Pre-budget Drama

Updated: Jan 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
On Thursday, a prominent Hindi news channel that booked Delhis Rail Museum for a couple of hours for an interactive session with rail minister Nitish Kumar, after he presented the rail budget, was at a loose end for a long time. Their timing clashed with another interview request from the state broadcaster DD News.

The channel in question, interestingly, was taking a leaf out of another prominent Hindi news channels book the latter had interviewed the minister at the Rail Museum last year.

As Nitishji indicated his preference for DD News, eavesdropper gathered that throughout the day, execs from the news channel were frantically trying to convince the mantris media managers that they had already paid the booking fees for Rail Museum. For a long time, his media managers said the minister would rather be on DD News and that two hours at Rail Museum was just too long.

It seems that it was only late in the evening that the execs from the news channel were assured that the minister would not let them down.

Outsourcing Downslide
In a reversal of the outsourcing trend, at least one Indian can claim to have moved up the value chain by getting a top Microsoft executive to do some low-end work for him. Microsofts chief technology officer, Peter Moore, who was the key speaker at a media briefing could not have bargained for the fact that he would end up changing slides for a fellow speakers presentation.

Prof S Sadagopan who heads IIIT, Bangalore, for want of an assistant to click through his Powerpoint, turned to Mr Moore, who graciously obliged. Even as the professor snapped each time for the next slide, the Microsoft CTO did it with a straight face. His colleagues from India were observed wincing at each slide, though, and finally one of them remarked, Cant believe our CTO is changing slides! Well, visiting India can be a humbling experience.