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???