Assistant Commissioner of Police (crime) S.M. Vali has the knack of captivating public attention when he is asked to address any gathering. On Monday, the police officer found yet another occasion to unleash the `entertainer' in him at the Freshers' Day celebrations by post-graduate and degree students of Nalanda College. His message to students was replete with witty one-liners and hit songs from Telugu films. "Nuvvu Whistleste Andhra Soda Buddi..," he sang aloud and asked students to blow whistles as loud as they could, plunging the hall into the noise of shriek whistles.

Shirking the role of a police officer for a while, he stepped into the shoes of a teenager and had the students holding their sides and laughing their heads off.

To lampoon politicians, language is seldom a barrier. This observation was brought to fore aesthetically in chaste Hindi by New Delhi-based theatre artist Vijaya Kumar during the ongoing theatre festival, featuring playlets from other languages, organised by Vijayawada Municipal Corporation at Thummalapallivari Kshetrayya Kala Kshetram on Sunday. The hour-long performance `Hum Bihar Mein Chunav Ladrahay Hain' sent the audience into splits. Lanky Vijay, using his humour-tinged dialogues and immaculate expressions, literally walked into the hearts of the denizens.

Prominent freedom fighter hailing from Guntur, Konda Venkatappaiah or Desabhakta, as he was popularly known, has been forgotten.

The then Chief Minister Kasu Brahmananda Reddy had got Venkatappaiah's statue installed at one of the biggest crossroads of the city.

Today's politicians probably thought `Desabhakta' was now outdated and Rajiv Gandhi's statue was in-thing.

Even after promising to install the bronze statue of Konda Venkatappaiah, they chose to have the statue of former prime minister installed leaving the former freedom-fighter's statue to watch all this happen from an obscure corner.

in Vijayawada

and Ramesh Susarla in Guntur