Being the finance minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram is aware of the close attention every utterance of his gets. Being the ace legal brain that he is, he also has a way with words. The other day, while speaking at a seminar on turning Mumbai into an international financial centre, the minister decided to choose his words with such utmost care that you might logically be tempted to consider a parallel career in law yourself. Talking about the state of governance in Mumbai and what must be done to improve it, he made a public admission. There are also suggestions that there are... he started off. And then came a long pause, as an anticipatory hush descended on the hall. There are, he continued, shall we say, not over-the-ground elements which have influence on Mumbai. The hall broke into peals of laughter at the ministers word play. Despite his avoidance of the U word, he had got his point across loud and clear.
The great service of private airliners has been getting rave reviews, of late. But it probably comes at a cost, as a scribe found out recently. On reaching the airport, she was amazed and relieved to have a steward almost snatching her bags to escort her to the check-in counter. Before she could even get a word in, they were off to check in. Once there, she was surprised to find herself led to the first class counter. Er, she muttered, in the interests of information disclosure and the greater common good, the tickets economy class. The baggage was dropped that very instance, as the steward stomped off to attend to more vital matters.