Praise That Wasnt

Updated: Dec 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
The ingenuity of the Indian brain has been acknowledged globally. So, can national recognition of our mental prowess be far behind Last week, during an interaction with the media, Union information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj referred to the hindustani dimaag (Indian brain) albeit in a rather unflattering context.

When asked if the set-top boxes for conditional access system (CAS) were going to be hack-proof, the minister began by saying that reports had indicated that the boxes would adhere to Bureau of Indian Standards benchmarks and would be completely secure. But, she added quickly, that the hindustani dimaag was capable of anything even hacking boxes, thereby defeating the entire purpose of CAS, which is to bring in transparency. However, on a brighter note, she cautioned against jumping to conclusions before assessing market realities.

Its A Dogs World
Former US President Bill Clintons pet pooch, Buddy, became pretty well-known around the world during the time his master occupied the White House. Spot, present Prez George W Bushs chocolate labrador, too has been in the limelight. (Incidentally, Spots the offspring of Millie, former prez George Bushs pet dog.) Now, an Asian pooch has garnered for itself some publicity.

Turns out Thailands King Bhumibol Adulyadejs royal pet has driven its countrymen and women crazy, so popular is the pet in that country. Bangkok shoppers bought out 20,000 shirts, emblazoned with a picture of the royal canine Thongdaeng (the name means Copper in Thai), in a matter of hours. Riot police were called to the Thai Chamber of Commerce when crowds smashed glass doors to acquire some of the fast-disappearing garments.

The Thongdaeng shirts first became a fashion craze in February, when the king and his four children were photographed wearing them as he left hospital after treatment for a prostate condition. The former stray captured Thai hearts after being rescued from the streets of the capital by a royal physician and has lived at the palace ever since.