Capital Buzz/Virendra Kapoor
The game Big Daddy played
Big Daddy Harkishen Singh Surjeet had been planning to sock Diplo Boy Inder Kumar Gujral one for quite some time.
Right in the right eye, he wanted it to land -- and hard.
"How dare he leave the CPI-M parlour to sit at Old Man Sitaram Kesri's wizened feet?" Big Daddy grumbled, "How dare he?"
But there was a catch. Big Daddy was too ancient to go around socking people -- he couldn't run anymore and the darned arthritis made it difficult to lift his right hand. Besides, Diplo Boy was reputed to be pretty fast with his blocks (though he couldn't parry for nuts) and Big Daddy wasn't sure he could manage to land one.
So what to do? After a great deal of contemplation, Big Daddy decided to entrust the matter to a distant relative of his, Rough Farmer H D Deve Gowda.
When Big Daddy arrived at Rough Farmer's 'umble house, he was sleeping -- as usual. Big Daddy woke him up and explained the matter.
"Will you do it?" he asked.
"Well, I would love to do the job. But I can't... To tell you the truth, Daddy, I am having a terrible time trying to keep awake these days," yawned Rough Farmer, "You see, when I was the PM, they kept me awake so much that I got a big sleep back-log now. So I am not much use for any physical stuff... Tell you what, why don't you drop in more often? We will sit together and brain-fix it somehow..."
Big Daddy, though disappointed, agreed. Rough Farmer, he knew, was a good man to have -- if things got ugly he could let him loose on Old Man Kesri.
So then on, Big Daddy and Rough Farmer sat together and discussed strategies. After many such discussions, they decided that Tamil Kid M Karunanidhi was the man for the job.
"That kid is good. Push him a little and he will do it for you," said Rough Farmer and promptly went to sleep.
Big Daddy went home, and went ahead. He started with a little push, then a not-so-little push, then a big push and, finally, a huge push.
And off went Tamil Kid to sock Diplo Boy (with resignation letter in hand). Which job, he managed magnificently.
Diplo Boy is yet to recover from the shock of the sock. Tamil Kid is feeling pretty proud of himself (wasn't it Big Daddy he hit when he took that swipe at Diplo Boy?). And Big Daddy and Rough Farmer are laughing to themselves.
Socked you, Diplo Boy, they did!
Bhajan Lal is an honourable man
Behind every man's failure there is a woman. And in former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal's case it is Delhi Congress general secretary Kiran Chaudhary.
Er, lest you get this wrong, this is pure politics -- not anything, umm, sensational.
Fact is, Bhajan Lal had stitched up an
omnibus alliance in the state assembly to topple the Bansi Lal government. Everything was set, and Bhajan Lal and company were eagerly waiting for D-day.
Unfortunately for Bhajan Lal, a little Congress bird told Chaudhary -- who is Bansi Lal's daughter-in-law -- about the plan. So what does the lady up and do? She goes running to Sitaram Kesri and starts persuading him to veto the move -- for whatever reason.
Now, Kesri being a gentleman, he could not refuse the lady's request. Moreover, how could he let someone else do such stuff -- after all, carpet pulling was his forte, na? He immediately got on to the Haryana babu.
"No carpet pulling there," he orders.
No wonder then that Bhajan Lal is angry with Chaudhary. "She has ulterior motives," he alleges.
Which might be quite true. But what about Bhajan Lal's own motives? Like, he wanted to cancel the total prohibition in the state so his son-in-law's distillaries could have a smooth run?
That must be idle gossip -- Bhajan Lal is an honourable man.
Rao, his PC and Harold Robbins
It is one of those imponderable mysteries.
Did former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao buy his computer to write a book, or did he write a book to buy the computer?
Even Rao is stuck for an answer there -- now, then, let's see... was it this way or that?
Doesn't matter, really. The important thing is that Rao's literary pursuits have finally born fruit. In the form of The Insider. The book, which Penguin is panting to publish, will hit the stalls by September. Currently, it is being vetted by one of Rao's close, close friend.
(Sources say Rao might be India's answer to Harold Robbins -- he is packed it with the heady Robbinsian brew of sex and power!)
Meanwhile, Rao is planning to visit the US immediately after the book's release. Whether the decision is because he doesn't want to stand the heat of fame or the shame of infame is not known.
That interpretation depends on The Insider.
Senior Customs and Excise Board officials are shaking all over -- with impotent rage.
The reason being, Revenue Secretary N K Singh. Or, to be more precise, the secretary's penchant for issuing transfer orders. Singh, they allege, is doing this to surround himself with his chamchas.
Incidentally, it would appear that Singh swings more weight in the North Block than even Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram. Thus, all the industry and commerce big shots are shepherded into his office, while Chidambaram spends a quieter day nearby.
Chidambaram, sources say, has given Singh a looong rope. The why of it remains a mystery, though the grapewine claims it is for the services that Singh renders the minister...
Gujral's new name
Overheard at the United Front steering committee meeting:
One member, exasperated at the prime minister's increasing subservience to the Congress
president, to another: "Gujral has changed his name. Know what the initials 'I K' now stands for?"
Second member: "Oh? When did that happen? What do 'I K' stand for?"
First member: "Oh, it happened the day he was sworn the prime minister. Now, it is I, Kesri's Gujral..."
Not off the mark, that!