This festival season, here’s what tricity is talking about | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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This festival season, here’s what tricity is talking about

The area around the Punjab chief minister’s residence is restricted and people can’t gather there. However, the families of war martyrs from across the state have been camping there for 10 days, staying put round-the-clock. Perhaps it’s election time and the government doesn’t want to use force.

india festive season Updated: Oct 10, 2016 17:45 IST
Arvind Chhabra
They are demanding agricultural land or monetary compensation.
They are demanding agricultural land or monetary compensation. (Anil Dayal/HT Photo)

War martyrs’ kin camp outside CM residence

The area around the Punjab chief minister’s residence is restricted and people can’t gather there. However, the families of war martyrs from across the state have been camping there for 10 days, staying put round-the-clock. Perhaps it’s election time and the government doesn’t want to use force. Anyway, they say, the government can put them in jail but they won’t go until their demands are met. They are demanding agricultural land or monetary compensation. The CM met them once, they say, but he didn’t promise anything concrete. They have given a deadline until next Friday after which they plan to go on a hunger strike. But at the moment, those selling ‘ganne ka ras’ and ‘kulcha chana’ in the adjoining areas are having a field day.

Navratra nights turn warmer

Ramlila days are here again. Think about this time of the year, say about two decades ago, and you will be invariably reminded of people wrapped in shawls or blankets, munching on peanuts as actors played their roles from Ramayana in front of them. Nowadays that nip in the air is missing. Even the rehriwallahs selling hot peanuts haven’t yet appeared. We found that the minimum temperature in 1980s and 1990s used to be between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius, which has now risen to 25 degrees. Here (see chart), we have the minimum temperatures on October 5 since 1984 to explain how nights have become much warmer than they used to be.

Adviser’s style

UT adviser Parimal Rai has been around for over six months now. How effective he is as the top (next to the administrator) UT boss we’ll discuss another day, but one thing about him is that he’s definitely different from his predecessor Vijay Dev, who loved mingling around with people and was rather flamboyant in what he did. Rai prefers to remain low key and avoids being quoted in newspapers. Most bureaucrats take care they are nattily dressed while there are also some who wear extra-bright handkerchiefs and other accessories, and end up looking dandy. Leaving his shirt untucked, Rai, however, gives the impression of a nonchalant ‘Dilliwala’ who least bothers about what he’s wearing, or what people think about his dressing style.

The 33% result in MC

Chandigarh Municipal Corporation elections are round the corner. The councillors are busy lobbying for tickets. The other day at a senior bureaucrat’s office, this writer bumped into a councillor who had an interesting take on the upcoming polls. “See who wins or loses is difficult to predict but 33% of us will go through to the next corporation,” he said, arousing curiosity. “Well, that’s what has been happening. Some don’t get tickets, others lose. Over two-third of us don’t come back next time. We call it a pass percentage of 33%.”

100th Ashtami of Durga Parsad

Sector-32 resident Durga Parsad (Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

Meet Sector-32 resident Durga Parsad who turns 100 on Sunday. He’s been celebrating his birthday on Ashtami, the eighth Navratra. Prasad did his graduation in pre-Independence era from Lahore, has now 23 doctors and 10 engineers in his family of 59 members. While the country is talking about ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’ in the 21st Century, Parsad has been proponent of this in 1950-60s, when he ensured that all the four daughters were educated till post-graduation with two of them being doctors. He worked as a teacher at a village near Chandigarh and retired as the principal. He recalls how government employees were offered interest-free loan to take residential plots at nominal rates. His completing a century means he has enjoyed his pension for more number of years (42 years) than his service (36 years). Parsad, who’s still pretty active and healthy, says he’s been fond of eating through his life. His grandson, Sameer Goel, who works as development centre head with Infosys in Mohali, adds that he’s seen him as a disciplined man and very strict about his meal timings. Discipline has been the single most reason for his longevity. He strongly believes that if you don’t give surprises to your body it will not give you shocks.

arvind.chhabra@hindustantimes.com