Off the record

Off the record

Comedy of errors

The Congress in Bihar is pulling out all stops to retrieve its lost ground which it ceded to regional leaders like Lalu and Nitish in 1990. After spending 20 years in oblivion, the party is now looking towards Rahul Gandhi to resurrect it in this part of the cow-belt. But after initial reports suggested that the Congress heir apparent too had not been very impressive and successful in infusing a new lease of life in the moribund organisation, the grand old party decided to rope in Bollywood stars to campaign for its nominees.

But that too failed to cut much ice in areas like Kishanganj, Forbesganj and Araria where comedy king Raju Srivastava, Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishen and Chunkey Pandey flew down in a chopper to canvass for Congress.

But lo and behold, the restless crowd said it was not interested in listening to Bollywood stars’ ‘bhashan’. All they were interested was a snap shot with stars, followed by an autograph. With this intention in mind, hundreds of on-lookers climbed on the dais and created such chaos that all the three celebrities had to leave the venue abruptly. Such was the pandemonium that Raju, who had planned to entertain the gathering through mimicry, was literally in tears.

Disappointed over the flop show, a veteran Congressman quipped, “It’s a tactical error. Someone should tell these new breed of poll managers that the crowd which comes to watch celebrities could not be turned into voters.”

Abhay Kumar, Patna

Masala soap opera

The recent political drama in Karnataka was a hit among television viewers. They thought that whatever was being aired from morning till late night was nothing less than a ‘masala’ soap opera or a thriller movie. For a whole week, morning walkers, office goers, businessmen and even vegetable vendors spoke only about the episode.

People had a hangover of the political situation and went on a discussion spree even during morning walks. One person said, “I wish the Volvo bus in which the MLA travel just meets with an accident.” Another person said, “The bus should fall into a trench or a river and should never be traced.”

When the trust vote was won by the BJP on the first day and it was time for a public reaction, citizens gave a very apologetic look and said they were disgusted with the whole episode. “Why should we vote for such jokers who do not have any respect for a place like Vidhana Soudha or to the position they hold.”

Ultimately, it is politics where there is no friend or foe; it is a constant roller coaster for those who love the whole idea of being in power.

Poornima Nataraj, Bangalore

Road lessons

If you believe that the traffic police and the public are always at loggerheads, think again. There are not only exceptions, but also expression of solidarity. Recently, a traffic constable and a group of citizens got together for what they believed was a ‘noble’ cause.

On a hot Thursday afternoon, an ambulance was crying out for space on the wrong side on Cubbon Road, forcing the beat constable to stop vehicles coming from Manipal Centre. It was to be a matter of just a minute or two, so there were no curses of murmurs of protests.

When a motorcycle rider used the horn, it actually irked other drivers. As the irrepressible motor-cyclist tapped the policeman’s shoulders, he was delivered a blow on his helmet. Not to be silenced, he got off the bike to make a call. At that very moment the ambulance went past, making way for a few motorists to gather and give a piece of their mind to the motor-cyclist who thought it wise to kickstart and flee.

The motorists commended the constable and went about their way.

Chethan Kumar, Bangalore

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