Bengal People’s Theatre Association
or, Mamata and her merry men
After every Lok Sabha elections, the newly elected MPs from West Bengal are felicitated by the local Bengali residents of Delhi. I am sure, that day will come soon.
In true Bengali tradition, there would be an overdose of “Kaalchaar”; with Robindra Shongeet wafting in the air and self-important denizens of the local Bengali community trying their best to jockey for positions near the stage. Oh, what an eminently missable occasion!
Except, this year, I suspect this event will have great entertainment value. Because, for a change, the Mamata Dal packs great entertainment value. There is Kabir Suman, the MP from Jadavpur, who made a name as a singer of “leaning further left than the left” folk ballads. There is Tapas Paul, who made a name in Bengali cinema as a oversized cherub and there is Shatabdi Roy, who has been acting in Bengali movies since 1986. In a remarkably prescient move, she had acted in a movie called “Didi Aamar Maa” (Didi is my mother), released almost ten years back.
For those of you who doubt their entertainment potential, YouTube is full of Kabir Suman; especially his later ballads when the once leftist goes after his erstwhile comrades with a vengeance. Most of them are not fit for children; so excercise due care.
Of course, it can be said that many things that Mamata says on prime TV are not fit for children either. Like the time she claimed that Tagore offered the glass of lemon juice to Mahatma Gandhi to break his fast undertaken after the post independence Hindu-Muslim violence. Small matter that Tagore had died in 1940, a good 8 years before this!
The Bengali association felicitation offers a unique opportunity of being entertained by Mamata and her merry men. Roles are reversed and the entertainment maybe of dubious quality but, I will admit there is a sense of guilty anticipation to it. Much like queuing up to watch your first “adult” movie. After all, Suman might, just might, sing his song about Marxism in the posterior . Satabdi might be pursuaded to say something from her “Didi Aaamar Maa” and Tapas Paul will perhaps relive his glory days of working with Madhuri Dixit in his only foray in Bollywood.
And, Mamata might sing. She had practice in Saregamapa . Yipee!