Deputy Managing Editor Anthony D'Costa is travelling with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on the latter's four-day visit to Mauritius. An intrepid observer, D'Costa promised when he left Mumbai that he will report on every move that the prime minister and his team make. Here are some random notes he sent us on the second day of the visit:
Attended a hot, hot, hot Sega dance performance late last night. Reminded me of the Brazilian Carnival (repeat, Brazilian, not Goan Carnival). Need I say anything more?
You have to witness it to believe it. Before the show, which had some stunning acts by young boys and girls, a band played oldies, including Guantanamera.
We started by watching the dances from about 50 meters away. And then moved to the tables, a few inches away from the performers.
And that is where the excitement stopped. The performers were wearing skin-colored tights.
We old men
With due apologies to the Indian media team here. The next time Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is off on a foreign tour to some exotic spot like Mauritius, the media accompanying him should comprise young, energetic reporters. Not above 40 guys, as the only thing we want to do is 'file copy.' Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh!
Signs of our times
Two interesting sign boards in Mauritius -- 1. Drink or drive. Not both. 2. Keep to your left except when overtaking.
After a hard day's work, what do you do? Watch local Mauritian television. Many of the channels had 'adult' stuff very early in the day (ok, ok, early evening) and well into the night too. Very adult stuff. Thank god Indian Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy was not in the delegation.
Though the Mauritius Postal Museum and Mauritius Post Office buildings are ancient, notice the yellow delivery vans outside the museum. Quite sleek, I say.
Not very impressive
I was about to do a story on the media centre at the Hotel Maritim. It is being managed by Inderdeep Singh Dhariwal from Rajasthan and his Indian team. Until. Until. Until. The network got disconnected twice in 10 minutes on Thursday evening.
So, you want a nice story? Sorry, guys.
The media control room in-charge is Amandeep Gill. And he too will not get a story done on him. He promised to speak to the person concerned so that rediff.com could reproduce an interview of the Indian prime minister with a local newspaper. He has still not got back to me.
Who's staying where
The VVIPs, Prime Minister Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur included, are put up at Hotel Royal Palm. The media is at Hotel Maritim. And they are both miles apart. So, please do not ask me what is the PM doing right now besides his official engagements.