Lung power keeps MPs awake
It was a drowsy afternoon. But inside Parliament, nobody dared sleep. Not with Brajesh Pathak and his lung power. Nothing could stop Pathak, the 44-year-old BSP MP from Unnao. Not the mocking of RJD's Sadhu Yadav sitting within earshot. Or the giggles of many members.
Deputy Speaker Charnjit Singh Atwal pleaded: "You speak better when you don't shout." But the six-foot-one Pathak wasn't taking the compliment. If delivering a speech at the top of the voice was part of the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, India would have a great chance with him around.
Pathak, one of the top Brahmin leaders to have emerged in BSP supremo Mayawati's social engineering in Uttar Pradesh, received praise for the Urdu couplets he recited, a slightly twisted version of poet Firaq Gorakhpuri's lines: Amrika ki ghulami se razamand hua tu/Shikwa mujhe tujhse hai, Amrika se nahi (You have acceded to America's slavery/My complaint is against you, not America)
Another couplet read out in a voice cracking with emotion: Magroor jitne darakth thhe, hairat mein pad gaye/Aesi chali hawa ke woh jad se ukhad gaye (The arrogant trees were taken by surprise/Such was the wind that they were uprooted).