Off the record

Pawar’s secret desire

It was beyond anyone’s imagination that a flopped Commonwealth Games could make anyone else happy other than Manishanlkar Aiyar. Only he could afford to pray publicly for the Games to flop. That Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar shared the same desire was hardly known to anyone because not a single time he hinted about his secret desire.
Only difference is Aiyar could properly articulate his desire but Pawar could not. He took recourse of a joke to target his old adversary and Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

According to the joke, Kalmadi wanted to commit suicide by hanging himself to the ceiling of a room in the Games village but could not succeed as the ceiling collapsed.

Pawar shared the joke at a public function and enjoyed response from the public. Only thing Pawar did not share with his audience is that the joke was circulated as a SMS on mobiles. The joke came to his notice only after hundreds of people had already enjoyed it. People are wondering if senior politicians like him should take recourse of such a joke. They say that he could have right away criticized Kalmadi on his failure.

His supporters are worried over the episode. They feel, by doing this, Pawar might have invited another ridicule for himself as he has done earlier. They cite examples of his statements on price rise and on free distribution of grains. They exclaim, God save the leader for his adversaries will hardly spare him!

Anil Sinha, New Delhi

Didi’s Urdu love

With the Assembly elections in West Bengal slated to be held next year, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is going the extra mile to show her affection for Muslims.

Recently, a railway advertisement for a foundation laying ceremony in West Bengal, during Ramzan, featured Didi wearing a hijib offering namaz.

Didi also ensures that notices in Urdu are also on notice boards in Railway Bhavan. Whenever an important meeting of senior railway officers is held in Railway Bhavan, a notice board is put up at the reception in Hindi and English about the time, venue, guests and other details for the information of officers concerned. Nowadays these board are also written in Urdu.

Critics says the Trinamool Congress chief is doing all tricks to woo Muslims as they comprise a sizable population in the state.

Ajith Athrady, New Delhi

For heaven’s sake

While thousands of people have descended on holy town Gaya to offer ‘pinda’ (the sacred Hindu ritual in which people offer oblations in the memory of the departed ones) during the fortnight-long Pitrapaksha Mela, one person who is miffed over the poor hygiene and sanitary conditions in the town is veteran actor Om Puri.

So unhappy was the celebrated artiste, who was in Gaya recently, that he said he had made a will that his ‘pinda-daan’ should be performed in Gaya only if the civic conditions improved there.

The actor was told that the event had its religious, mythological and historical significance. According to an estimate, about eight lakh pilgrims from across the country visit Gaya during the period. The pilgrims belonging to the Sanatan Hindu religion come to this holy place every year not only from all over India but even from neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh to offer ‘pinda’ during the auspicious period so that their ancestors get ‘moksha’.

The versatile actor then wondered that if such was the historical significance, then how could Gaya not improve on any front “while I have been told the entire Bihar has made rapid progress.”

Those present there had no guts to tell him that when a place like Delhi stinks, what to talk of a small town Gaya.

Abhay Kumar, Patna

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