Twelve Fait Divers: A story by Kirtana Kumar

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Twelve Fait Divers: A story by Kirtana Kumar

(from Bangalore newspapers circa 1985)

Condom shaped Motorcycle was spotted on Nruputhanga Road to celebrate AIDS. The driver said he was driving from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to further this cause. He had started his journey in Belgaum, home of AIDS. But first, he received the blessings of Kukke Sree Subramanyam. He wishes the people of India a very happy new year.

  • January 4th, 1985

It is reported that the committee of the Century Club had proposed to the Government of Karnataka that fish cutlets from the neighbouring Fisheries Department Outlet be served in a kiosk adjoining the Central Library to serve those members seeking to enjoy Sunday evenings in Cubbon Park. It was subsequently vetoed by members of the Cubbon Park Laughter Association on grounds of vegetarianism. “Laughers in the Park are largely from the Brahmin community and their sensibilities will be offended” stated Sri Nanjangud Srinivas Iyengar, President of the CPLA.

  • February 13th, 1985

On the event of International Women’s Day, there will be a celebration at Ravindra Kalakshetra to commemorate the lives of Kittur Rani Chennamma, Mahadevitai Dodmane, Umabai Kundapur, and Bellary Siddamma. The chief guests will be Mr. TP Issar, Sri MR Murthy, Dr.Jaganmohan Kodandarao. There will be no public holiday and no leave sanctioned to attend the same. It is open to all women, girls, ladies, and home-makers.

  • March 5th, 1985

Chit Chat parlour sold 2000 litres of fruit salad-ice cream in one month alone, outselling closest competitor Lakeview. The oldest ice cream parlour in Bangalore, Lakeview on MG Road is famous for its Merry Widow’s Special and Dry Fruit Ice Cream. The owners claim Lakeview has been “satisfying the sweet cravings of Bangaloreans since 1930. People come to Bangalore for their honeymoon because of salubrious weather and Lakeview’s Honeymoon Special.” Chit Chat owner said - no comments, please.

  • April 28th, 1985

This May Day, young people are being encouraged to ‘go out and shop till you drop’. “Buy, buy, buy” is the mantra of the times, said Fr. Aloysius Braganza of the Indian Social Institute. Himanshu Subrabrata, a student of St.Joseph’s Commerce College, said that he planned to spend the day at Peco’s with his mates and score some cold draught but that his younger sister may-go may-day shopping with his mother. When asked about the history of May Day, another student, Anjana Dave, said that she was proud of the constitution of India and supported the Indian Army, Navy, and Airforce. “May Day is a good motto, it is as important as Vande Matheran. I will be making t-shirts with May Day May Day emblazoned on them in honour of our defence forces ”

  • May 1st, 1985

A Bangalore corporator fell out of his harness while windsurfing on Nandi Hills last Tuesday. Fortunately, his fall was broken by a pack of langurs who were feeding on packets of bisibele baath and Glucose biscuit that had been dumped on a rock surface just below. The corporator escaped with a few minor scratches and bites, but one monkey suffered a broken arm and leg as a result. The monkey has been rescued and is at the Veterinary facility in Hebbal. The corporator has been warned against taking weekday leave.

  • June 1st, 1985

The monsoon has been delayed thanks to the delay in Sankranthi this year. Subsequently, Ganesh Chathurthi, Dassara, and Deepavalli have also been delayed. Christmas will remain the same. The jury is still out on Eid ul Fitr. A decision will be taken after consulting the waxing of the moon.

  • June 20th, 1985

A riot broke out at the Bishop Cotton School social when a song titled ‘Money for Nothing’ was played by the DJ. All the boys and girls stopped dancing and started chanting “I want my MTV”. When the principal, Mr. Balraj, called for order, they are said to have screamed “Money for nothing and the checks for free.” A boarder, on condition of anonymity, admitted this had taken the school by storm and further, that boarders had taken to eating Vicks and Iodex on toast out of sheer hunger. He wasn’t able to explain the demand for free checks. When the CITU were consulted they said - why ask us, ask the Department of Women and Child.

  • August 31st, 1985

A man riding a motorcycle shaped like a condom was found camping in Webb’s grounds behind Webb’s Garage. Some may recall this had previously and ironically been the site for the Bootleg Beatles and Shakthi rock music concerts where “…necking, fingering and doping among Bangalore’s youth” had been reported. The man said his original mission to spread the cause of AIDS from Kashmir to Kanyakumari had been thwarted by lack of spares and rising petrol prices. In protest, he would be on hunger strike indefinitely or until he found a sponsor. So far he had been approached by Bolst’s Pickles and Saboo Collections. He said, “While the pickings are good, I am waiting for the big fish.”

  • September 15th, 1985

Local IT company, Infosys, is considering going public in about ten years as per a press release by its media head. Two insider informants said they were considering other options as they didn’t see a future in Infosys. One was considering hotels and the other a job as an event manager at The Club on Mysore Road. “The future is with the youth, entertainment, hospitality” they said. “No one cares about fuddy-duddy stocks and shares. We’re moving onwards and upwards.”

  • October 1st, 1985

Mr. Pyaarejaan Ghouse of Ghouse Antiques in Bamboo Bazaar, a direct descendant of Tippu Sultan, is taking the Wodeyar family to court on ownership of swords. Mr. Ghose claims to have an ancient patent for all iron swords manufactured in the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore. The British took both Mysore and our swords away and gave it to the Wodeyars, he told this reporter. “My ancestors were de facto rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore, earlier rulers were simply chelas of the Vijaynagara kings. I will go to court to regain my swords.” It should be noted that Mr. Ghose runs a brisk trade in chandeliers, roll-top desks, and brass-ware. He is known to all the city elite.

  • October 18th, 1985

There was a burglary at the Bangalore Club on Christmas Eve. Six masked men are said to have entered via the Residency Road gate even as members were busy wining and dancing on the lawn. They calmly strolled into the pantry and made off with 34 Christmas puddings and a turkey. On the way out, they struggled to dislodge the marble sentries and the historic brass bell. Unsuccessful, they went into the swimming pool toilets and stole a large hinged mirror. As they were leaving, they were inadvertently intercepted by Santa Claus. Since the break-in was claimed to be an inside job, the issue was hushed up till someone on the Deccan Herald crime beat got wind of the story. We wish all our readers Season’s Greetings.

  • December 27th, 1985


Kirtana Kumar is an actor, director, dramaturg and film-maker. She is a trustee of Women Artists Group and runs Little Jasmine Theatre Project and Theatre Lab (Youth). She currently serves as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Visthar Institute of Developments Studies. Her workspace is at Infinite Souls Farm and Artists’ Retreat.

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