Mayor Raj Bala Malik celebrating Lohri at Plaza of sector 17 of Chandigarh. Express photo by Jasbir Malhi
Guess who in the Municipal Corporation can set the floor on fire? No prizes for guessing. It is none other than Mayor Raj Bala Malik. If the name of Gurbaksh Rawat was on your lip, go take a look at one of the several videos of the Lohri celebrations by the local councillors early this week. No sooner did the DJ start playing the naagin song that Malik broke into the naagin dance, one hand on her forehead and the other on her waist. The assembled councillors were all agape as she boogied around the stage. The only person who could match her steps was her predecessor Rakesh Kalia. He did what can best be described as a cross between bhangra and sapera dance. Little wonder MC commissioner K K Yadav's eyes got rounder and rounder. Impressive, eh?
Helper knows where the Mayor's shoes pinch
It seems Mayor Malik isn't always up to shaking a leg. It was the music that had her grooving. A day earlier when she was taken to the dumping ground, such was her state of mind that she couldn't even put on the plastic slip-ons over her feet. One of her male helpers pushed her feet into the blue booties as some rude lensmen clicked away. Malik, whose spectacles almost fell off when she spied them, first thought of flinging a shoe at the lensmen but that would have been too much of an effort. So she sat back, and let the helper do the rest. After all, why move a toe yourself when you can have others move all your toes and feet for you. Tum joote pehnao, main chaloongi. Nice touch.
BALLE BALLE TIME: Ambika Sood (in grey), wife of the new BJP chief, celebrated in style by shaking a leg with friends. Express photo by Jasbir Malhi
Gupta in a cap
You have to hand it to MLA aka Speaker Gian Chand Gupta. Such has been the effect of his high chair that he is a changed man. While CM M L Khattar, who was once known for his smart togs, made do with wearing a grubby looking white jogging suit at Rewari during the statewide Run for Youth, Gupta turned up nattily attired with a grey peak cap on his head. Such was the change in his gait that some compared him to Sherlock Holmes. Nicely done, we say.
Morning meeting of woes
Panchkula deputy commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja has made one big New Year resolution and he is keeping it, much to the misery of others. Come rain, shine or fog, he calls the district officials for a daily morning meeting at 9. While many dutifully mark their presence while trying hard to keep their eyes open, sometimes with the help of their pens, there are others who have begun to send proxies. Wonder if the DC should prefix the meeting with some good old yoga. Shake up and wake up.
No sharing or caring
The Panchkula district public relations officer, Suresh Yadav, is a great believer in the power of cooperation. Only that can explain his daily plea to journos -- please share your writeup with me. "We have to work in tandem," he explains. But alas, there are few people who share his charitable attitude. Thanks to this, Yadav has to push the pen, alone.
The mechanical meal deal
Where do you get the best chane bathure in town? Venerable Justice Rajiv Sharma is yet to figure this out. It seems someone got him this delish combo from Industrial Area but it failed to tickle his taste buds. The inspiring judge is also quite disappointed with a typical Chandigarhian's approach to food while eating out. Observing that machines have taken over our lives, the judge said the first 30 minutes a typical restaurant-goer spends on his phone. Then comes the order, typically daal-makhni with sirke wale pyaaz and methi. The next time he removes his eyes from the cell phone is to ask for some more naan or roti. End of the story. So much for a meal that should matter.
Where go VVIPs, there go these cops
The Panchkula traffic cops have a great sense of timing. Whenever there is any VVIP movement in the city, they materialise out of thin air, standing ramrod straight. No sooner does the VVIP leave, so do they. It's ditto at the all important Sector 2 roundabout that sees a fair share of red beacon cars at particular hours of the day. Sure enough, the cops go where red beacons dare. And then they disappear.
Haryana Dy CM Dushyant Chautala. Express photo by Jaipal Singh
Can't double it, bar bar
Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala sure knows how to humour the clever Bar Asssociation office-bearers. The lawyers, known for milking dry all visiting dignitaries told Chautala that since MP Kirron Kher had given them a grant of INR 50 lakh, he should follow in the footsteps of his grandfather OP Chautala, and double it. They told him how Chautala Senior had doubled the grant given by a visiting Union minister. But his grandson proved to be a wily customer. Look at my age, he said. It is almost half that of the MP. "But since you guys insist, I will add one to 50 lakh," he grinned. So the lawyers managed to extract INR 51 lakh from Dushyant. But the grant came with a proviso - keep sending me the bills, said the deputy CM.