Off the record

 If some people visit him seeking favours, some meet him for no reason.
A few days back a yoga guru met him. Like other visitors, the minister gave a patient hearing to the guru who launched into a lecture on the importance of yoga to keep oneself fit.

After a few minutes, Pranab politely said, “Guruji, I don’t have time to do yoga. I have a lot of work to do. Moreover, without yoga I am healthy”. The yoga master had to leave the venue without any answer.

Pranab babu always tries to keep himself fit. Better known as the trouble shooter for the UPA government, he heads over 15 Groups of Ministers (GoM) which takes decision on many crucial issues that bedevil the governing coalition.
Dubbed as crises manager in the Congress, the minister’s services are always called for by the government as well as the party. He was in the thick of things when the controversies over Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh broke out.
Mukherjee, who is close to 75 years, is a workaholic as he is busy with files late into the nights. Apart from taking briefing from bureaucrats and personal staff on issues he deals with, he also vets every page of the voluminous files to ensure that every noting is well-thought-out and argued.
Ajith Athrady, New Delhi

Switching channels
Exactly one year after he contested the Lok Sabha election as a Congress nominee against NDA stalwart Shatrughan Sinha from Patna Sahib, actor-turned-politician Shekhar Suman is these days singing paeans to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
“Nitishji is a sincere and focused man. When it comes to governance, nobody can doubt his capability and integrity,” said the former Telly King, showering encomiums on the JD(U) strongman.
The actor, who occasionally participates in functions organised by the Bihar Congress, however, seems to be enamoured by the charisma of Nitish’s mentor — late Jaya Prakash Narayan, fondly called JP. “I intend to make a movie on the 1974-Sampoorna Kranti (Total Revolution), which was organised under the leadership of JP,” said the actor, who incidentally was born and brought up in Patna in the same locality in which JP resided.
“I will be playing the lead role of JP. And incidentally, the movie will be directed by me,” said Shekhar, oblivious of the fact that this disclosure will not be music to Congress high command’s ears.
Abhay Kumar, Patna

Clash over Nirupama
With its potent combination of love, mystery, suspense and romance, it seems to have all the right ingredients, if a filmmaker were to work on journalist Nirupama Pathak’s murder case. And, here comes additives to the movie’s length rather quite quaintly.
While journalist are supposedly carrying the beacon against caste and creed malady, two Ranchi journalists, divided over caste line contradicted the notion by exchanging fists and blows during an argument over Nirupama’s affair.
It so happened, a print media journalist belonging to Nirupama’s caste (Brahmin) and an electronic media scribe hailing from Kayasth family, a caste Nirupama’s boyfriend belongs to were noticed talking pleasantly at Albert Ekka chowk. What began as joking and jesting, turned out to be a wordy duel, prompting the duo hurling choicest of filthy invectives and abuses at each other. But before anyone could know what happened, the venue had already become a wrestling ground with the duo busy exchanging fists and blows.
By the time normalcy came, thanks to roadside shopkeepers who take them away, it became vivid the over five minutes battle was fought all over the caste line. Phew!!
Sandeep Bhaskar, Ranchi

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