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The digital temptation

DOTCOM CULTURE might have brought us e-archanas and Devotee to Deity (d2d) methods where the mouse potato can not only offer prayers but also perform various `pujas' to the deities. But the commonly available digital cameras seem to be fast becoming the most useful tools for the devout. And none can overcome the temptation of recording something which can be viewed later.

The other day there was a religious programme where several `peethadhipathis' were delivering discourses and one of their followers could not help but take out the digicam to record the discourses. Religion starts where science ends. Right.

* * *

THEY REFUSE to leave. Even as pressure mounts on them to quit, the nominated chairpersons of various minority organisations stick to their posts. Some of them like the Wakf Board Chairman, Mohd. Saleem, take the plea that they are close to the Congress even though they were nominated by the previous Telugu Desam Government.

Mr. Saleem and his counterpart in the Haj Committee, Ghouse Mohiuddin, even argue that they are governed by the Central Acts and hence need not quit when the Government changes. The Urdu Academy president, Ibrahim Bin Abdullah Masqati, feels he need not put in his papers as he is not availing of any facilities that come with the post nor drawing a single pie from the Government.

The other day minority members of the Congress staged a dharna before the Haj House, which houses different minority organisations, and prevented the Wakf Board members and its Chairman from entering inside. But all this fail to `move' the nominated chiefs. Perhaps they want to go on till the going gets tough.

* * *

DOES ART imitate life or vice versa? Either way appeared to be true as the faction leaders from Panyam, Bejjem Pardhasaradhi Reddy and Katasani Rambhoopal Reddy arrived at the Lakeview Guest House with their henchmen the other day to make a historic truce in the presence of the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

And some of their followers -- rugged men in white lungis with flowing beard and gaunt faces with an odd scar here and there on the countenance -- appeared to be straight from the outback. And yes, the series of Telugu potboilers made against the backdrop of Rayalaseema factions.

"Yes, several successful films were made based on our stories and people made money too. Faction was a sure fire success formula," the duo maintained. But, not anymore. "I would like the filmmakers who minted money exploiting the blood and gore of Rayalaseema to make a film on this new turnaround," the bespectacled Pardhasaradhi Reddy says referring to the duo's move to shun violence and bring peace to Panyam area. "This way too, Rayalaseema has given the filmmakers a success formula. Only they have to try it out," Katasani smiles.

Any takers?

* * *

THE WEATHER gods seem to be a little soft on Andhra Pradesh. What else could we call the phenomenon of a cyclone, which huffs, puffs and bellows at the State's doorstep only to weaken and whimper away or timidly shift the threat to the neighbourhood, where Orissa is the favourite target?

The city's public, though their coastal cousins spent a few tense hours, should be happy, for, after a gruelling summer, the presence of the depression in the Bay of Bengal calmed down the Sun over the city, literally. Though the coastal areas took the brunt with heavy rain and gales, for those in the city, the intermittent night drizzle and the dark clouds in the sky, along with the welcome showers on Monday evening, were a refreshing experience.

But here lies the catch. Though the State is saved from cyclone, what if the weather gods become too soft and decide not to trouble the State at all, that is, if they amble away after presenting us a weak monsoon? Another year of drought could be too much for our farmer cousins.

By K. Srinivas Reddy, J.S. Ifthekhar, K.V.S. Madhav and Dennis Marcus Mathew

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