In the Hindustan Times (Friday December 23): Toilet explodes, injures 6.
"Excessive gas" caused the explosion of the sewage tank of a communal toilet in a slum area in Deonar. It had a faulty outlet and finally could not hold the gas in any longer. "The roof ... caved in, injuring six people. ... [F]ive women [were] trapped inside."
What can you say.
In HT (Saturday December 24): School turns its back on girl students, parents cry foul.
Chembur's Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (aside: what does that mean anyway?) School has been an all-boy institution for 50 years. In June this year, they decided to "go co-ed up to the fourth standard." About 60 little girls joined the school.
But just six months later, the school authorities have changed their minds and are going back to being a boys-only institution. Why? Among other problems, they haven't got "approval for toilets for girls" (presumably from the Bombay Municipality). Though they tried. One parent told the press that "the floor plans for additional toilets for girls have been approved and a tender was floated on August 18."
Questions: Why should a school need "approval for toilets for girls"? What must we think about a government that demands such approval?
But I am more perplexed by this: how did this school admit girls when it did not have toilets for them -- worse, when it was still two months away from even floating a tender for the construction of those toilets? Why did sixty sets of parents admit their daughters to a school like this?
In the HT (December 24): Rabri's toilet trouble.
Rabri Devi, now leader of the opposition in Bihar, has accused the state government of "gender discrimination." Apparently the opposition leader's chamber in the state Assembly doesn't have a toilet. "Her husband ... Lalu Prasad Yadav had occupied the same chamber in the late 1980s."
What did he do in the late 1980s, I wonder. Not that I'm keen on an answer.
Also, Rabri Devi says "my repeated petitions to get a toilet constructed ... has fallen flat. ... The government has failed to find an engineer who will do it."
Well, may I suggest they get in touch with whoever that Chembur school approached to construct their girls' toilets. No, strike that.
But I also wonder: Rabri was head of the Bihar government for some years, till only a few months ago. Why did her government not "find an engineer" to build this toilet?
In the HT (December 24): Customs find currency in man's belly.
A certain Abdul Hafiz "swallowed a large quantity of foreign currency to escape detection at Mumbai airport." A Customs Additional Commissioner, Nishith Goyal, had this to say: "An X-ray revealed that there was a large quantity of currency in his stomach, though we are yet to ascertain what kind of currency it is."
Of course, I could tell Goyal what kind of currency it is: wet and sticky. Also, I would give a lot of currency to see that X-ray.
The report continues: "Further investigations rest on the contents of his excreta. The samples collected will be the main evidence in the case of smuggling."
It's lucky Hafiz isn't a girl student at a certain Chembur school, or the leader of the opposition in Bihar: collecting those samples might have been somewhat difficult. Then again, he might be very clever and ask for permission to turn over the samples at a communal toilet in Deonar. There, the evidence is likely to, shall we say, hit the fan.
And of course, I'm very keen on visiting the courtroom when the samples, all that "main evidence", are presented to the court. "My Lord, Exhibit A was excreted at 11:03 am ... My Lord, you're looking a little pale!"
Postscript: Added links above for those who think I made this stuff up.