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June 29, 2004 15:43 IST

Those of you who've travelled by Mumbai's trains know what an excruciating experience it can be, particularly if you are new to the city.

Once, while travelling in a jam-packed train, my father-in-law -- who lives in Chenna and was visiting some relatives in Mumbai -- felt someone reach into the pocket of his trousers and take out his wallet.

The train stopped at the next station and my father-in-law got down. He was watching the crowd when he spotted a man moving hastily. My father-in-law raised an alarm. The man was caught and he had my father-in-law's purse.

When asked how he spotted the thief, my father-in-law explained, "It was common sense. Everyone who got down from the train was moving in one direction. But this man was moving in the opposite direction, where there were no exits."

The thief was well and truly caught.

Deepa Subramaniam, California, USA

Ha! Ha! Ha!

I was doing my CS and had joined a tutorial class.

One of the subjects we studied was income tax. As per provisions of the IT Act, 1961, an assessee can avail of an exemption of upto Rs 1,000 if upto two of his children are studying in his employer's school.

During one lecture, the professor asked one my classmates the circumstances under which an assessee could avail of this exemption.

"When they are the employee's own children," replied my nervous classmate.

The class burst into laughter.

Swara Dave, Mumbai

My home, your home?

I had come to the US to complete my graduation.

The guys with whom I was to share an apartment had some friends over, so they asked me leave my luggage and stay the night in another student's apartment.

Early next morning, I needed some stuff from my bag. I was not too sure of the route, but I made my way alone to the apartment. After a cursory knock, I walked in and -- horrors! -- saw the head of an annoyed American girl pop up from the sofa.

I panicked, and apologising profusely, rushed out of the door, kicking myself for entering the wrong house. I was terrified a huge American would chase me down and smash my face for trespassing.

Thankfully, the American girl -- she was the girlfriend of one of my flatmates and had spent the night there -- called me back. I had entered the right house. Boy, was I relieved!

V Anand, Louisiana, USA

Bye, bye kitty

One of the earliest things we had taught our son, who celebrated his second birthday this March, was to wave goodbye when visitors left our home or when we ended our visit to someone else's home.

We were returning home from a friend's place when we chanced upon a cat near a park.

My son stopped to look at the cat.

The cat paused and looked right back.

"Beta," we told our son, "let's go."

My son waved at the cat and loudly said, "Bye," before he joined us again.

His innocent little act brought a huge smile to every passer-by's face.

Bimal Agarwal, Olten Switzerland

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