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I recently purchased a new camera. When you have a camera, you want to click pictures; what is the use otherwise?
Wherever I go, my camera goes with me. I did not look at birds or butterflies in the past. But, now, the sight of even a crow, pigeon, or sparrow gets me excited.
Every evening, I take a walk. There is a lonely stretch of road near my house, which leads to a barren piece of land. The scene is rustic; there are many trees, and there are plenty of birds. I love this evening walk.
Adjacent to this land is another piece of fenced land. One day, I was taking my walk when I saw a woodpecker on a tree on the fenced land.
I went near the fence cautiously, removed my camera, and took a picture. I had tried taking pictures of woodpeckers earlier, but they would fly away. So, I was happy that I could take a picture of this fussy bird this time around.
I resumed my walk. I heard the sound of a motorcycle behind me. The rider stopped by my side and caught hold of my shirt collar. I was caught unawares.
"Why are you taking pictures of my land?" the rider demanded to know.
I was surprised and angry. "Why should I take pictures of your land?" I countered.
The man abused me at the top of his voice. He was reeking of liquor.
I guessed that probably there was some dispute over the ownership of the land, and he was scared that I was spying.
I told him that I had only taken a picture of a bird. I even showed him the photo, and he probably realized his mistake. However, he did not apologize but kept abusing me. I thought it wise to walk away.
I continued my evening walks on the same stretch, but I got the feeling that I was being watched. Once, the man even followed me right up to my home. Since then, my enthusiasm for photography has waned. I do not carry my camera with me anymore. You never know, someone might get the idea that I am spying on him, snatch my camera, and smash it.
Gem of a Letter!
In the first 55 years of operation of the Indian Railways, there were no toilets in the lower class carriages in trains. On July 2, 1909, an aggrieved Okhil Chandra Sen, in a letter, lodged a complaint with the railway administration. The letter was so strong that the authorities were compelled to take corrective action and introduce toilets in the lower class carriages. The incident might not be true; the letter used to be displayed at the National Railway Museum, but is now no longer displayed because the genuineness of the letter is in doubt.
Okhil Chandra Sen was on a journey from his home town. Just before leaving his home, his wife had lovingly cut a jack fruit and packed the pieces in a banana leaf.
On the train, Okhil Babu ate one piece after the other. Suddenly he felt a rumble in his stomach. He felt that his tummy was bloated. He was feeling uncomfortable and desperately wanted to relieve himself. But there were no toilets in the coach and he had to hold himself till the next station.
The train halted at Ahmedpur Station and Okhil Babu rushed to the toilet at the railway station. But even as Okhil Babu was relieving himself, the guard blew the whistle and the train departed leaving him behind. Okhil Babu was angry ... very angry!
He decided to write a strong letter to the railway administration, narrating his plight, upon returning home.
This is what Okhil Chandra Sen wrote:
I am arrive by passenger train Ahmedpur station and my belly is too much swelling with jack fruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just I doing the nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with "lotah (water can)" in one hand and dhoti in the next when I am fall over and expose all my shocking to man and female women on platform. I am got leaved at Ahmedpur station.
This too much bad, if passenger go to make dung that dam guard not wait train five minutes for him. I am therefore pray your honor to make big fine on that guard for public sake. Otherwise I am making big report to papers.
Well, thanks to Okhil Chandra Sen's letter, all compartments of the Indian Railways now have toilets.
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu