Opinion

BL Diary - Pasta fantastico

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on June 09, 2011 Published on June 06, 2011

BL06JAIRAM2

BL06IPAD   -  P_V_SIVAKUMAR

BL06LED   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR



When he is not stirring up red hot soups for environmentally truant industries (or himself landing in one) Jairam Ramesh seems to also excel in conjuring up some real winners. The pasta that the Union Minister for Environment and Forests jointly cooked at Saturday's Pasta Party in Bangalore was the pick of five VVIP entries. It took one winner to pick another, for no one can accuse Kenyan star athlete Titus Mbishei, who judged the dishes, of knowing who the VVIP pasta-makers were. Ramesh and his pasta-mate, reigning Olympic marathon champion Constantina Dita, who is the ambassador for the TCS World 10K run of June 5, won hands down over the hard sweat of UNEP's Achim Steiner, ITC Windsor's Atul Bhalla, Timex's V.D.Wadhwa, BCCL' s Ravi Dhariwal, actors Rahul Bose and Gul Panag; Kingfisher calendar model Angela Johnson, and TCS' N.G. Subramaniam. Now if that isn't un fantastico Italian pot-boiler from the inimitable Mr Ramesh.

The Saina power

It's almost the norm for film and sports personalities to be brand ambassadors of all kinds of products that we use. So why not have one of them to also promote something as essential as millets? Posing the question at a meeting on millets and maize recently was agricultural scientist K.N. Rai. While rice and wheat don't need ambassadors, why should we not have a tough badminton champion like Saina Nehwal to endorse millets such as ragi and jowar (sorghum), he wondered aloud. His point was that someone like Saina can boost the nutritionally rich millets that have been almost abandoned and forgotten in modern times.

Let us hope the remark was not lost on his prime target: amidst the elite agro gathering was Dr Harvir Singh, a senior scientist at ICAR's Directorate of Oilseeds Research. Who is none other than Saina's father.

Green thoughts

Lights, ACs, inaction. Sample sustainability this June 5. World Environment Day brings out some quaint corporate concepts. Infoscions sold LED lamps at a discount and cleaned parts of the city along with their offspring. The juicier part was a seed-ball scattering drive, No-tissue-paper Day, cycle or commute to work, e-waste collection and, of course, planting trees. Butterflies on the campus (the real winged ones) were not forgotten — Infy is said to be a haven for some rare species.

At general insurer Bharti AXA too, how to cut the carbon footprint was at the top of the mind among its staff. ‘Hit the switches, turn off the lights' was one mantra, while it was no printing, no car, wear green and buy greens for many others. Luckily for them, all that was easier done. June 5 was a Sunday this year.

Walk, then talk

It was a walk that mediapersons, some bureaucrats and infotech executives will not forget in a hurry. Recently, on his first official visit to an IT park, the new IT Minister of Tamil Nadu, R.B. Udaykumar, sprang a surprise and chose to foot it out into the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Special Economic Zone.

As he started walking, the nearly 50 people including journalists and his entourage had no choice but to follow him on the nearly 2-km walk into the SEZ. The topping came at the end of a gruelling trudge, when the Minister turned to ask the journalists rather incredulously: “You all walked!? Couldn't you have taken a vehicle?” Shall we call it a case of ill-timed hospitality?

Loos(e) Apples

History was made in Tihar when Apple's iPad was allowed inside the high security jail. Justice S. Muralidhar had taken the decision on a petition by Asif Balwa of the 2G spectrum infamy.

Meanwhile, an A.C. Nielsen study took a look at how and where people use their smartphones, tablets and eReaders. It found that four per cent took their tablets to bathrooms, as also three per cent of eReader users. The most interesting finding was that 37 per cent of iPad owners use theirs while watching TV more than anywhere else.

All in the name

Every time someone utters this B-word or it pops up in print, many of us cringe. The unwitting perpetrators of this verbal offence are invariably foreign nationals or overenthusiastic company executives from up country. How we want to nicely tell them, don't try so hard to pull this overstretched city at its ends just to say ‘Banga-looru' or ‘Benga-looru'.

For one, the name is neither here nor there. This bloated city of 8.5 million may have changed beyond anyone's imagination but mercifully, the name is still good old plain ‘Bangalore'. It's official.

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Published on June 06, 2011
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