When Rahul got personal

Sonia Gandhi's speech as the beginning of the Congress's "chintan" fest in Jaipur was prosaic, straightforward and distant, with a touch of the schoolmarm about her when she criticised lavish living. In contrast, party vice president Rahul Gandhi, suddenly leaner and balding as if his elevation had him lose kilos and hair, was emotional, very personal in his "thank you" speech. You almost felt sorry for him. Poor chap, you thought, now he's gonna have to talk about all the things he hasn't spoken of publicly: policies, for instance. Rape for another. Maybe even Telangana. Does being party VP mean we'll hear more from him than we have in the last eight years?

Where Rahul was full of woe, US President Barack Obama's inauguration speech was full of vitality. He spoke from memory, barely consulting his notes. Meanwhile, Sonia and Rahul still read out their speeches.

Hope you're occasionally, at least, visiting the Hero Hockey League 2013 (Star Sports). They're really making a match of it. It's racy, pacy and you get to watch many foreign players alongside the Indians, albeit not the Pakistani stick-wizards. Also, the commentary in Hindi and English has former Indian players like Mohammed Shahid and Pargat Singh, Cedric D'Souza and A.B. Subbaiah. Just listening to their views on Indian hockey are a treat.

Homeland is on the air (Star World). It is taut and tense, as CIA operative Carrie Mathison is desperate to find something that will reveal Nicholas Brody to be the terrorist she believes he is. Neither lead character is particularly attractive, which makes the drama even more compelling, because your sympathies see-saw between the two. Homeland is calculated to deprive us of sleep (ends at 12 midnight) but there is a repeat at 7 pm, which makes a mockery of the late-night scheduling.

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