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How elephant turned into a cheetah

If Friday the 13th was an unlucky day, it did not show in Lalu Prasad's speech, which gushed - in numbers and user-friendly Hindi verse - the joys of his becoming possibly India's luckiest railway minister in recent times. HT Correspondent reports.

business Updated: Feb 13, 2009 21:41 IST

If Friday the 13th was an unlucky day, it did not show in Lalu Prasad's speech, which gushed — in numbers and user-friendly Hindi verse — the joys of his becoming possibly India's luckiest railway minister in recent times.

The minister, who has lectured Harvard students on how a clunky behemoth called Indian Railways turned into a cash-rich giant, was only too glad to do his last rail budget speech before the general elections in the backdrop of a global credit crunch.

No wonder, he said he had turned the elephant into a cheetah.

Some nuggets from his speech: Karigari ka aisa tareeka bata diya Ghaate ka jo bhi daur tha beeta bana diya Bharat ki rail vishwa mein is tarah ki buland Hathi ko chust kar diya, cheetah bana diya. (A unique way in workmanship we showed/Pushing the age of losses to the past/Raised Indian Railways' stature in the world/Turned an elephant into a cheetah)

"Waada hai mera tum se, ai mere husafar Jari rahega kal bhi tarakki ka silsila." (I promise you, fellow traveller/This progress will continue tomorrow as well.)