E R RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ever since, he became the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, his phone has been ringing continuously.
The first call came when he was still snoozing.
“Hello! Ambarish Annavra? We are all very happy that Madam has at last recognized your talent. We want to felicitate the Mandyada Gandu. Come as soon as possible.” That was the president of Ambarish Fans’ Association from Mandya.
After a while the phone rang again.
“Hello! Rebel star avara! Namaskara Anna! When are you coming to Mysore? We have already booked the open air theatre in Gangothri for your felicitation. Bega Banni Anna. Aayita?’
There were calls ranging from, asking him to make time for thread ceremony of a 5-year- old to the birth of a calf for which he was called for the naming ceremony.
The Minister hit the ceiling when the next call came.
“Anna! I am speaking from Gandhi Nagar. I am the Secretary of the Kannada Film Workers Artistes Technicians Federation. Because of ‘ Dubbing Experts’, a majority of our technicians are jobless. The famous dialogue of yours, “The river of blood will flow” will start flowing any time now. If dubbing continues, Kannada film industry will be finished. We have started our own company. Muktha-fame Sitaram will direct our first film. As I& B Minister we want you to give clap for the first shot, Anna. Please take the next flight, or, if possible, take PM’s special plane and come down fast. From HAL Airport we will arrange for a helicopter so that you can land in Gandhinagar itself! Bega baa Anna!’
As he was entering Parliament, a call came from the Producers of the so-called dubbing mafia.
“Vanakkam Ambi Saar! After Raj Kumar, you are the Periyanna for all of us. We are forced to re-make hits from Tamil and Telugu because there are no good stories in Kannada. Where do you find authors like Aa. Na. Kru and Ta.Ra. Su. these days? If we don’t make remakes, how will our families survive? We will send our own jet. Since you are the I&B Minister, only you can solve the problem. We will wait for you in Ramoji Rao Studio in Hyderabad as it is a safer place for us!”
Beads of perspiration had formed on the Rebel Star’s forehead as he walked towards the Parliament canteen. “Am I a Central Minister or Karnataka Minister?” was the thought doing rounds in his head when the next call almost startled him.
“Thamma Ambi! It’s Siddu here! I have been trying for you all morning. Ambi, please rush to Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysore. It is all but, taken over by Deve Gowda and sons. Madam Sonia has asked you should visit Mysore immediately and camp in Chamundeshwari constituency till the election is over. She has also asked me to book your accommodation in all huts and houses of villagers in Chamundeshwari hobli. Please do not come in your jeans. Come in the dress you wore for ‘Gowdru’. From Bangalore we will go to Chamundeshwari constituency in ‘Yethhina Gaadi’. We will meet you outside the Airport as HDK has banned yethhina Gaadi inside.”
His head was still reeling as he almost stumbled into the Prime Minister.
“How do you like your new job, Ambarishji?” asked the P.M.
“Sir, I have a request. Do you have a portfolio of “Minister without Portfolio”? If you have, please take away the I&B and give me that!”