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High scores in House & pitch

Trust them to win the vote of confidence on the pitch, too.

A team of Parliamentarians recently got together to show that they are as capable swinging their arms as they are at exercising their vocal chords to muffle rivals.

The MPs, led by former Indian opener Chetan Chauhan, beat a media XI in a last-over thriller, which ended with the parliamentarians belting a six with two balls to go.

“People’s perception is that we are always fighting in Parliament and are never in a light mood. We want to show them this spirit,” said Nationalist Congress Party MP Tariq Anwar.

After winning the toss, the parliamentarians restricted the media squad to a total of 213 for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs.

Ravi Lekhi of the BBC was awarded the best wicketkeeper trophy, while MP Ranjeet Ranjan Ś the only lady on either side Ś won the award for the best fielder.

With Sunil Gavaskar’s former opening partner in the fray, there was only going to be one contender for the best batsman award.

Chennai greenlights Metro

Chennai appears poised to hit a new track Ś the Metro.

After a year of debate on whether the “metro rail” or “monorail” will suit the city better, the government planners have flashed the green signal to a clone of the Delhi Metro.

The DMK cabinet recently gave the nod for the 47km project worth Rs 9,757 crore, tossing out fears that had gripped the plan since tsunami of December 2004.

Some experts had suggested that Chennai’s status as a high-risk seismic zone meant the project would be on shaky ground. The Delhi Metro Rail Corp had carried out a feasibility study in 2005 for the project in the southern metropolis.

The Centre and state government will fund the two-corridor project, which will also receive financial assistance from a leading Japanese financial institution.

Heart of the swayamvar

Fat paycheques, impressive family backgrounds and good looks Ś a recent swayamvar resounded with these themes, until one plain-speaking lady got to the “heart” of the matter.

Indumathy touched a chord among the participants by suggesting that men should be looking at the “heart” of a woman. If that was fine, other things like complexion, height and status were of little consequence.

Idumathy single-handed changed the course of the evening’s proceedings, which had been dominated till then by speeches in which men and women waxed eloquent on the qualities they were looking for in a partner.

The event’s organisers had allowed the swayamvar’s participants to speak their minds about their expectations from prospective partners before everyone.

Many “progressive grooms” declared that caste or religion was not a “bar” but steered clear of “highly qualified” partners, probably because they were likely to be “assertive”.

But Indumathy, cutting through the apparent doublespeak and the monotony, got the loudest ovation.

Delay whack

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) brass, notorious for delays, were hit where it hurts most Ś on their pay cheques.

A local court recently slapped a fine of Rs 26,600, calculated at the rate of Rs 50 daily, on officials who took 532 days to hand over K.C. Utreja a simple lease document. Under the authority’s own rules, the process was supposed to take no more than 90 days. The judge ordered the penalty to be deducted from the officials’ salaries.

Delhi: Enjoy music and dance all the way from Uzbekistan at Kamani auditorium, this Wednesday. The venue is a two-minute walk from the Mandi House Metro station. Time: 6.30pm. Call 23378079/23378641 for reservations. The event is organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Research.

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