ANDHRA PRADESH

Reporter's Diary

Where there is a will, there is a mobile

This is an age of instant communication. One simply cannot do without being `connected' even for a moment. So it seems. But then there are traffic rules that make one liable for penalty if found using mobile phone while driving. And with helmet rule back in force, it is not convenient to be instantly accessible until one stops his bike, takes off the helmet.

An enterprising gentleman however has found a way out. He has his mobile phone firmly sandwiched between his ear and helmet. So much for instant communication!

Trust TRS MLA Nayani Narasimha Reddy to add a dash of humour to whatever meeting he attends. On Monday, the senior legislator was in his elements during the district review committee meeting at the Hyderabad Collectorate. Mr. Reddy had his own reason on why issuance of ration cards had to be postponed from December to January. "No, we should not go for the distribution in December, which is when many people get married." As others looked at him for an explanation, he continued: "We need function halls for the distribution process and all of them will be booked." Mr. Reddy, though he dozed off in between, also came with suggestions for delegations for almost every other issue. First, he wanted a meeting of the banks with the Finance Minister to sort out loan issues. Then, for drinking water problems, he wanted a meeting with the Chief Minister on how the Pothireddypadu project could affect the city's water supply. Mr. Reddy also wanted a delegation to visit Anantagiri Hills to inspect the origin of the city's water sources. Not finished, a meeting of Water Board top bosses to see how many officers from Telangana were being affected due to many from Andhra and Rayalaseema holding posts in the Board was also suggested. Call it pro-active participation.

First it was former Bollywood starlet, Monica Bedi who "grabbed" most of the space in newspapers and then it was Moddu Srinu, the prime accused in the Paritala Ravi murder case. With a lot being written about them, the Hyderabad city police appeared a worried lot. Recently, they held a press meet to announce the arrest of the accused in a murder case. No doubt, the murder was a sensational one. But, on the next day, when the press conference did not get the "desired" publicity, a senior police official had this to say: "Next time, before holding a press conference, we will check whether there are any developments involving such high profile accused. If so, we will postpone it." Anything for publicity!

Do you know why an elephant has big ears and why it has a trunk covering the mouth? asked Jackie Dada a.k.a. Shroff at the valedictory of the 14th International Children's Film Festival. The answer was what he wanted children to learn - Listen more and speak less. Children and adults forgot the wintry chill at the Lalitha Kala Thoranam on Sunday evening as they laughed away. When Nafisa Ali Sodhi, Chairperson, Children's Film Society of India got up to felicitate Jackie Shroff, a slight goof-up led to a more-than-a-minute's wait. The `Hero' thought he would finish what he promised would be a short and sweet speech before the shawl arrived. And finish he did, dramatically, so to speak. He said "There comes my shawl" and it was to applause that he bent his tall frame so that Nafisa Ali could put the shawl around his massive shoulders.

M.L.Melly Maitreyi, Dennis Marcus Mathew, Vikram Sharma and Suresh Krishnamoorthy