Gurdaspur cricketer in Punjab squad


Young all-rounder Arjun Marshal has done the city proud by getting selected in the Punjab (U-16) team that will take part in the inter-state Vijay Merchant Trophy to be held in Hyderabad from December 1 to 23. He is the son of cricket coach Rakesh Marshal. Arjun excelled in the inter-district tournament with both bat and the ball following which he got the selector’s nod. Incidentally, his elder brother Aditya Marshal, too, has turned out for Punjab in the inter-state (U-16 and U-19) tournaments. Arjun will be attending a coaching camp at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali before the team leaves for Hyderabad. He is a medium pacer. These days, his father is teaching him the nuances of how to swing the ball. He has already learnt how to bowl the in-dipper and now is practicing how to bowl the ball that leaves the batsman. As a right-handed batsman, he has scored some invaluable runs for his team, coming lower down the order. The city is keenly watching his performances in Hyderabad. At home, the Marshals, too, are keeping a close watch.

An open letter to Sunny Deol

Hon’ble Member of Parliament,

We, the voters of your constituency, hope you are fine. It will be in the fitness of things to remind you that we are the same set of people who had voted you to Parliament in 2019 as our representative and that too by a whopping margin of 70,000 votes. Whenever inquiries are made at your office, we get the standard reply, “Sahib, jaldi aa rahe hain.” Please tell your people that it is better to be hurt by the truth than to be encouraged with lies and deceit. Your absence from the constituency has been so long that your presence now no longer matters. Mr Deol, in the run-up to the polls, you had made a million promises. One was to bring film-related industries to the area. You told us from every conceivable election platform that you have good contacts in Bollywood (Hindi), Pollywood (Punjabi), Tollywood (Bengali), Mollywood (Malayalam), Kollywood (Tamil), Ollywood (Orissa) and what not! However, not even a single studio has been set up. You had also assured us that you would get Pathankot’s narrow gauge railway crossing conundrum solved. Again, you have scored a zilch here. Remember your promise of developing the lake of the Ranjit Sagar Dam into a world class water sports hub? Again, a zero! By now, your ‘dhai kilo ka haath’ should have spent crores of rupees lying in your MPLAD pocket on development projects. Sadly, this ‘haath’ remains perennially empty. A few weeks ago, Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi had visited your constituency and stoutly defended you. When asked by the press about what you have achieved ever since you took oath, she spent 29 minutes of the 30 minute long press conference protecting you, telling all and sundry that all was well with the MP and that the media should not be too harsh on him. You may be having your backers in Delhi, but in your constituency fearing a backlash, they have disappeared. Your own party men are sulking because you have queered the pitch for them in the 2024 General Election. Batala’s businessmen are livid that you have brought no tax concessions to them despite promising to do so. Employees of the Dhariwal Woollen Mills are fuming because you have not been able to take up their case with the Ministry of Textiles. The common man who finds himself regularly trapped in Pathankot’s traffic snarls is annoyed as you have not dealt with the railway crossing problem. Gurdaspur is unhappy because there is no word on converting the Mukerian road into a four-lane one. By now you must have realised that uneasy lies the head that wears a crown! So, why wear it in the first place?

Yours faithfully, Voters of Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency.

(Contributed by Ravi Dhaliwal)