Category: nhrithpipweh

Super Bowl ads debut

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – If Miss Piggy is dressing up like Jessica Simpson, monkeys are rampaging around office cubicles and networking druids are yammering into cell phones, it can only mean one thing. Super Bowl ads are on the way. Despite nagging worries about declining TV viewership as more people plug in to their iPods and the Internet, the Super Bowl has proven to be a resilient stronghold of truly mass media. The game, which airs Feb. 5 on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, is expected to draw some 90 million viewers, along with advertisers who want to reach them. Super Bowl ads – estimated at about $2.5 million for a 30-second spot this year – cost way more than the top price of $750,000 for a spot on the Olympics, which start on NBC just five days later. For smaller marketers, that can make up a significant chunk of their annual advertising budget, but there’s a certain cachet to being seen on the Super Bowl, which is routinely the most watched broadcast of the year. To make sure they get their money’s worth several advertisers plan to leverage the impact of their spots this year by rolling out online promotions and other tie-ins. Emerald Nuts, the snack food brand of Diamond Foods Inc., and men’s deodorant Degree are both returning to the Super Bowl after successful debuts in last year’s broadcast, and both are doing more online. Degree took a chance last year with an oddball set of ads featuring doll-like figures who never took risks. While they weren’t a huge hit with critics, the ads wound up generating a lot of interest online, says Kevin George, the head of marketing at Unilever, Degree’s parent company. This time, Degree will be making its new ad – which depicts daily life in a city populated entirely by stunt men – widely available for viewing and downloading on the Internet, including a “director’s cut” and other variations, George says. “It really helped get the message out there in a different way,” George said of the online interest in last year’s spots, which featured characters such as a “Mama’s Boy” who got pushed around in a shopping cart by his mother. “Not everybody’s going to love your ads,” George said. “We’re concerned that the consumers we’re talking to get the ad, and research showed that they did.” Coming back to the Super Bowl was an easy decision after seeing sales for Degree jump 35 percent last year, which George attributed partly to the impact from the Super Bowl ad. “It’s arguably the best, most efficient way to launch a campaign,” George said. Emerald Nuts won attention last year with an ad featuring a talking unicorn. It is putting 10 percent of its annual ad-buying budget into the Super Bowl, stepping up a recent campaign that uses the letters of its brand to spell out surreal situations. Coming up on Super Bowl Sunday: Eagle-eyed Machete Enthusiasts Recognize A Little Druid Networking Under The Stairs. Michael Mendes, the CEO of Diamond Foods, said the company hopes to capitalize on the word-puzzle aspect of the campaign by running ads featuring the letter jumble next to the crossword puzzle in The New York Times, and inviting readers to submit their own variations online. Also, the goofy characters in the ad – several machete-wielding businessmen and a fast-talking druid – will be appearing in an online ad campaign around the same time as the game, Mendes said. He’s also hoping to get more for his money by convincing retailers to showcase his product around the time of the game, since they hope the ad will stir up sales. Another of last year’s first-timers, CareerBuilder, is also coming back with a quirky campaign backed up with an online component. The online job-search company will air more ads featuring monkeys as office workers, while also running a guerrilla-marketing style e-mail chain letter featuring animated monkeys who talk. CareerBuilder, an online help-wanted ad company, is jointly owned by the newspaper publishers Gannett Co., Knight Ridder Inc. and Tribune Co. Tim Spengler, executive vice president of Initiative, an ad-buying agency owned by The Interpublic Group of Companies Inc., says marketers are adapting their campaigns to deal with an increasingly fragmented audience. “Media is becoming a more personalized experience, but in a communications program there is still going to be a mix of mass awareness with more one-to-one communications,” Spengler said. “For the marketer, the art is going to be in the mix of mass and personalized media.” Other notable ads in the Super Bowl this year include a spot from Dove soap, another Unilever property, which is continuing its “Campaign for Real Beauty” campaign with spots focused on improving self-esteem among teenage girls. Toyota Motor Corp. will also have a warm-hearted spot featuring a Hispanic father and son who switch easily between Spanish and English, and Aleve, a pain reliever owned by Bayer AG, is using a spot featuring actor Leonard Nimoy. Longtime advertisers PepsiCo Inc. and Anheuser-Busch Cos. will also be back. Pizza Hut, a unit of Yum! Brands Inc., which also owns KFC and Taco Bell, is once again showcasing the Muppets, who won over viewers last year with an airborne Miss Piggy. The ad also features singer Jessica Simpson, who also appeared alongside the Jim Henson characters two years ago. Miss Piggy and Simpson will wear matching outfits. “The Muppets bring a wink and a smile to it,” says Tom James, chief marketing officer for Pizza Hut. “It’s pizza after all – it’s not something that serious. It’s about fun and enjoyment.”last_img read more


December 28, 2019 0

Antelope Valley Weekend

first_imgCedar Street Theatre will perform Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys,” 8 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center’s J.P. Eliopulos Family Theater, 750 W. Lancaster Blvd. Tickets: $14. Call (661) 723-5950. Bob Noval and his Big Band Orchestra will present their “Swingin’ Valentine” performance, 8 p.m. today at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 W. Lancaster Blvd. Featured will be big band singer Lauren Koval, disc jockey Chuck Cecil of “The Swingin’ Years” and vocalist Ned Rifken’s tribute to Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin. A portion of proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society in memory of the late local disc jockey and drummer Loren Dexheimer. Tickets: $25. Call (661) 723-5950. Pianist Jim Wilson will perform with a cinematic multimedia montage, 7:30 p.m. today at the Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St. E. Tickets: $20, or $15 for students, seniors and military. Call (661) 267-5684. Travelogue on western Canada will be presented, 2 p.m. Sunday at the Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St. E. Tickets: $5. Call (661) 267-5684. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Desert Opera Theater will present “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” 8 p.m. Feb. 10-19 at the Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St. E. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $20, or $16 for students, seniors and military. Call (661) 267-5684. Tony Molina and Friends perform salsa music and Latin ballads, 8-11:30 p.m. Thursdays at Harry’s Place at the Antelope Valley Inn, 44055 Sierra Highway, Lancaster. Salsa DJ Wayne Molina performs, 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Call (661) 948-4651. Ranger-led nature hikes, 11 a.m. every Sunday at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road in Agua Dulce. Meet in the first small parking lot by the ranger station. Call (661) 268-0840. Mojave Desert Information Center offers natural history exhibits, videos and a touch-screen computer to find out more information about desert state parks and the surrounding areas. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week at 43779 15th St. W. Call (661) 942-0662. Bingo will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday by the Knights of Columbus, 719 W. Ave. M. 40 and Up Singles dance, 6:30 p.m. Sunday at 240 E. Ave. K, Lancaster. Admission: $7. Club membership: $20. Call Hester at (661) 718-8997. Fun After 40 Ballroom Dance Club dance, 7:30-10 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Lessons are available, 6:30-7:30 p.m. for $2. Admission: $2 for members and $4 for nonmembers. Bring small dessert. Call (661) 943-0210 or (661) 267-5551. The Antelope Valley Weekend column runs weekly. Fax information or updates to (661) 267-5747 by noon Wednesday. Mailing address is 1645 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite D, Palmdale, CA 93550, attention: Entertainment. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


December 28, 2019 0

Demand UHS treat all sick

first_imgPalmdale’s growing minority population will be especially hard hit by the exclusionary admittance policies of UHS. Nearly 70 percent of all pregnant women and 40 percent of African-American and Hispanic families will find the doors closed at the UHS/Palmdale Regional Medical Center, raising significant civil rights and discrimination issues. What makes the Palmdale-UHS agreement especially egregious is the fact that the city has already spent $15 million dollars of taxpayer funds to subsidize a private corporation that refuses to serve one-third of the public. UHS has taken our hard-earned tax dollars to subsidize their private, for-profit business. They have an obligation to provide care for all patients – including uninsured taxpayers and underinsured working families. As a Palmdale resident myself and an elected public health care representative for all the people of the Antelope Valley, I urge local residents to contact City Hall, protect your rights and demand that UHS accept a full service Medi-Cal contract. The city of Palmdale has already amended its contract with UHS several times and there is no legitimate reason why Mayor Ledford and his allies at City Hall cannot insist that UHS fulfill its social responsibility to provide full health care service for all members of our community.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsAll hospitals are required to treat patients in life-threatening situations regardless of their ability to pay. For all other patients, however, investor hospitals like the UHS/Palmdale Regional Medical Center use a tactic called “cherry picking” – servicing only patients with comprehensive medical insurance. Medi-Cal and uninsured patients are simply screened and then transferred to the nearest public hospital. UHS has a documented history of this practice. The lack of a Medi-Cal contract at UHS will have serious consequences for thousands of Antelope Valley families who are uninsured or lack adequate health insurance coverage. The Kaiser Family Health Foundation now reports that 37 percent of our state’s nonelderly population is either uninsured or covered by Medi-Cal. PALMDALE – The Universal Health Services Corp. hospital in Palmdale was initially lauded by city politicians as a health care panacea. Now the tide of public opinion is shifting as more Valley residents learn that they were misled about the supposed benefits of this out-of-state, investor-owned private hospital. Health care professionals are especially concerned about the failure of city leaders to require a Medi-Cal contract at the UHS hospital facility. Under Palmdale’s current agreement with UHS, one-third of local residents under the age of 65 would be excluded from receiving nonemergency medical services there. last_img read more


December 27, 2019 0

Agree with our Prem team of the season? Only one player per club allowed!

first_imgPlenty of us will have been discussing our star performers of the Premier League season.A whole host of best XIs have been doing the rounds, but how would a team of the season look if only one player from each club could be selected?Take a look at talkSPORT’s team of the 2016/17 season, featuring just one player from any top flight side, by scrolling through the gallery above. 5. Midfield: Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) – Fraser has grasped the chance given to him by Eddie Howe to thrive for the Cherries. Since playing a starring substitute role in the 4-3 win over Liverpool back in December, scoring and assisting one, he’s been a great source of entertainment for fans. The future is bright for the 23-year-old. 11 11. Attack: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – It’s perhaps controversial to pick Hazard ahead of N’Golo Kante, but the Belgian has been the difference for Chelsea so often this season. He’s been the player for the big games, scoring against Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham. While optimism might be high over finding a superior replacement to Diego Costa, who is being linked with a summer exit, there aren’t many who could fill Hazard’s boots. 2. Defence: Eric Bailly (Manchester United) – Bailly hasn’t stolen the headlines for United, but he’s been one of their best performers. The £30m signing instantly settled into Jose Mourinho’s new-look XI. He’s the first choice at centre back and has done a job at right-back when called upon. 9. Attack: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – Sanchez has carried Arsenal this season. For the most part, he hasn’t let speculation over his future distract him on the pitch. With 24 goals and 10 assists to his name, he has been their star going forward. Life without the Chilean doesn’t bear thinking about for Gooners. 11 11 11 11 10. Attack: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – How outstanding Kane has been this season is well known, but still bears repeating. The Spurs striker has had two separate spells on the sidelines, in both halves of the season, but still cruised to the Golden Boot. He’s scored 29 to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer, with seven of those coming in his last two games. Had he been fit for the entire campaign, he could have challenged Lionel Messi (37 goals) for the European Golden Shoe. 11 4. Defence: Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) – It wasn’t Boro’s defence that was the main problem in their failure to evade the drop. Aitor Karanka, who was sacked in March, focused his tactics on discipline, thereby neglecting their attack. But while they offered little going forward and made an instant return to the Championship as a result, Gibson’s reputation has actually been enhanced. 11 6. Midfield: Oriol Romeu (Southampton) – Romeu is key to the Southampton team. Competing with N’Golo Kante as the Premier League’s best defensive midfielder isn’t easy, but Romeu is without doubt one of the best in this position in English football. While it didn’t work out for him at Chelsea, whom he joined in 2011 and left in 2015, he’s thriving at St Mary’s. Keeping hold of him could be difficult for the Saints. 11 8. Midfield: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) – It’s been Coutinho’s best season for Liverpool, with the Brazilian finally performing with the consistency needed. He’s scored 13 and assisted seven in the league, playing a vital role in the Reds winning a place in the top four. There were concerns that Sadio Mane’s injury would impact Liverpool in the battle for a Champions League spot, but Coutinho has stepped up. 11 7. Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – De Bruyne finished the season with the most assists recorded in the Premier League. The Belgian set up 18 for his team-mates – doubling his tally from last season. Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola he could go on to establish his place among the game’s elite playmakers. 1. Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton (Burnley) – click the arrow above, right, to see our full Premier League team of the season – No goalkeeper made more saves in the Premier League than Heaton (141). Much of Burnley’s survival in the top flight is owed to the solidity of their defence, with Heaton typifying the character of the Clarets team. He’s been on top form. 3. Defence: Ashley Williams (Everton) – The Toffees have been a much improved unit under the guidance of Ronald Koeman this season, and last summer’s signing Williams has notably strengthened their back line. There are areas of his game that evoke frustration, but the Goodison Park faithful’s trust in their defence has improved. 11 11last_img read more


December 27, 2019 0

JIM AND DONEGAL HAVE MADE TOO MUCH OF AN IMPACT ON US ALL TO GO OUT ON A “WHIMPER”

first_img“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” – Vince LombardiPeople who love sport recognise that sport is the epitome of hard work, sacrifice and dedication, and that even the most naturally-gifted of athletes have to work as hard as anyone else to reach the pinnacle of their careers. It’s easy to see why successful athletes and managers are seen as motivational figures to aspire and look up to. In Donegal, Jim McGuinness and his squad of players have shown the people of this county that with the correct attitude, focus, desire, dedication and hard work you can achieve anything you want.They’re motivational icons for grown men and women and heroes to a generation of young children who run around the back garden pretending to be Michael Murphy scoring a crucial goal in an All-Ireland final in Croke Park.It has been well documented that Donegal GAA was at rock bottom when Jim McGuinness took over in 2010.The job was a poisoned chalice and nobody wanted to look after a team that was going nowhere. McGuinness had applied for the job twice previously without success but he never gave up, he saw something in this group of players and knew they could be successful.The remarkable turnaround in Donegal’s fortunes has made McGuinness a household name all over Ireland.It has been one of the great sports stories in Ireland of the last decade or more, taking over a team of loveable losers that had been ridiculed and written off as many times as we’d heard that the England soccer team would win a major competition.In a short period of time he turned them into double Ulster Champions and All-Ireland champions.The manner in which they did it was also remarkable. There has been a lot written and said since Sunday’s crushing defeat to Mayo about Donegal and McGuinness.Many believe he will walk away but given the type of character he is it would be very surprising to see him walk away on the back of such a defeat.This group of players are winners, they’re not the loveable losers they once were, they’re not the nice Donegal lads that play nice football and are nice to play against.They’ve tasted success and are greedy for more, I don’t believe the theory that some of the  players will be happy with their lot and opt out due to the commitments demanded at inter-county level. Football careers are short and every player will want to play and win as much as he can at the highest level.Donegal like so many other All-Ireland champions before them failed to hit the heights of the previous year.They were beaten by a hungrier side and Mayo deserved their win, but it is premature to write the obituary on this team and this manager.This manager and squad of players have given the people of Donegal some great days over the last few years and the same group will continue to do so over the next few years.They have restored pride back in our county and they deserve our support now more than they ever did.Nobody will be hurting more than that group of players and Jim McGuinness.The demands of the previous two years meant they have came up short in their attempts to recapture the Anglo Celt and the Sam Maguire in 2013.Jim never gave up on getting the job despite getting rejected twice, he also declined offers from other counties such was his passion for the Donegal job.So let’s not give up on him and his squad – they have given us too much over the past 3 years and as people have rightly pointed out they owe us nothing.Donegal and Jim McGuinness will be back in 2014 bigger and better than ever, he arrived with a bang he’s not going to go out on a whimper.Donegal ABU!!!JIM AND DONEGAL HAVE MADE TOO MUCH OF AN IMPACT ON US ALL TO GO OUT ON A “WHIMPER” was last modified: August 6th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AttitudeBeliefChampionsdonegalFocusGreat daysJim McGuinnesswinnerslast_img read more


December 27, 2019 0

DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ENGLISH AS HE FAILS TO MAKE 800M FINAL

first_imgMark EnglishMark English (800m) has failed to qualify for the 800m finals at the World Championships in Beijing.English had qualified as a fastest loser in his heat to make today’s semi-finals.Letterkenny native English produced a strong final lap to move from the back of the field and clinch fifth in 1:45.55 in the third semi-final. Fourth place wouldn’t have been enough for qualification; however, as the third and fourth-placed finishers in the first heat took the fastest-loser spots.DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ENGLISH AS HE FAILS TO MAKE 800M FINAL was last modified: August 23rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


December 27, 2019 0

RESULTS: WHERE DID YOU COME IN THE LORETO LETTERKENNY 5K?

first_imgTHERE was a huge turn-out on a thankfully dry evening for this year’s Loreto Letterkenny 5k.Hundreds of pupils took part in the walk (even if most did actually run)!All the results from adults who finished are on the link below: Loreto Convent 5k 2015 RESULTS: WHERE DID YOU COME IN THE LORETO LETTERKENNY 5K? was last modified: September 23rd, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


December 27, 2019 0

Funding boost revealed for childcare services in Donegal Gaeltacht

first_imgMinister Joe McHugh has today announced increased funding and resource supports to strengthen Irish language education in the Donegal GaeltachtTwenty-five services for Early Years in the Donegal Gaeltacht are set to benefit from the €810,000 total of additional finance is being made available by the Minister for the Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta (CNNG) organisation.Mr McHugh, Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, said: “This huge boost in funding for Early Years in the Gaeltacht is central to achieving our ambitions of encouraging more and more people to live through the Irish language. “It’s often said how youngsters are like little sponges, soaking up everything they see, hear and enjoy in their surroundings. And this initiative is using that thinking and trying to help the managers, carers and childcare workers to get on board with our mission to promote and sustain the Irish language.”Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeilge (CNNG) oversee and run 25 Early Years’ services in the Donegal Gaeltacht including naíonra services, crèche, mother and child services, after-school services and breakfast club services.The €810,000 additional funding for Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeilge (CNNG) from 2018 to 2020 is on top of the €535,000 provided to the organisation by Údarás na Gaeltachta.A second major initiative sanctioned by Minister McHugh is to alter the threshold for grant support from 80% to 95% under the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht’s Community and Language Supports Programme for facilities in the Irish Language early education sector in the Gaeltacht. The new threshold comes into operation immediately. Mr McHugh said: “Through such strong financial backing we will be able to accomplish even more for the benefit of the Irish language through early-education in the Gaeltacht.“The money complements the work that is ongoing on the implementation of both the language planning process and the policy on Gaeltacht education – two key aspects of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language.“It is a great step forward and it will quickly be confirmed as a huge benefit to young families in the Gaeltacht who are raising or who would like to raise their children speaking Irish.“Recent studies are showing a clear pay-off for youngsters who learn languages – it aids their attention span, planning, memory and problem-solving skills.“And as our next generation of Irish speakers get older their ability to learn languages will reap more rewards by giving them a clear advantage in a jobs market that places significant value on both their linguistic and cognitive skills.” The new funding package will also help finance the administration of The Preschool and After-School Services Scheme which was established in 2014.Minister McHugh said further specific measures are to be announced in the coming weeks in conjunction with his Government colleague and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone as part of increased supports for Early Years under the implementation of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030.Funding boost revealed for childcare services in Donegal Gaeltacht was last modified: June 8th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


December 22, 2019 0

.NET SDK for Intel AppUp

first_imgThe AppUp developer program launched support for .NET applications by releasing the .NET SDK, along with an IDE Plug-In for Visual Studio 2008. This plug-in reduces development time to integrate the AppUp SDKs and builds the MSI needed to submit your application for distribution and sales via the Intel AppUp Center. The IDE Plug-in supports both the C/C++ and .NET SDK for Microsoft Windows when using Visual Studio 2008.New Dot Net SDK 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… klint finley Related Posts Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img Tags:#hack#RWHackSponsored How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more


December 16, 2019 0

In Begusarai, it’s a battle between ‘beta’ and ‘neta’

first_imgOn a sweltering April morning, the carcade of former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar led by motorcycle outriders and a blaring autorickshaw zigzags the narrow lanes of villages in Chhaurahi block of Cheria-Bariyarpur in Begusarai. The golden wheat crops on one side and the sweet corn plants pitched cheek by jowl on the other flank shine in the sun as the caravan plods sluggishly.Mr. Kumar is contesting from the Begusarai parliamentary seat as a CPI candidate against BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh.The 32-year-old leader, an unassuming youth with a boyish face and of average height at 5’6”, is in the battlefield to challenge a heavyweight, the 67-year-old Giriraj Singh, 6’2” tall and always sporting a red dot on his forehead and a hairy knot on the back of the head, and known for his speeches supporting “hard Hindutva”. From a distance it may appear to be a fight between David and Goliath but on the ground it’s a different story. Mr. Kumar apparently has queered the pitch for Mr. Singh with his intense campaign and popularity.Standing in the middle of a shiny red car with an open sunroof, Mr. Kumar greets villagers with folded hands. Hundreds of men, women and children gather on both flanks of the lanes to welcome him.Hasty U-turnHe often wipes out the sweat beads dotting his face and forehead with a white cotton towel. At noon, his caravan stops at a Durga temple in Parora village. Standing in horizontal harmony, the villagers shower him with marigold garlands and offer water. The diagonally set loudspeaker fitted atop the lone autorickshaw blares “Kanhaiya Kumar zindabad”. Mr. Kumar gets down from the car, heads towards the temple but takes a hasty U-turn as someone tells him something in his ear. He cheerfully returns to the villagers, greeting them with his folded hands and flashing a tired smile.The next stop is a mosque in Dumri village. Septuagenarian Mohammed Illiyas comes out of the verandah of his house and shakes hands with Mr. Kumar. His grandsons request Mr. Kumar for a selfie and he obliges them. “This boy should win the election… we all need a neta like him in Parliament,” says Mr. Illiyas. His grandsons look happy with the selfies with the young leader. “Haathi-ghoda palki, jai Kanhaiya lal ki (a village lore),” sings the younger one. The caravan passes through Mahto Tola, Ekamba and other villages without stopping.Hundreds of motorcycle-borne youth wearing red bandanas, scarves, caps, turbans and T-shirts embossed with party symbol “corn and sickle” and Begusarai on them lead Mr. Kumar’s car followed by over a dozen SUVs. Comrade Jayant Kumar and Comrade Amit Kumar cover both gates of the car to protect Mr. Kumar. Comrade Suraj Kumar has been behind the wheel and comrade Saroj Kumar in the backseat ever since Mr. Kumar kicked off his campaign. “Every day we cover at least 100 km, stopping at 38 points, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s been hectic but exciting. Our own Kanhaiya is in the ring,” says Mr. Suraj Kumar. Mr. Saroj Kumar is busy answering incessant phone calls on Mr. Kanhaiya Kumar’s mobile phone on his behalf.Lunch breakAt 4.30 p.m. the carcade stops at the residence of a late comrade, Radha Krishna Yadav, in Pranpura-Bariyara village for lunch. “It’s late but we have something to eat,” the candidate requests everyone.Under a tent, the motorcyclists and other supporters sit cross-legged on the ground to have meal of daal-bhaat-subzi (rice, lentils and vegetables). A tired Mr. Kanhaiya Kumar washes his face and feet at a handpump. His faded purple shirt is dotted with several white sweat lines; his blue jeans scrunches up and the discoloured rubber slippers threaten to part ways. “Aaj garmi bahut jyada hai (Today it’s really hot),” he says and readies to answer a few questions.Your opponents say you’re a “desh drohi (anti-national)”? “Then why is the Election Commission not taking any action against me? These are really loose statements,” he says. Your contender Giriraj Singh is confident of winning. “Then why he took a week’s time to come to Begusarai? Why was he scared of coming here?” How do you find people’s response here? “They say neta nahi, beta chahiye (we need no leader, but our son),” says Mr. Kanhaiya Kumar, who comes from the district while Mr. Singh is from another district, Lakhisarai.Red flagsAt Wazitpur village we bid adieu to Mr. Kanhaiya Kumar’s campaign trail and come out in the grubby town of Begusarai where the roads, lanes and by-lanes are covered with red flags, the CPI’s signature colour. With the sun setting in the sky, music of popular Bhojpuri songs recomposed with lyrics attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his populist policies reverberates in the distance. Amid the cacophony and colour, the air is also thick with cries: “Kanhaiya Kumar zindabad”.last_img read more


December 3, 2019 0