Posts Tagged ‘Pune’


The other day, I was in the bank queue and standing behind me was a gentleman from Bihar, so we got chatting and he said “Bahut kathin hain, Modi jo koshish kar rahein” (It is very difficult, what Modiji is trying to achieve). I asked him to explain, and he said he had returned from his village in Bihar where no one wants Narendra Modi’s anti-corruption drive to succeed because they are happy with the corrupt way of life.

When you hear such things you know Narendra Modi is facing an impossible, nay herculean task, in ending corruption. His own party is neck-deep in it. It is ingrained in the system and some people don’t want to get rid of it. They will fight it to their last breath because for them, it’s a question of their very existence.

The Bihari gent said that in his village, dozens of fictitious Jan Dhan accounts have been opened by crooked bank officials in which money is being credited and withdrawn every month by nameless persons. The account holders, thekedars and bank officials take a cut and everyone is happy. Why should they want to change a system that fetches such returns without an honest day’s work?

When I told him about the cash being recovered from all over the country, he laughed. He said that schemes such as MNREGA were the biggest financial scams in independent India and even Mr Modi with all his good intentions can do nothing, because the rot has gone too deep.  And this is happening in Nitish Kumar’s Bihar, when he is backing the campaign against black money.

Like me, he too was despondent. “Chor hain sab. Is desh ka kabhi bhala nahin hoga.” (They are all thieves. The country will never improve).

The day before on Twitter I had an argument on the very subject with a journalist who said I could not base my example on one instance. Well, here’s another.

I am no economist, but as a middle-class Indian I see around me the willingness to change but there are three other groups of people who are fighting change. The first is the corrupt lot for whom demonetisation has been an avoidable disaster, and if they can’t save their money they definitely don’t want a system which won’t let them make anymore. Look at the way the bankers and lawyers have circumvented the system to issue trunks full of new currencies to all kinds of dubious people, while the common Indian frets and fumes in a queue.

The second lot is the so-called ‘left-liberals’, who share a visceral hatred for Modi. Irrespective of what he or anyone from his government proposes, they will close their eyes and oppose it. The gates are closed for any debate on the issue, and if there is one, it’s a monologue in which they are right, and everyone else is wrong.

For example. I hear people on TV channels trotting out the most bizarre reasons for not going digital. Some of the more absurd reasons I’ve heard by idiots in the garb of journalists, on why poor people can’t open bank accounts is, that poor people haven’t been inside a bank. Haven’t they been inside a post office or dak ghar as it is called in the villages? In a village in Uttar Pradesh, one man says no one in government told him he could open a bank account. In the past so many years if no one in government told villagers that they could open accounts even in post offices, who is to blame? If there are so few banks in villages, then who is to take the blame?

Then there is the absolutely bizarre justification from people against demonetisation. It would make me laugh if it weren’t so tragic. They will say that daily wagers have been the worst-hit because the small factory owner has been forced to shut down. Why the “small factory owner” was running a cash-and-carry business for decades, is something none of them have cared to ask that guy. And it’s not like he just started it. He’s been doing it for years and his father before him. Has he tried to open accounts for his workers in these last 30 days to solve their problem? No he hasn’t. He has preferred to shut down instead. It’s pretty obvious why.

Just go to some of the busy chowks in a city like Pune on any given day. Among the milling crowds are dozens of labourers. They aren’t all waiting for public transport. They, men, and women with babies, are waiting for a contractor to land up there and pick them out like cattle to herd them into a truck and take them to a construction site. Here they will work in the blazing sun and at the end of the day, they will get paid for a day’s work, from which they have to pay the contractor. You can guess what they end up with after paying that. That is, of course, not a concern of journalists churning out reports about the negative impacts of demonetisation. That’s not the angle they’re looking for in that story.

And finally, there is a fourth group – journalists – who are happy sitting in their air conditioned offices churning out stories from twitter feeds and Facebook updates and calling them ‘exclusives’. I remember joking years ago that some journalists could turn a press release into a byline story, but I never realised it would get so bad! They’ve gotten so used to sucking up to ministers and drinking subsidised booze at the Press Club that they’ve forgotten their primary responsibility – to question those in power, and keep questioning them, until they answer.

Not one journalist is asking this simple question of the politicians in and out of power – What was your party doing all these years?” Not one journalist is throwing up facts and figures in the faces of these politicians and asking them to explain the discrepancies. Some of the politicians have become millionaires and billionaires in five years. Not one journalist asks them how they made so much without any legal source of income, except their MP’s salaries. That is left to the analysts and opinion writers, who very few read anyway. So after a few hours of being stonewalled by the politicians, the journalists go back to the Press Club and order another drink, and move on to their next desktop exclusive.

I am sorry for being such a cynic, but I completely understand what the Bihari gentleman meant when he said, “Chor hain sab….”

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I can understand why supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and especially Narendra Modi, are raging. It is because they know they were within sniffing distance of victory in Delhi, and someone, who they least expected, pulled the red carpet from under their feet. They were that close, and had they won, the saffron party would have completed a fantastic sweep of the assembly elections – four out of five. More importantly, to win in Delhi would have been the perfect launch pad for Lok Sabha 2014, when Narendra Modi would surely have swept the polls across the nation, and his ardent followers would have been over the moon. And I mean nation, not just the cow belt, because judging by the response he is getting, even in the South, it seems for the first time, he might achieve the impossible – a win down there – with the party’s allies, except maybe in Kerala.

And then out popped Aam Aadmi Arvind Kejriwal, wrapped up in his pullover, coat, muffler and topi, and stepped on the BJP’s celebratory cake. Up till the day the Assembly election results were being declared, the BJP and the Congress had both treated Kejriwal like the proverbial fly in the ointment – the minor irritant – that would be swatted into silence in another 24 hours (Example: Kejriwal isn’t even on the radar – Sheila Dikshit). They really didn’t think he was going to do much damage, and even the exit polls weren’t too sure. Much to their horror and anguish, the fly became a bee that stung them hard. Sheila Dixit, lost her constituency and her chair, and the BJP just lost its shirt at the audacity of this middle class ‘nobody’ who stuck it to them, where it hurts.

They believe the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has dared to steal from right under the nose of the BJP, what was rightfully theirs! And that also explains why the saffron supporters are savaging Kejriwal and his fledgling party with innuendos and pictures ridiculing him and his movement. What they are showing themselves to be, are poor losers. The funny thing is, the Congress was everything the people didn’t want in a political party and government– corrupt, inefficient, uncaring, and Kejriwal came along and whipped them, in their backyard. Instead of cheering for him there are some people who are ridiculing him. And these are mostly furious friends and supporters of the saffron brigade.

There’s a photograph that’s doing the rounds on Facebook, and probably on twitter. It is of Arvind Kejriwal in a Toyota SUV at Pune airport supposedly going to meet Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi. It’s from a national daily. It’s obviously been used to convey that a guy who preaches simplicity and self righteousness has no qualms sitting in an SUV. It’s a pretty shallow attempt by the newspaper, for which incidentally I have great respect, to create a controversy where there isn’t any. Then there’s constant comparison between IIT pass-out Kejriwal and another IIT pass-out, BJP Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of Goa, who has been photographed riding pillion on a scooter in Goa. I am sure Parrikar is a good, honest and hard working man. I’ve also read that he travels economy class and by bus, but I am sure he does not travel by scooter to work every day!

While I accept that I don’t see any party that can stand up to the BJP, right now, I don’t think I want to see a Parliament where there is no opposition worth the name. Unfortunately, even outside Delhi, the likes of Mulayam Singh, Mamata Banerji, Mayawati, Sharad Pawar, and Nitish Kumar are, together, not strong enough to pose a challenge even to Amit Shah, leave along Modi! And try as they might, Rahul Gandhi and his ragtag bunch are simply incapable of taking on Modi. Can Kejriwal?

At the recent speech to industry captains, Rahul spoke a lot about what his government has done and what it wanted to do, and yet it sounded so hollow, because it was just the political speech that the industry wasn’t interested in hearing. There really is no point in saying ‘we will do this’, or ‘we will do that’ when his government had ten years to do it, and didn’t. And now, just as the elections are around the corner and time is running out for the UPA government, it gets off its behind and announces a slew of populist measures, which everyone, with an iota of common sense, knows is just pre-poll gimmickry and will take another few years to bear fruit.


Remember the film Network’ where Peter Finch as Robert Boyle tells viewers to go to the window and yell “I’m mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore.” Well, In think the people of the country are getting there. And I am sure we don’t need a ‘Mad Prophet’ to make us feel that way. Although, I daresay, there are a few of our news anchors who come close!

Prices of everything are sky-high, crime is rampant, women and children are getting molested, raped, citizens or abducted. Activists are getting murdered in broad daylight. Incidents of road rage are pretty common nowadays. And while all these things are happening around them, the politicians, secure in their fortified bungalows and offices are offering lip sympathy.

I am angry not because the price of petrol has passed Rs 80 and I, like everyone else have to pay through my nose for it, along with the already steep prices of LPG and vegetables. I am angry because while I pay, the politician continues to live a tax-free existence. And if it was a hardworking, honest politician I wouldn’t mind, but most of these guys deserve (and I am sure 99 per cent of the tax-payers feel that way) to get nailed – since I can’t use anything more vituperative.

If there is an economic crisis in the country, how come only the tax-payer has to bear the brunt? Why aren’t elected representatives – MPs and MLAs – told they have to pay taxes, pay for their fuel, telephone usage and house rent, until the situation improves? After all it is they who are responsible for the sorry mess we are in today, so why should they walk away and leave us to carry the burden? The Centre’s logic of shoving it down the tax-payer’s throat even though they are the biggest culprits is only going to increase the anger among the public.

Manmohan Singh, for all his so-called personal integrity has turned out to be a dud as a Prime Minister. Well he is the prime minister, technically, even though Soniaji pulls the strings. For all his integrity, all he does is stand up in Parliament and defend the corrupt ministers and officials who work under him. So how is he any better than them? Has he even once asked his ministers or bureaucrats to limit their expenses on travel? Instead, he has warned the public that things will get worse! What a source of comfort he has been, in these troubled times!

You don’t need to be Einstein, for example, to see that the maximum wastage of fuel is at the government level. The common man, by and large, is careful, The government is not. So if the MPs, MLAs and bureaucrats are asked to pay for the fuel they consume, at least till we tide over the present crisis, there won’t be a crisis. But watch the cavalcade of cars these nincompoops travel with, and you’ll realise that they don’t give a damn if the rest of the country starves as long as they are mobile.

Take Pune itself. We have a terrible public transport system, but does the government care? The BRTS they planned is one of the worst-ever planned projects the city has had. It was supposed to ease the traffic congestion. Instead it has only brought on more chaos. Everyone took a slice of the pie and left the mess on the floor. Now the citizens have to drive through the mess.  It’s not the politician’s problem anymore. Now take the Metro. In the past six years since they announced it all that has moved is the cost of the project – upwards. E Sreedharan, the man who executed other Metro projects around the country, came to Pune recently and ripped the Metro project to shreds. Has it had any effect on the politicians? Ho hum.

As a nation we are in a shambles. In all these years, I don’t think I’ve seen so many issues hitting us so hard in one single year and there’s worse to come, I am told. The worse thing is the government seems to resemble a blindfolded man trying to figure his way out of a maze. All they need to do is take off the blindfold.

So I am angry, and I am sure, so are you. Some months ago I read that some women thrashed an amorous politician in public view. Today I read on FB that villagers in Gurgaon forced open the toll booth there because they were fed up of the bad service road they were being forced to use. They decided to take law into their hands. It’s coming, slowly and surely. The anger is building. God forbid, if one day this anger explodes into something more drastic. I guess, those who rule over us, would deserve that.

Each man for himself….

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Terrorism
Tags: ,

Isn’t it a scary thought? The Andhra Government and the Hyderabad Police were aware of a terror threat as late as Thursday morning, but didn’t do much. In effect, it didn’t really have a clue as to what steps it should take to protect its citizens and pre-empt such threats – or didn’t take it seriously. The point is they found and defused two other bombs after the first two had killed 12 people and injured 84 others? Now how did they do that?

Elsewhere in the world, at least in countries like the US, Uk and some in Europe, the police acts on the intel they get. Look at how the Americans have strengthened their security. We might swear at them because an SRK or an APJ Abdul Kalam gets frisked at airports. Sometimes extreme paranoia is a good thing and they really don’t care how critically the rest of the world views their security apparatus. Their first job is to keep their country and citizens safe and it’s the middle finger to all those who disagree with their methods.

In India, on the other hand, the administration’s attitude is “let it happen.  Then we’ll see.” Like what happened in Mumbai in 2008. The Centre acted like the bureaucrats who work under them and took their own sweet time to send in the NSG commandos, when the latter in reality should have been in Mumbai by midnight.  Like what happened in Delhi at various times, like what happened in Hyderabad  last evening.

So to me the scariest thought is that we citizens are basically on our own. No one will protect us. No one cares. The VVIPs will get even more security, and never mind what the Supreme Court says. The city’s leaders will put up barricades near their homes and the Army Commander will build another wall to protect his home from an armed attack. But the citizen will have to fend for himself. He will have to travel in the city bus wondering whether the bag lying under his seat only has books or something more lethal. It’s almost as if a few dozen or even a hundred lives are collateral damage in a larger scheme of things. The citizen is a non-issue for the politician. His death is a small price to pay so that those nincompoops with their Black Cats and their bullet proof cars can stay alive.

Have you been reading about the number of incidents of bags and briefcases found lying attended in various parts of the city? How do we know this is not a deliberate attempt by terror groups to test the preparedness of the police? What’s the guarantee that the scooter parked next to you on a busy street isn’t packed with explosives or the handcart which you just passed in a narrow, crowded street doesn’t have a bomb placed under it? That is the feeling that has gripped citizens. And in the midst of this is a terrifying thought. We are alone and at the mercy of this nameless, faceless bunch of cold blooded killers. No one, not the administration, not the police is going to be there to protect us, when lives are blown to smithereens.

When I left office around midnight, I read what the Pune Police Commissioner said about an alert in the city. That there would be intensified patrolling. I drove a distance of roughly 14 kms through various areas of the city. I didn’t see even one policeman or even a police van patrolling the streets. I passed three police stations on the way and there wasn’t even a police jeep or a cop around. This is the Pune Police’s idea of a heightened security alert. Otherwise all along the road on my home, during the day there are cops lurking behind trees to grab unsuspecting motorcyclists and extort money from them.

This is the sad fact of our lives today. Look at what happened in Hyderabad last night. Did those unfortunate souls have a clue that they would be dead in sixty seconds? Or some of them would be missing a leg or a hand or both in a flash of a second? And this after the cops had credible information of a bomb threat in the area. Did they double the police force? Did they increase patrolling, look out for suspicious objects? Did they have sniffer dogs along with them when they knew? Did they install close circuit TV cameras? Nothing was done, because no one cared.

The unfortunate truth is that we are on our own.


In the heat of the moment to scream out “DEATH FOR RAPISTS” is easy and convenient. Should the six men, involved in the brutalisation of the Delhi girl be sent to the gallows? Delhi’s best doctors have been unable to put her internal organs back together again, so badly mangled are they by the rape and the beatings she received. They say, if she survives it would indeed be a miracle.

Reactions have been on expected lines – with the public and the politicians all calling for the rapists to be sent to the gallows. There have been command performances by politicians in Parliament all demanding death to the rapists. By all accounts, this was a crime so heinous that it deserves nothing but the death penalty.

However, it is one thing to pronounce such a judgement and an entirely different thing, to actually to carry it out till the gallows. I am pretty sure, that politicians, who are playing on public sentiment and clamouring for capital punishment, will be the first to object when it comes to tabling of such a Bill. In fact, they will bring in a slew of objections.

These are a few:

  1. That it could be misused by their political rivals to finish their political careers
  2. That it could be misused by women wishing to get even for all sorts of reasons.
  3. That there are enough cases of men being convicted and languishing in jail for crimes they did not commit.

A more sinister reason for their objection could also be that most of the people who commit such crimes are on the payroll of the politicians, which is why they walk away from the crime scene with impunity, secure in the knowledge that are protected.

It is not as if rapists have not been hanged before or have not been sentenced to death for the crime. Dhananjay Chatterjee, the watchman in Kolkata who raped a 14 year-old schoolgirl Hetal Parekh sometime in 1990 was sent to the gallows in 2004, but even there many people believed that hanging was not the solution.

On March 13, 2012, a Sirsa court sentenced to death, a 22-year-old for raping a 75-year-old woman. He first raped her then gagged her with a shawl, and strangled her with her salwar on February 11, 2011.

The Bombay High Court in September this year confirmed the death sentences for Pune call centre cab driver Purshottam Borate and his friend Pradip Kokate for raping and then murdering a BPO employee in Pune, in 2007.

But, there have also been cases where rapists sentenced to death have had their sentences commuted either by the Supreme Court or by a presidential pardon, one, as recently as last week. There have been at least five cases in recent memory where child rapists convicted to death were given a presidential pardon and had their sentences commuted to life. This was just before President Pratibha Patil demitted office.

The legal system also ensures the right of appeal, and convicts have been given lesser sentences. As recently, as last week Pune’s Sainath Abhang had his death sentence commuted to life for a murder and rape. He had, on September 10, 2007, entered a woman’s house in Pune and had killed her. After that he turned on her pregnant daughter-in-law and raped her. The court after going through all the evidence, including the statement of the injured lady, who said the convict was drunk, granted him relief.

The fact is that our laws are archaic and however well our judges interpret them and pronounce judgement there will always lawyers who will find some loophole. The point is, there is already a law that determines capital punishment to those who commit rape if it comes under the rarest of rare cases. So, instead of spending another fifty years trying to reform the legal system, why not just do away with the system of presidential pardons for those who are sentenced to death for rape? Rape is violent and there are no two descriptions of it, so there should be one punishment – death. However, while giving a convict the right to appeal against the judgement if he believes he has been wrongly convicted, his appeals should go no further than the Supreme Court. If it’s a water-tight case then where is the need for a presidential pardon?

Also, I am getting very tired of people who make everything personal. I tweet about things happening around us to get a healthy debate going and very often to provoke in fun. Unfortunately, I find people use my updates to jerk off on anything and everything under the sun, which has very little to do with the subject at hand. They forcibly point it in the direction they want the topic to go!

Like this whole Narendra Modi or Bal Thackeray thing. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about them or their policies or whether they did or didn’t engineer riots in Gujarat and Maharashtra, respectively. The thing is these events are history. There are many who would label Rajiv Gandhi and Indira as ‘killers’. Ask the Sikhs. But they are history. Feel free to carry on with your personal agenda, just keep me out of it. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I feel sorry for people, who think it’s fashionable to disagree with anything and everything anyone says – unless of course, they have been personally affected, and worse drag a topic into a totally irrelevant direction. Just keep me out of it.

Dimag ki batti band…

Posted: September 10, 2012 in Shopping
Tags: , ,

Last evening we drove down to this mall in Koregaon Park. We’d never been there before so we thought of checking it out. The parking was large and spacious, but I noticed there weren’t too many cars there even though it was a Sunday. So far so good, I thought, to myself. As we were being frisked by security, apart from the usual, mobile, keys and wallet, I also had an unopened packet of Mentos and an empty packet of chewing gum in my shirt pocket. The security guards didn’t seem to have a problem with the contents so I didn’t think twice about it.

Once in, I looked around and realised there weren’t too many people there, even for a Sunday, which was good, but there were also not too many places to shop around either. After 15 minutes of browsing around and not finding anything interesting we headed for the basement which housed the provisions store, which seemed the only place worth stepping into.

We bought some foot mats, a set of six beer mugs and the usual knickknacks. As we were waiting at the checkout counter to pay, my son ran up with a packet of Mentos and I told him to put it back as I already had one with me.

Here’s where I admit, in hindsight, that I made an error of judgement. It didn’t strike me that one was not supposed to either carry eatables in or eat in the mall, I opened the packet and handed out the Mentos to my son, niece and brother-in-law. The next thing I saw was a security guard walking up and telling me in Hindi, “Sir, you have taken this off the shelf, please pay for it at the counter.”

I politely told him I had not taken it off any of the shelves, but had it in my pocket when I came in. I also told him that my son had brought a packet of Mentos from somewhere and I had told him to return it to the shelf since I already had this one in my possession.

He should have accepted my answer or asked me to hand over the packet to scan to confirm whether I was telling the truth. I would have been okay with that since he was justified in asking for the packet to confirm my story. Another few seconds and I would probably have apologised for eating in the mall, and made him see reason. But then, he said something that he shouldn’t have and probably thought since he was in a uniform he could get away with it.

“I saw you taking it from there,” he said pointing to one of the counters where the mints and chewing gum lay.

That’s when I lost it. Heck, I hadn’t even gone towards the counter leave alone pick up something from somewhere, and wasn’t going to take it quietly. I told him I had been in the queue for the past few minutes. But, since he kept insisting that I had taken it from the counter I walked up to the counter and showed him the carton of Mentos which was full. My son had thankfully picked up the Mentos from some other counter.

The guard realised he had goofed, but tried to bluster his way through by insisting that he had seen me taking it and then demanded that I run it through the scanner. I promptly handed over the opened packet to him and told him that if it didn’t match with stuff they had there, then he better be prepared for the consequences.

He realised where this was heading and walked away quietly. I was tempted to call the guy back and humiliate him in front of his managers, but left it since he could have got into trouble and then I was at fault, in a way, for consuming an eatable.

While I understand that these guys have a difficult task keeping an eye on kleptomaniacs and shoplifters, he should have also realised what he was accusing a customer of doing, especially since one, I hadn’t done it, and two, he had not seen me doing it. Moreover, it wasn’t like the place was bursting at the seams. There couldn’t have been more then a 30-odd customers in the various checkout counters there.


Since everyone is busy telling us about their experiences with Rajesh Khanna, here are my two cents worth. No harm in blowing one’s trumpet a little, is there? After all, isn’t that what journalists are supposed to be doing when they aren’t making people’s lives miserable?

I too had a brush with the actor in the 1980s when I was working at the Front Office in Pune’s Hotel Blue Diamond, then owned by the Kirloskar’s.

I was on the night shift. Incidentally, I worked permanently on the night shift for a straight 18 months when I worked at the hotel, till my friend Manoj, who was in the Union stepped in after I was confirmed and pulled me off to work day shifts. Which probably explains why I am so comfortable working late hours in a newspaper!

So there I was on the usual night shift when I got a call from someone in Hotel Fariyas Lonavala, who told me to stay on the line. Soon a nice sounding voice said “This is Rajesh Khanna. I want two double rooms, we’ll be there by midnight.”

I told him we had just one suite vacant, and as a matter of fact that was the only room vacant. “Anyway we are coming there,” he replied.

Actually I did have a room, which had been booked by a guest who had called from Mumbai to say they were driving down to Shirdi and wanted a room for the night and that he was with his wife and two small children. And there was no way I was going to turn away a man with a wife and two kids if I could help it, to some other hotel in the middle of the night.

So after midnight Khanna walked in accompanied by this very sexy actress, who was surely half his age and another couple. He turned on the charm right away. Middle-aged and paunchy, he might have been, but that did not stop him from being charming. “Yaar, you have to give us two suites, we’ve come all this way!”

I told him very politely that the situation remained unchanged. There was still just one suite and if he wanted he could use the bedroom, and I would put two beds in the living room for the other couple.

Then came the usual line: “You know who I am? Let me speak to Arvind Pandit.”

Pandit was then CEO of the hotel and since Blue Diamond was the only five-star hotel in Pune then, everyone and his driver knew Pandit. Even people who didn’t know Pandit would claim to know him, when they came to the hotel and found it tough to get a room!

They thought doing that would scare the shit out of us and we would bend. What they didn’t know was that Pandit had told us NEVER to give a room to anyone who dropped names. He would usually call us himself and tell us if any of the stars were arriving, so we knew. We also were aware of the usual VIPs who were known to him who might land up suddenly, so we always kept some rooms for the ‘walk-ins. – which is the practice in all hotels.

We once had a guest who we refused a room to, because something about the guy didn’t seem right. He threw the line, “Is Arvind here? I am a good friend of his.”

With a straight face I told him ‘Arvind’ Pandit wasn’t in. Straight-faced, because ‘Arvind’ was standing right next to him and the guy didn’t have a clue!

When Khanna found that dropping Pandit’s name wasn’t going to cut ice with me he changed tack. “What’s your name?”

I told him, and he said “arrey yaar, I have so many Sinhas who are my friends!”

Then I told him I was genuinely sorry that I could not give an extra room to the great Rajesh Khanna, but I really really didn’t have one and even offered to show him the room chart. I think It was the actress, who was hanging on to his arm, who probably realised that I was telling the truth and told him “Let’s take it.” Intelligent woman.