OFF THE RECORD

Parties to remember

Thanks to the global recession, the 62nd Cannes Film Festival was marked by much less of night-time partying. But the parties hosted by the two of the leading global Indian tycoons became the talk of the Riviera.
The first was hosted by S P Hinduja at his private Villa Paradisiaque. From Sir Ben Kingsley, who is acting with Amitabh Bachchan in Hinduja’s daughter Ambika’s production ‘Teen Patti’ to Arjun Rampal, whose promotional film for a soft drink — costarring Nicole Kidman — was repeatedly shown on the festival channel, a range of prominent people attended it.
The second party was hosted by the flamboyant Vijay Mallya, at his villa at the St Marguerite Island off the coast of Cannes. With French dancers dancing to semi-classical, Bollywood songs and drinks from the
UB stable flowing like water, many called it the party of the year. For Mallya, it was a special occasion as his first foray into production, ‘Forest’ directed by Ashvin Kumar, was shown in the Market Section of the festival.

Utpal Borpujari, New Delhi

Once bitten twice shy

Once bitten, twice shy. Union Law Minister M Veerappan Moily probably knows it better than any other politician.
The schedule to take over the law ministry at Shastri Bhawan on Friday at 10 am had to be postponed by three hours after a journalist informed him the night before that morning, till 12 noon, was un-auspicious (Rahu Kala) to have a new beginning.
The journalist called him up on Thursday night to ask about the time of his assuming charge of the ministry. When Moily said it would be at 10 am, he urged him to prolong it till past midday.
Moily arrived at 12.45 pm the next day to take charge and meet the press. The shunting in the middle of the election from the Congress spokesman’s post by party high command for his utterances against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was yet to be erased from his memory.

Pratap Patnaik, New Delhi

MPs to stay in villages

After hectic election campaign, MPs have started flocking at Delhi to develop their network and get accustomed to the capital’s political culture.
But Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs, from West Bengal, must be disappointed. TMC supremo Mamta Banerjee has instructed all her party MPs not to roam in Delhi. Instead, she has asked them to buy a house in their respective constituency and camp there.
As Didi is eyeing the Assembly polls in her state, slated to be held two years from now, she wants her MPs to start work now, instead of wasting their time in Delhi or Kolkota. Though the government provides plush houses to MPs in Delhi, TMC law-makers must be blaming their fate for not having an opportunity to enjoy the privileged facilities.

Ajith Athrady, New Delhi

Ashok style

On Saturday, a grand event had been organised by the state BJP government to highlight its achievements on its first anniversary in office.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa flagged off 30 new ‘Atal Sarige’ buses in addition to a KSRTC Volvo (Airavata) and a BMTC Vajra Volvo at the National College grounds. Nine ambulances of the 108 Service by the ministry of health and family welfare were also flagged off, but Transport Minister R Ashoka clearly called the shots, with the turnout of the entire top brass of the KSRTC, BMTC and the transport department. Ashoka was even heard telling Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood, “Today is my day. Tomorrow is yours”, in an obvious reference to the task Sood had on his hand, during the ‘Sunfeast Marathon’ on Sunday. Now, that’s a perfect example of ‘Leading from the Front’.

Praveen Dhaneshkar, Bangalore

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