Friday, January 09, 2009

Chandigarh united against polluting filmstars

Lovers of Chandigarh have united to announce tough measures to tackle the growing threat of those Bollywood actors in the City Beautiful. After nipping in the bud the plans to build a film city in Chandigarh, they are working overtime to ensure film stars and film units do not pose a threat to the beauty of the city, especially its air exclusively reserved for diesel fumes. There is a nationwide ban on cigarette smoking since October 2, 2008 but Chandigarh has been the leader by being the first smoke-free city. Though like it is nationwide, there is no ban or even the talk of a ban on selling and buying cigarettes. You are allowed to buy poison, but you can’t poison yourself in public. Not in Chandigarh, please. If you happen to be a filmstar, expect the law to come down upon you like it was Armageddon.

“People like Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan are not welcome here. They smoke at public places. We do not like it. It’s a smoke-free city which means no body is free to smoke,” Mr Sameer Agnihotri, the president of Churning Brain, an NGO dedicated to douse every flaming cancer stick told reporters at a crowded and smoke-free press conference yesterday.

The administration has fined Salman and Ajay for every cigarette they smoked since landing in Chandigarh. Salman and Ajay are understood to have paid after initial resistance, because the Rs 200 challan is loose change for their secretaries.

“They were not smoking in public places. When they smoked at the Kurali Railway Station, the public place wasn’t really public because we had rented it for shooting,” said a friend of Salman Khan, the actor who is so dirty he smokes at public places.

At the airport, Ajay was caught with an unlit cigarette between his lips. He was outside the terminal building. “You cannot smoke inside the building. You cannot smoke outside the building. So do you take a flight back to Mumbai just for a puff? In here, we fine you for just holding a stick,” asked a friend of Ajay, the other scoundrel out to pollute the City Beautiful, where only two-stroke autorickshaws are allowed to exhale toxic fumes.

Speaking about the nixing of the plan to have a Film City, a member of the NGO Hum Sab Log Beautiful said, “If only two actors could wreak such havoc, imagine an industry of such people. That will be more polluting than the chemical industries on the outskirts.”

“Snort cocaine. If that poor Fardeen Khan can afford it, why can’t the bigger, better-paid Khan,” asked another activist, “Film stars must stop smoking,” she said. Normal people can continue to smoke but anybody photographed smoking will be challanned. The problem with film stars is not that they smoke but that they get photographed doing so. But when you can drink yourself to death legally, why violate our rules to kill yourself so slowly.

“Smoking kills others too passively. In stead one should drink and actively kill others. Chandigarh has taverns in every sector. Drink and die. Chandigarh also has the highest density of cars in the country. That’s why we crash against the roundabouts and ride on the pavements. Of course you can't fault a drunk person for missing pedestrians. But pretty often they don’t miss someone walking by the side. Like that police officer recently. He killed three people in one go. He survived. But there’s always a next time,” said Ms Pammi Nikomson taking a swig of rum in warm water still warm in her imported steel flask as she turned on the ignition. Her SUV has a large SMOKING KILLS sticker in the back but one could hardly read because the engine roared and left a trail of white hydrocarbon smoke.

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