?' , I tried to tease one kid. 'Uncle , any hand but one at a time' , one kid replied while heading one coin into the hole. 'Great ! then let us remove the other board permanently', I tried to poke further. 'Uncle, no problem , as long as we all are here one carom board will suffice'. This reminds me one simple fact of life Our limitations are mostly created in our head not

in reality. E It's good to see that sparrows are returning to Powai. Their unmistakably presence in parks, compounds and window grills are felt by one and all. The other day my daughter discovered a sparrow family built nest inside our AC. Since then she spies them and tried to coax the family with biscuits , peanuts , rice, cucumber, bread & butter and even boiled eggs . Her extra eagerness has panicked the kiddies to a great extent. The family is now in grave doubt whether to treat her as friend or foe. F DND Do no disturb. Simply send DND to this (****) number and it will be activated in 45 days time confirmed the operator . First it was one SMS everyday from 'futr bazr.' then every day it went on multiplying so much from 'batra' , 'vlc' ,' tata-aig' that my SMS inbox started crying. I deleted all and send the DND-instruction following everything to the letter. But even after six months the fusillade of SMSs keep coming. The operator every time sends me an SMS telling me a service request number has been generated and would be served with in 12 days but the story is continuing month after month.

S. Bera Powai