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The Rediff Special/Bhaskar Ghose
The prime minister & the fly
October 10, 2005
This is really disgraceful," he said angrily. "I was with the prime minister and as we were talking he looked at the television and some lady was singing and there was a fly in front of her face! She was waving it off. The PM is very angry."
I watched it in my office.
I watched it again. No fly, not even a brief glimpse of anything remotely like a fly. Just the singer singing and occasionally waving her hands as classical singers sometimes do when singing a long gamaka or taking a high note.
"Sir," I said loftily, with as much injured pride as I could muster, "if we do something wrong we certainly need to be told about it. But it is not fair to accuse us of what did not happen."
Then I showed him the tape. He was dumbfounded.
"You see, sir," I said with excessive politeness, "there is no fly."
"But I saw it," the minister said, looking bewildered. "The PM saw it. All of us saw it."
I gave him the tape. "Would you like to see it again, sir?"
"No, no," he said.
"I suggest you show it to the PM, sir. He may like to see it for himself."
"Yes, I will show it to him," the minister agreed. I left, making a dramatic exit in my best theatrical style, and noticed that the minister was still looking bewildered. A few days later he called me to his room and handed back the tape.
"The PM has seen it. He said he must have made a mistake."
I returned to my office and sent for the director of Doordarshan Delhi. When he came, I gave him the tape.
"Nice recording, Grewal," I told him genially. "I enjoyed watching it."
"Thank you, sir," he said, beaming. "She is a very talented singer, sir. But we had some trouble with the tape, sir, I am telling you frankly."
"Yes, sir," he said and laughed. "It was the fly, sir. The recording was made before the PM's visit, and that fly was in the studio. It was sitting on the singer's face and she had to wave it off. When you asked for it we did not want you to see the fly, so we edited the tape and removed the fly."
Tomorrow: When Rajiv was attacked in Colombo... Don't miss it!
To order Doordarshan Days online click here
Excerpted with the publisher's permission from Doordarshan Days by Bhaskar Ghose, Penguin Books India, Rs 395.
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