This has been a strange week. Many incidents have involved Indo-foreign relations. Some hilarious and some horrific. The Paris bloodbath had an eerie similarity to the 2008 Taj attacks. With one difference — post this tragedy, everyone says in solidarity, ‘Je Suis Paris’. However, post 26/11 no one said, ‘Main Hoon Mumbai’ or ‘I am Mumbai’. And no one changed their FB display picture to the Indian flag. I’m just saying.
Last week, CST was lit up in colours of the France flag in solidarity with the victims of Paris terror attacks. But the horizontal display of colours, instead of vertical, turned it into the Dutch flag
In other news, the versatile Saeed Jaffrey passed away. He was the first Indian actor to straddle both Bollywood and Hollywood, long before Irrfan Khan cracked the West. Though unlike the latter, we understood every word of English that the former uttered. Mr Khan’s speech delivery in Jurassic World was so unclear that even the dinosaurs had to ask for a re-take.
British Airways finally found Sachin Tendulkar’s luggage. They were traced back to Vinod Kambli’s residence. Apparently Mr Kambli was livid that he’d been left out of the Cricket All-Stars tournament.
Pahlaj Nihalani, is a man of much censor and little sensibility. The censor board chief, a self-confessed NaMo fan, made a video highlighting Modi Kaka’s achievements. Titled Mera Desh Hai Mahaan, the film shows images of the Tour de France, the International Space Shuttle, Moscow’s Business Centre and the Dubai Expressway. While most people are aghast at this, it makes total sense to me since Modiji has spent a total of three months overseas during his 18-month tenure.
But, Mr Nihalani’s new moral policing howler has caused much consternation on social media. He has cut the length of the kissing scenes in the latest Bond spy flick, Spectre. When questioned, Nihalani had three answers in his defence:
1. “Why does Daniel Craig get to snog Monica Belucci and not me?”
2. “Pierce Brosnan says he found Spectre too long. I thought if I lessen the smooches, the film will be cut by half.”
3. Modi saab says ‘Make In India” — so I thought I will respond to that with ‘No Make-out in India’.”
Baba Ramdev, India’s capitalist guru, is on a roll. Feeling he’d been snubbed by the Nobel committee owing to his dark complexion, he plans a range of fairness creams called Baba No More Black, to be launched in 2020. This is after the full launch and health inspection of his Patanjali instant noodles. Also in the pipeline are a bevy of health food products to take on Bournvita and Horlicks. And a khaki fitness clothes line to compete with Nike. His tag line “Just Do It For India”.
And finally, the fine people at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus lit up the exterior of the building as a show of support for their slain comrades in France. Except, instead of projecting the ‘le drapeau francais’ they wrongly put up the flag of Netherlands.
“Why Mr Phadse, don’t you know the difference between the ‘jhandas’ of these two nations?”, the head of lighting fixtures at CST was queried.
“Yes sir, but the French President’s name is Mr Hollande, na?”
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org