When my parents were hell-bent on naming my brother something that would start with Abhi, they decided on the hero from Mahabharat. The elderly relatives persuaded them otherwise, since Abhimanyu, along with Karna, has always been hailed as the tragic hero of the epic; an able martyr who knew his way into the Chakravyuha but was ignorant on the way out: his mother (for whatever reason) was being trained while he was in her womb, and she dozed off midway (do prodigal embryos sleep when their mothers do?), so he remained oblivious of the exit from the maze.
Moreover, Jayadratha, the man with a hundred brothers-in-law, selected (I'm not sure whether he selected the day, or was randomly assigned one) that very day when he became supposedly invincible. So he stopped the entire Pandava army on his own, thereby sealing the entry to the vyuha.
As a result, as everyone knows, our hero was trapped alone inside to face the stalwarts of the Kauravas - it still took seven of them plus the lesser infantry and cavalry to fell him. Just like his cousin Ghatotkach, he had to meet his demise for no fault of his.
Some consolation came in the fact that it was his successors that ruled Hastinapur in the years to come. However, this hardly seems to cover up for unfulfilled potential of the son of Arjun and the nephew of Krishna and Bhim.
Arnab Ray, vitually known as Greatbong, has already immortalised Gunda, the greatest movie that has ever been in the history of mankind. There's also a remarkable blog on the movie. Of course, Gunda, along with other path-breaking alternative masterpieces like Loha, Dalaal, Military Raaj, Raavan Raaj and Bengal Tiger, mere commercial successes like Dance Dance, Disco Dancer, Boxer and Kasam Paida Karnewaale Ki, and the ignorable award-clinchers like Mrigaya, Agneepath, Jallad and Tahader Katha would not have been possible without ONE man: the man they call Prabhuji, his parents know by the name Gouranga, and the world knows by the name Mithun Chakraborty.
His biography is somewhat like the roles he plays in movies. A middle-class boy with dreams in his eyes, he showed the world that talent, perseverance and honesty can make a legend out of you. If you have it in you, and you work hard enough, you're bound to succeed. Mithunda isn't simply the poor man's Big B: he's the living proof that the poor man can dare to be a Big B and still reach a certain level.
And then, let alone Big B, not even Al Pacino or Robert de Niro could boast of being a part of Gunda, isn't it?
Last week I saw a 20-year old guy open bowling for India in a test in the absence of Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth. He had pace, he had bounce, he could move the ball, and he took four wickets on his test debut. Not willing to end it there, he, batting at eleven, hit two boundaries, and was immediately promoted to number nine when we followed on. Coming in just as Muralitharan claimed his 799th scalp and India still requiring 47 to avoid an innings defeat, he held fort, hit five boundaries, four of them off Murali including an amazing lofted on-drive, and dominated a partnership with VVS to make Sri Lanka bat again.
It's been a promising start; let's see whether he goes the Abhimanyu way or the Mithun way.
BANNER CREDITS: RITUPARNA CHATTERJEE
A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
PHOTO CREDITS: ANIESHA BRAHMA
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.