Sarkozy and Carla Bruni
of leaders have always aroused the curiosity
of the media
Foreign dignitaries visiting India
is nothing unusual except when it happens to
be the President of the United States. The
visit of the French President, Nicolas
Sarkozy, to India this week is being eagerly
awaited by the media, not so much for its
political importance but for an unusual
person who will accompany him.
The pretty Carla Bruni, a former
model-turned singer wouldn't have raised
eyebrows had she been the President's dharma
palm. She happens to be his girl friend,
seen publicly with the President after
Sarkozy divorced his wife, Cecilia, after 11
years of marriage.
Love affairs of political leaders
have always aroused curiosity and the media
have followed them with more than ordinary
interest. Perhaps, the most notorious case
of the 20th century was the one involving a
Cabinet Minister of Britain, Dennis Profumo.
Married to a film star, Valerie
Hobson, Profumo developed a steamy
relationship with Christine Keeler, a show
girl of the '60s. What raised a storm was
the revelation that Christine had a similar
relationship with one Eugene Ivanov, a naval
attache in Soviet embassy and she was
passing on secrets, which compromised the
security of the state. Profumo, who happened
to be the war minister, first told the House
of Commons that there was "no
impropriety whatever" in his
relationship with Keeler but 10 weeks later
again told the House "with deep
remorse" that he had misled the House
This episode reminds us of the most
eagerly followed story, that of Bill Clinton
and Monica Lewinsky. Like Profumo, Clinton
had at first lied to the people of his
country but unlike the former, managed to
escape punishment, possibly because his
extraordinary charisma and performance as
President overshadowed the scandal. In the
end, Clinton not only survived but outwitted
his opponents. John Kennedy's affair with
the famous Hollywood actress Marlyn Monroe
was well known.
The interesting period of India's
freedom struggle was punctuated with
romantic interludes and none of them more
fascinating than that of Jawarhalal Nehru
and Edwina Mountbatten. The future Prime
Minister of India shared a tender
relationship with the wife of the last
Viceroy of British India. Edwina, known for
her infidelities (which Louis, the husband
didn't seem to mind), was charmed by the
handsome Kashmiri and cast a lifelong spell
on him. The letters they exchanged reflect
not only the personal warmth between them
but throw light on the contemporary events.
In one of the letters written in
1957, 10 years after they had met, Nehru
writes, "My life has been full in many
ways and I have been absorbed in and have
passionately pursed the love of India and
her people and sought to give them such
service as I could. But you came to add to
it and not to come in its way..." And
Edwina replied, "Ten years..........
monumental in their history and so powerful
in their effects on our personal lives. All
the incidents you mention and the strange
course of events... I am steeped in
them." To what extent Edwina was able
to influence Nehru in the fateful decision
relating to partition and the handing over
of power by the British will continue to be
debated by historians.
India has been somewhat shy in
discussing matters of the heart when it
comes to political leaders. It seems to be
more obsessed with the personal lives of
film stars; if the relationship involves a
cricket star and a film star, the gossip
gets more juicy. But when it comes to people
in power, the media, for some reason, be it
culture or caution, has shown considerable
restraint. There could be some small talk
about MGR and Jayalalitha or about Mayavathi
and Kanshiram but they don't get escalated
When journalists are involved in
affairs with persons in high places,
the media looks at things with a
different lens. Francois Mitterand, the
president who guided the destinies of France
for 14 long years during the '80s and early
'90s, is said to have had 62 mistresses
including some well known female journalists
who used to appear on TV to comment on the
affairs of his presidency. But nobody made
much of it. France can also boast of several
politics-media power couples, one of whom
included a former Prime Minister, Alain
Juppe and his wife Isabelle, a journalist
with the French daily, Le Croix.
Love and politics are a heady
mixture for the media. But France, for ever,
the nation of romance and wine is more
forgiving to its lovers. More so, when the
media itself is involved. As Henri Rochefort,
a French politician and writer remarked,
"When politics goes to bed with the
press, the truth can sleep peacefully."
- The New Sunday Express
The good the red
stuff does to you
It was a hard day from stem to
bally stern last Tuesday and Eve needed a
small glass of wine to unwind. This may come
as a shock to my 2.007 reading public or
perhaps not, but yes I admit it, I enjoy the
good things in life - and yes, sometimes the
good things in life do come in the form of a
deep red liquid of moderate proportions. Ask
your doctor she'll tell you. Has Eve ever
heard of Mathata Thitha you may well ask and
Eve will reply, Mathata Thitha can go to the
What with all the stress of trying
to get from A to B while VIP movements are
doing their very best to keep the general
public in a permanent state of inertia like
a frozen bally asset, not to mention of
course the added stress of trying to make
ends meet on a daily basis, one can only
imagine the pressure one is putting on one's
nerves and heart and what not.
As good as an apple a day
And just to come back to my theory,
ask any fellow with an MBBS behind his or
her name whether a small glass of the fine
red stuff is not just as good as an apple a
day. Better even, come to think of it. So
many rotten apples floating about in
Paradise these days.
And don't talk to me about making
ends meet. I mean to say only yesterday I
walked into my closet to pick out a sari
jacket for a particularly favourite sari of
mine and the hooks at one end much like a
shy young village curate writhing in
embarrassment before the local courtesan,
positively refused to meet the eyelets
attached to the other end. If that isn't one
end refusing to meet the other end I don't
know what is.
In disgust I proceeded to pick up a
roomy pair of cream coloured pants. Same
story. Button at one end eschewed, nay
spurned the button hole at the other end.
There seemed to be some conspiracy brewing
in the garment industry and it wasn't the
GSP I'm talking about. Perhaps they'd all
joined a secret society founded upon the
Mahinda Chinthanaya or they had been
secretly given the low down on the inflation
rate by Nivard Cabraal.
Ends that refuse to meet
I only venture to say that there
are ends everywhere and they do not meet.
Step in to a super market and the same
story. Drive through a petrol station, pull
out your purse and all you end up with is a
red face and an apology as you order half a
litre of petrol.
My friend, you know the one, Las, a
chap who is never short of explanations for
the inexplicable, offers in that mundane way
of his yet another explanation for this JVP
revolution taking place in my wardrobe. Get
on the bally treadmill he says. But I'm not
happy. I prefer the conspiracy theory and I
jolly well think there's more to all this
than meets the eye.
And speaking of friends, there I
was last Tuesday popping over to Aj and
Kay's home for a bit of de-stressing - and
no sooner than I managed to get my toe in at
the door, there was Aj immediately asking me
if I had any good news.
Whether some remnant of the
Christmas spirit was still lurking in his
mind I cannot say, but it was obvious that
Aj was under the misapprehension that he, at
that moment, was a good shepherd watching
over his flock by night and would become the
happy recipient of Glad and Good Tidings.
Aj does have some well maintained
facial foliage but that's as far as he goes
in terms of resembling a shepherd in
biblical times. He carries no staff, nor
have I ever seen him in a long flowing
striped gown. As for me, by no stretch of
imagination do I at this present moment in
my life resemble an Angel of the Lord.
So accordingly, I said no, I had no
good tidings, but was pleased to note that
on the table stood a very nice bottle of
wine. We soon got off to a spiffing
conversation about the war and so forth when
Kay, who makes a startling good omelette,
came back after a few minutes one in each
hand and so there we were.
Non violence wins the day
And it was at just about this
moment that I remembered that you can't make
an omelette without breaking eggs.
We pondered on this truism for a
space but I had just come back from India
where I had meditated on all sorts of
things, and of course Aj and Kay are
souls and so non violence won the
And this despite the fact we had
just heard that Pirapaharan had been killed
for the second time in as many weeks.
When CC decided
to teach the master a lesson
Hi Boys n Girls,
It was in the early '60s that Chee
Chee Corea was in College, that is San
Bandick. The English master was Nathan the E
manuel. There was a running battle between
Chee Chee and Nathan. One was hell bent in
teaching the other a lesson...
Here are some posers Chee Chee
presented to Nathan, who naturally chucked
him out of class.
1. If you take an Oriental person
and spin him around several times, does he
2. If people from Poland are called
Poles, why aren't people from Holland called
3. Do infants enjoy infancy as much
as adults enjoy adultery?
4. If a pig loses its voice, is it
5. If love is blind, why is
lingerie so popular?
6. Why is the man who invests all
your money called a broker?
7. When cheese gets its picture
taken, what does it say?
8. Why is a person who plays the
piano called a pianist but a person who
drives a racing car not called a racist?
9. Why are a wise man and a wise
10. Why do overlook and oversee
mean opposite things?
11. Why isn't the number 11
pronounced onety one?
12. "I am" is reportedly
the shortest sentence in the English
language. Could it be that "I do"
is the longest sentence?
13. If lawyers are disbarred and
clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that
electricians can be delighted, musicians
denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed,
tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners
14. What hair colour do they put on
the driver's licences of bald men?
15. I thought about how mothers
feed their babies with tiny little spoons
and forks so I wondered what do Chinese
mothers use? Toothpicks?
16. Why do they put pictures of
criminals up in the Post Office? What are we
supposed to do, write to them? Why don't
they just put their pictures on the postage
stamps so the postmen can look for them
while they deliver the mail?
17. You never really learn to swear
until you learn to drive.
18. No one ever says, "It's
only a game" when their team is
19. Ever wonder about those people
who spend Rs 150 apiece on those little
bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian
20. Isn't making a smoking section
in a restaurant like making a peeing section
in a swimming pool?
21. If four out of five people
suffer from diarrhoea, does that mean that
one enjoys it?
Ta Ra and see you next week.
Joshua Hoge, a schizophrenic
confined to Washington's Western State
Hospital, is claiming at least part of his
late mother's estate even though he's the
one who killed her in 1999. Washington law
prevents profiting from the
"unlawful" and "willful"
taking of another's life, but Hoge was found
"not guilty by reason of
insanity," and the legal issue is still
unsettled. The mother's estate consists
almost totally of the $800,000 the estate
won in a lawsuit against a county health
clinic because it was negligent in delaying
Joshua's medications, which probably led to
his killing her.
Mr. Coll Bell, a New Zealander who
invented a composting toilet supposedly
superior to a septic system and who wanted
permission from the Auckland Regional
Council to install one at a campground, said
a bureaucrat had queried him on whether the
worms he uses would be traumatized by the
volume of work required in the annual
two-week period of intensive campground use.
Coll told Agence France-Presse in
December that vermiculture expert Patricia
Naidu had assured him that the worms would
Police in Mount Lebanon, Pa., said
in December that no illegal acts were
involved, but some parents still want to
know why the nondenominational Christian
Mount Lebanon Young Life Club had staged a
teenagers' social event during which boys
wore adult diapers, bibs and bonnets and sat
in girls' laps while being spoon-fed.
The youth minister said the skits
were not "dirty," but "to
break down the walls and let (the kids) have
fun." A previous skit involved,
according to a parent, kids eating chocolate
pudding out of diapers.
In November, accused armed robber
Steven McDermott, 49, was finally captured
after leading California Highway Patrol
officers on a high-speed chase in a
commandeered taxicab, causing two minor
collisions before McDermott fled on foot.
When McDermott was finally cornered,
officers said, he reached toward his
waistband, leading one officer to shoot him,
though the object McDermott was reaching for
turned out not to be the gun used in the
robbery but a sex toy, tethered to his belt
Thought for the
I regard the employment of the atom
bomb for the wholesale destruction of men,
women and children as the most diabolical
use of science.
"What is the antidote? Has it
antiquated nonviolence?" No. On the
contrary, non-violence is the only thing
that is now left in the field. It is the
only thing that the atom bomb cannot
destroy. I did not move a muscle when I
first heard that the atom bomb had wiped out
Hiroshima. On the contrary, I said to
myself, 'Unless now the world adopts
non-violence, it will spell certain suicide
for mankind.' I have no doubt, that unless
big nations shed their desire of
exploitation and the spirit of violence of
which war is the natural expression and atom
bomb the inevitable consequence, there is no
hope for peace in the world. I tried to
speak out during the war,
and wrote open letters to the British
people, to Hitler and to the Japanese and
was dubbed a fifth columnist for my pains.