Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Singur shenanigans

Mamata Bannerji has her loyal supporters amongst Kolkata's bhadralok after all! This was the big surprise on the short trip to the City of Joy. At an impromptu dinner with old friends at the newly opened Thai restaurant (Benjuraang), I was puzzled by the very vocal support extended to the hysterical woman who is holding the mighty TATA EMPIRE TO RANSOM! Most agreed her tactics may be crude and shabby, but what she is fighting for is completely kosher. I am not at all sure... but Mamata is gaining ground by the day in a city where every second Bong you meet is a closet revolutionary. I tried to focus on the delicious soft shell crabs and tamarind prawns, while the others debated, raved and ranted.... but it was impossible to do so. Finally when the steamed fish on a fragrant bed of lemon grass arrived on the table, it was time to change tracks and ooh and aah over the superlative cuisine. Sure made up for the Morimoto night.... and the entire meal for six worked out to less than the 6000 per head we'd shelled out at Wasabi. Oh... I'd forgotten to mention the rather odd cocktails - teriyaki martini, anyone???
Opinions on Singur vary - there are those who are violently opposed to the Tata project on the grounds that small, ignorant farmers with no voice were not given fair compensation. True or false?? Depends which side you are batting for.The example being trotted out is Jindal's and Anil Aggarwal's. They came, they saw, they asked the going rate for the land they wished to acquire, and they paid up. No haggling, no questions asked. Farmers happy, Industrialists happy. What if the Tatas do pull out and the Nano is delivered late? Loss of face and more trouble ahead.Meanwhile, Mamata can screech away and summon journos with a loud and rude, "Hey you BBC... come here." One lone politician.... and see the trouble being caused. Maan gaye, Mamataji... if you could annoy Ratan Tata into uncharacteristically letting his irritation be known, you must be one huge thorn in his side!
About Ajay Devgan... come on, chaps. He is a good actor in certain roles that suit his personality and body type. 'Omkara' was a terrific film. But Saif Ali outshone Ajay as Langda in it. And the more recent one in which Ajay plays a reigning superstar?? Does he LOOK like a star.... forget superstar?? It stretched audience credibility to the absolute limit. The scenes that established the character were better suited to a David Beckham. Kahan woh.... kahan apun ka Ajju???


Praveigne Meruwa said...

De, Happy Ganesh Chaturthi !! :)

Unknown said...


yaayy i get to comment on ur blog.. i love ur writing style.. n happy ganesh chaturthi..

well ajay devgan.. hnnmm i feel he has got this look of i cant be bothered.. if things happen for me.. well good enough.. if not too bad.. i think thats why his role in hum dil de chuke sanam was nice.. because he just left it in the hands of fate..

6000bucks for a meal.. hnnmm did they add a bit of the gold dust.. i do hope it was worth it.. because sometimes i feel.. its all about the style or the setting or the service.. and not exactly the food that has got the price..

mamataji well well.. i think she just wants to get back into the limelight.. and what better way than to like you said.. hold the tata empire to ransom..

will surely keep coming back for more.. :)

Kris Bass said...

I know more about men than about Tata Nanos. Hence, I'll proceed to that part of the post directly.

Does Morgan Freeman look like a superstar? Or Johnny Depp?

I mean, I like Morgan Freeman a lot for his acting and for his charm - but not his looks. At the same time, I don't think that he looks bad either.

The same way, I think that Ajay has that kind of a character.

kaleidoscope said...

...and since I "used to know" more about the "closet" and was born and bred in Calcutta, I think I have never heard a better one liner than what you wrote, "(...)every second Bong you meet is a closet revolutionary".

Way to go De! This can easily become the phrase of the century. On a different note, now I know where I got my revolutionary instincts from.
[breathing a sigh of relief]
At least, I am not "closeted".


Harish said...


many of my buddy log are bhadralok. besides, I was born in calcutta too. So have fondness for the place. I have never visited calcutta after my birth, but I have heard from my mom that its a ekdam slow and thanda life there.

I dislike Mamta, but appreciate her ability to garner support in practically everything she does.

"...What she is fighting for is completely Kosher." I dont know completely about it. So will reserve my comments on that. Though knowing mamta, its easy to deduce that this might be some newfangled politically-driven malicious propaganda.

Wao De. Sahi Hai... I so so agree with Kush .... "(...)every second Bong you meet is a closet revolutionary", so simply said with such deep meaning. This line, You SHOULD use in one of your columns, before someone else chori's it. jaldi Jaldi.

>> Apna Ajju...

yes, Ajju is good.In certain roles but when he tries his hand (and face) at comedy, its most appalling. I liked him as a director in "U, Me aur Hum". But he was not a class apart... As Aamir Khan is. And definitely (the otherwise very articulate and anglicized) Saif, did a far better job as Langda Tyaagi. Lets face it, kajol's better half's performance is predictable and is getting sterotypical (if not as stereo typical as her best {commercial} half- ShahRukh)

smiles :-)

Maddy said...

Good to read your "firsthand" update on singur issue. Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Wish you had been slightly more opinionated towards the Singur row. On 2nd thots it's just as well you ain't, saale ko kii farq painda hai?


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