Off The Record

Off The Record

The dream girl’s gift

The ‘Dream Girl’ has left a ‘gift’ for Karnataka MP G S Basavaraj. It is a Pomeranian dog, which the Bollywood diva of yesteryears — Hema Malini — had to forgo as she vacated her residence in the national capital as MP.
It is to her 14, Rajendra Prasad Marg house that Basavaraj checked in after he got elected as MP and hence the ‘gift’. “Hema Malini told me that she is going back to her Mumbai apartment, where pets are not allowed. Hence, she left behind ‘Rani’,” said the Tumkur MP.
The nominated Rajya Sabha member’s term ended a few months ago. Hema, who lived in Bangalore’s Malleswaram for quite some time during her childhood, had occupied the RP Marg house along with her husband Dharmendra who was a BJP MP.
Rani, however, does not seem to miss her former owner. Rani happily roams around the house and the lawns, welcomes visitors with a bark and after that seeks their affection-attention. Rani is looked after with love and care by her new master — who himself has two pets at his Tumkur residence — and his aides.

B S Arun, New Delhi

Ninety-one, still mischievous

Congress veteran K Karunakaran, all of 91 and still going strong, has off late been presenting anxious moments to thousands of followers every time he is hospitalised. However, the ‘leader’, as he is fondly called, has been bouncing back as usual with renewed vigour, his mischievous wink in place.
Be it the serious injury he sustained in a car accident in 1992, when he was chief minister or the numerous instances of hospitalisation at places as far as New Delhi and Washington, he has been back with a bang.
Last week, Karunakaran was hospitalised in a serious condition with pneumonia. For a day, he was unconscious and had to be put on non-invasive ventilator. The next day he could not even recognise his relatives. But, the nonagenarian was his usual self on the third morning having breakfast and waving to those who met him including his one-time bete noire Antony.
His senses reportedly began to return when he saw a picture of his favourite deity Lord Guruvayoorappan. Last heard, the leader told his doctor that he wanted to be out of intensive care unit to watch the India-Sri Lanka Test match beginning Monday.

R Gopakumar, Thiru’puram

Of cows and computers

Nobody will dispute that winds of change are gradually sweeping Bihar. But how the metamorphosis took place was dwelt at length by Nitish Kumar recently.
Addressing top IT honchos at the Infocom meet — ‘Bihar plugged in’, Nitish said when he took over the reins of Bihar on Nov 24, 2005, the secretariat used to buzz with Remington typewriters with the paper-sheet so thin that one could not decipher what was written on it. “Having worked as Union railway minister, I was terribly shocked to see the work culture in Bihar. So the first thing I ordered was the replacement of typewriters with computers.”
“Today, all the 37 district headquarters and 470 block headquarters can be accessed online,” he added.
No wonder, one of the delegates later how cows and cow-sheds at the CM’s residence were replaced with computerised office in 2006.

Abhay Kumar, Patna


Her fiery politics might have driven out a well known industry house from her home state, but when one visits her house, Didi is a perfect hostess.
Recently, a day after the by-poll results were declared, Trinamool leader and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee threw a bash for journalists in the capital. Didi was too keen to personally inspect the spread out with both Bengali and North Indian items.
Touched by her generosity one mediaperson said, “Didi you are so caring!” Pat came her reply, “my name is Mamata.”

Shruba Mukherjee, New Delhi

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