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The Buzz in Big Cities

Get smart, get a Metro discount

It pays to be smart. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is planning to give a 10 per cent discount per trip to all smart card users.

“Most daily commuters use the smart card as it works out cheaper. We want to encourage frequent travellers to purchase the smart cards. Hence, the move,” Anuj Dayal, a spokesperson for the DMRC, said.

A fortnightly smart card currently costs Rs 100, the monthly Rs 200 and an annual card comes at Rs 700.

“Those who already have smart cards will be charged 10 per cent less on every trip, so their cards will run longer than the stipulated period,” Dayal said.

Tickets per trip currently range from Rs 6 to 14, depending on the distance.

Stalin’s school secret

M.K. Stalin might have raised quite a few eyebrows because of his unusual name. But it once cost him a place in a school — that, too, Jayalalithaa’s.

The younger son of DMK boss M. Karunanidhi recently spilled this childhood secret at a wedding.

Stalin’s family had first wanted to name him Ayyathurai — combining the names of Periyar, the late Dravidian social reformer, and DMK founder Annadurai.

That would have made him Periyar and Annadurai rolled into one. But that was not to be.

Stalin was born on March 1, 1953, soon after Joseph Stalin had died. And Karunanidhi decided to pay tribute to the Russian communist leader through his son.

When the time came to put little Stalin in school, his uncle Murasoli Maran took him to Chennai’s Church Park Convent.

But the school authorities said he could get admission only if he got a different name. They couldn’t risk a little “dictator” in school.

Maran conveyed this to Karunanidhi, but the DMK leader refused to change his son’s name. So, Stalin changed his school.

But it seems it was a blessing in disguise, or else “I would have had to study in a school that nurtured Jayalalithaa”, the DMK scion shuddered.

Ticket to a cosmetic ride

How about some toiletries with a ticket to ride' It’s no joke. Your load could soon be lighter when you’re travelling by Central Railway.

If the railway authorities have their way, train tickets will come with free sachets of shampoo and bodycare products.

But there is a slight problem. The booking clerks supposed to distribute the freebies have opposed the move, saying it would be too time-consuming.

A cosmetics company is said to have tied up with Central Railway for advertising space on the back of tickets. The company also wants to distribute its products along with tickets for first class, AC two-tier and AC three-tier, as part of its promotional strategy.

Railway officials, however, said an agreement with the company was yet to be finalised, but they were considering the proposal.

SMS an auto

Looking for an autorickshaw' Just send an SMS.

Bangalore traffic police and the autorickshaw drivers are coming together for this unique initiative.

A central control room will process your request and direct the nearest autorickshaw driver to your doorstep.

The initiative — a part of B-TRAC, a slew of measures to improve traffic in the city — is also aimed at improving the lot of the much-abused autorickshaw drivers.

Police say around 50 drivers, with crime-free records, have been picked and are undergoing training. They will be safe, reliable and trustworthy, the cops promise.

The three-wheelers will also sell mineral water and soft drinks to passengers.

Delhi: Tune in to a sitar recital by Debapriya Thakur, the son and disciple of maestro Prashant Thakur, at the India International Centre auditorium on June 12. The programme will begin at 6.30 pm. Debapriya will be accompanied by Biswajit Pal on the tabla. Entry is on first-come-first-serve basis.

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