It happens only in India!

It happens only in India!

Here are some all-inclusive reports from 2018 made of mostly ha-ha and a dose of ouch. Grab that popcorn...

Just like any year in history, 2018 also had its share of astonishing interludes, tragic accidents and scandalous incidents. We were constantly fed with juicy stories bringing tears to the eyes and on occasions, smile to our lips. And it was not just the rich and famous but even the comman man who made us realise: This Happens Only in India’. Here is a recap of a few happy, sad, comical and appalling incidents reported in the press during 2018. Sit back and enjoy!

Chuckku bukku rail

On the night of April 7, the Ahmedabad-Puri Express at Odisha’s Titlagarh Station began moving on its own — with no engine or a driver! It had travelled some 10 km before railway staff brought it to a halt by placing stones on the tracks. Just a week later, five bogies got detached from a goods train engine at Odisha’s Panpana Station and trudged a distance of 2 km!

The power of… rats!

On April 15, thousands of rats, having burrowed underground for years, successfully bring down a three-storey building at Teelay Wali Gali in Agra. The entire incident is caught on camera and goes viral on social media. Bemoans Sudhir Kumar Verma, owner of the building: “My family and I had a narrow escape. We tried everything possible to get rid of the rats, and stop the damage to the foundations, but nothing worked.”

The power... cats

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) recently received a strong if strange communication from the Raj Bhavan. The request (demand?) was to trap troublesome tomcats that had become a nuisance to the Governor and visiting VIPs. While BBMP is said to be working hard to find a solution, the Joint Director of Animal Husbandry candidly confessed: “We are equipped to catch dogs. But we do not have the expertise to trap cats.”

Papa kehte hai bada naam karega              



In May, Surendra Kumar Vyas, a civil contractor in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, invited his relatives and friends for a surprise party. He was actually ‘celebrating’ his son’s flunking the Class 10 exams. “This is how I want to motivate my son,” explained the proud father. The obedient son, a student of Saraswati Shishu Mandir, responded with equal zest: “I love my father and promise to study hard so that I pass with flying colours.”

Tum bin jau kahan? 2018, A love story

Geethaben, 55, loves her live-in partner of 15 years, a 57-year-old autorickshaw driver. But she has to endure his many demands. He had her remove two front teeth to look ugly and become unattractive to other men. He has also ordered her to stop working as domestic help. Counsellors advised him to stop suspecting her, but the woman said she still loved him and did not want to press charges. The man has reportedly agreed to mend his ways.

Bunty aur Babli

Mahadev and her husband Achyuth Kumar are business partners of a different kind. When the police team raided their home in Kumbalagodu, Bengaluru, stolen jewellery worth Rs 1.05 crore was found. On investigation, a ‘Bunty Aur Babli’ tale emerged in which, Kumar (31) had committed no less than 106 chain-snatching crimes across the state in seven months. All the crimes were undertaken at the command of his beloved wife. She first gave him a modest target of one chain per day, but soon upgraded it to three. “Else, she wouldn’t allow him to enter the house.”

Vishnu sahasranamam (Thousand names of Vishnu) 

Ramesh Chandra Fefar, a superintending engineer at the Sardar Sarovar Dam project, had an obnoxious attendance record of 16 days in eight months of service. When served with a show-cause notice for the unauthorised absence, he had a simple explanation for working from home. “I am Lord Vishnu’s 10th incarnation, Kalki. I am meditating in the otherworldly state... Should I kill time in office or meditate from home to prevent droughts in the country?”

Digging the gold

Arjun Lal Garg of Bilara, an MLA from Rajasthan, is a practical man. In June, he addressed a gathering of Dewasi community and gave some invaluable advice: “Stop peddling drugs. It’s a non-bailable offence. Instead, smuggle gold, for which you can easily obtain bail… Prices of both are the same, but it is safer to do gold business than deal with drugs.” He added that it would be a “matter of pride if someone from the community is caught with gold instead of drugs.”

No laughing matter

Laughter, it is often said, is the best medicine. It can also turn bitter for some. On December 19, BJP and Congress workers began kicking and slapping each other in Dehradun over the contentious Rafale issue. Sub-inspector Shanti Prasad from Bindal police station was caught laughing in a video which showed protestors breaking barriers and causing ruckus. He was later suspended ‘for dereliction of duty’.   

Goodness gracious!

In July, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education to grant 196 grace marks — four marks each for 49 questions — to all students who appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil in 2018. The order was, however, struck down by the Supreme Court in November.   

Order... order...

Law indeed took its own course this year — at least in two instances. First, a Mumbai tailor was discharged in a 42-year-old rape case; a sessions court granted him the relief and closed the case that had remained dormant for many years. The second instance saw things taking a U-turn! On December 22, a man was convicted by Bombay High Court, 21 years after he was acquitted of the charge of raping a 11-year-old girl. Overturning a 1997 trial court order, a division bench found Sonawane (who was 19 at the time of the incident and is now 41) guilty of rape and sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment.  

Distressed farmer

In 2010, Sanjay Sathe, a resident of Niphad Tehsil in Nashik district, was among the few ‘progressive farmers’ selected for an interaction with then US president Barack Obama. Eight years later, he is just another distressed farmer. This season, he produced 750 kg of onion and sold it at the wholesale market at a princely rate of 1.40 per kg. In protest, he sent the entire amount of Rs 1,064 to PMO’s Disaster Relief Fund. It reportedly cost him another Rs 54 for money order charges.

A matter of potty

On December 10, seven-year-old Hanifa Zaara lodged a police complaint against her father Esanullah — for not building a toilet at home, which he had promised to her.  The child had distinguished herself in studies and was now refused to eat in protest. The father, however, pleaded that his petitions to the municipality seeking financial aid had evoked no response. The drama at the police station in Ambur, Tamil Nadu ended on a happy note. A day later, the municipality took up work to construct a toilet for the family under the Swachh Bharat Mission. It also announced that the girl’s family would get a house costing Rs 2.10 lakh under the government scheme! That was not all. Hanifa was named the ‘Swachh Ambassador’ of the municipality. Inshallah!