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Thursday, August 16, 2012

'Don't get glued to'........ when on road; the dog ear..!!

How well did you maintain your record note and other note books in your school days ?   -  In our school days, teachers used to get wild on seeing notebooks not so well maintained.  ‘Nai kathu’ [in Tamil] literally ‘dog ear’ – they would scold.  A dog ear is a phrase that refers to the folded down corner of a book page.  Reportedly,  as wolves' ears stand erect, mostly dogs ears would flop by.  The dog ear type note was  frowned upon by those that want to preserve books in their original condition.

Sure you know of ‘Glue’  - an adhesive or stick -  usually in a liquid or semi-liquid state, that adheres or bonds items together. Adhesives cure (harden) by either evaporating a solvent or by chemical reactions that occur between two or more constituents. Glue has been in existence for centuries of years.

To get glued to’ someone or something……..  Glued to is a phrase which would mean ‘following someone everywhere or being very close to or touching something’.  ‘Ears glued to music or cricket commentary’ is a common phraseology.  

Cell phones a marvel of technology,  have gradually become an integral part of our lives.  People no longer are the same as they were a decade ago……. Now many cannot live without a mobile phone and it has coherently changed the approach in which we truly love, live and work. Cell phones are now like a mini computer,  have game consoles, e-mail connectivity, connects to other social networking like Facebook, have photo and video cameras,  SMS & MMS  and more.  Cell phones attract and serve people of all ages cutting across cultural and physical borders.

Multi-tasking is a skill, an ability to do different works at the same time.  For the present generation, one of that is listening to music or talking when doing something else – irrespective of the place be it kitchen, pantry, office floor, road or anywhere else.   Sad that the present generation does not care to keep their eyes and ear open while on the road – be it walking, crossing, driving or simply standing

A general search yielded result of a death when a lady tried to reach for her mobile in a suburban station in Chennai and other mentioned of  20 year-old  getting mowed down by Pushpak Express at Kurla station while on his way to college. The Chembur colony resident, who was walking on the tracks while listening to music with his earphones on, did not see the fast train coming. Nor could he hear the railway announcements or admonitions of bystanders. There is yet another newsitem in Times of India of date of ‘Schoolchildren and office-goers walking on the tracks at Chetpet railway station becoming a nightmare for train drivers.’  

The report states that the recent accidents in and around the area have become a cause for concern. Drivers say many people have a near brush with death, especially during peak hours. Many people talk on the phone while crossing the tracks, doubling the danger. Many school children have earphones plugged in, and don't hear trains hurtling towards them. Statistics show that on an average one person dies on the suburban train tracks every day.

Train drivers and Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel said a large number of people enter the tracks from a side of the bridge which does not have a wall.  M Govindaraj, a watchman at an apartment building close to the tracks, said: "The wall is not complete. Many people take the shortcut without taking the bridge. I've seen many people coming close to being run over by trains." Railway police say at least two people get killed near the station every month. A senior GRP officer said, "Youngsters are the ones who take the biggest risks. They cross the tracks and while on the train, hang out from the footboard when there is ample space inside the compartment. Then there are others who cling on to the four-inch window sill of the guard van. It baffles me."

A policeman from Chetpet station, who is posted near the lane leading to the tracks, said: "My job is to keep a watch on chain-snatchers as there have been a number of incidents here, but I end up cautioning people, especially schoolchildren, against crossing the tracks. Meanwhile, the killer pole which claimed the life of a 20-year-old software engineer two weeks ago when his head hit the electric pole below the Chetpet bridge near Chetpet railway station is yet to be removed. M Muthukumar was the fourth train passenger to die after hitting the pole.

Human life is so much important and is precious – sad that many do not realize this and put theirs and that of others at risk.  It saddens to see two wheeler drivers with neck inclined holding a phone between their neck and ear and driving; people laughing aloud – speaking and hearing songs with ear plugs on at the road; crossing the road with gay abandon not caring for the traffic but still speaking on a mobile. When will this madness stop !!

Though the ear of the dog would stoop down – there are some breeds like German Shepherds  which have prominently large ears which stand erect – open at the front and parallel.  Occasionally a German Shepherd puppy will need some help in getting his/her ears to stand up.  To make them look better, the owners glue the ears up.  They say to 'look like a German shepherd' the dog  needs to have ears up!  Some resort to taping the ears up even. 

Gluing the ear of a dog may be a good option but ‘getting glued to music’ whilst on road is certainly not…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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