Sunday, March 6, 2011


"Black magic tales"
An artiste watches her co-star at the Surajkund Crafts Mela in Faridabad. Politicians and superstition, it is said, go hand in hand. During the elections one sees that the pundits are as busy as a neta who fight the elections. Recently we are hearing black magic tales from Karnataka.
Delhiites are discussing this when they socialize in the evenings and politicians in their offices.
One has never heard of anything so openly discussed as a factor between sides blaming each other. As we would call it in north India, it's "jaadu tona" at the highest level.
The Karnataka Chief Minister recently has been surrounded by scandals and he has really faced tough days as Chief Minister.
Beliefs of this sort are not rare in India. Some are told to do pujas while others are told to give daan and dakshna to the poor. While some fast on certain days to ward off the evil sprit or evil eye.
But the Bangalore Chief Minister Yeddyurappa has an astrologer who has suggested a wayout to his Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister must only wrap a damp cloth around him and do surya namaskar at the Mysore Chamundi temple, as she is the state goddess.
The Delhi's elite no longer rely on domestic stars and jaadu.
We are getting savvier and global in our practices. So, one notices that Delhi markets have a lot of people who are buying evil eyes, which come from Turkey and a host of Feng-shui objects, crystals and other stuff which is the in thing now for homes in the Capital and cities close by.
Time for the younger lot
In Delhi, a sense of a change of guard seems to be growing fast in the political scenario and it's the flavour of the season in all the parties, it seems, from the Congress to the DMK.
The older Congress and BJP political generation are now feeling half retired already. They claim it is not right as they have spent all their lives for the Congress and BJP and have no other livelihood.
Several senior Congress leaders have however commented on how the ones who are above the age of 65 should take a back seat and the younger lot must take over. So, if that be so, half the cabinet will soon need to be reshuffled. Some loyalists may be adjusted as governors and others may be sent for party work, but will it mean that Anthony, Pranab, Valayar Ravi all need to retire. S.M.Krishna, Murli Deora et al too? It's not going to be an easy process and no politician ever leaves voluntarily now. So, who is going to bell the cat is a million dollar question in the Capital nowadays. And in drawing rooms, hair dye is only the tip of the iceberg.

"Surajkund Mela"
The 25th edition Surajkund Mela is the greatest attraction at this time of the year. As you take a round of this mela, you may see many known faces like Sonal Mansingh, Sandeep Dikshit and Kiran Choudhary.
You will notice that this is a one-stop space for shopping and a quick culture update. In this massive ground, you will find everything from Afghanistan carpets to Nepali shawls.
If you are into jewellery, you can find cheap Hyderabadi pearls, inexpensive silver jewellery and you can even get your own personalized lak bangles. This year Uzbekistan is the partner country while Andhra Pradesh is the theme state. So, if you want your Hyderabadi spicy chicken curry or a south Indian dosa with a cultural performance thrown in, this mela is the place to be in.
Women are busy bargaining and the tourists completely fascinated by the exquisite Indian trinkets.
This is indeed the place to be in. In between all this, you can have a parrot reading your horoscope and some pundits sitting in a row reading the palms of firangis who are completely in awe of their surroundings.
Some have even already worn their newly acquired jootis and their goat leather trinkets and are happily looking a part of the colourful and striking ambience that Surajkund creates year after year.

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