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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three absolutely unrelated articles

The actress
A couple of years back I was flipping through the channels randomly. This was Sun or Surya or Jaya or some other South Indian channel, the logo in bright orange, complete with imposing moustaches and multi-directional bibhuti smears.

A certain woman caught my eye. I had no idea what she was called, and had no way of knowing either. She was not as cute as Jyothika or as you-know-what as Namitha, but there was something about her. I saw a couple of people on Orkut, later, with her picture on their profiles.

But the mystery remained: what was her name?

And then, while browsing the net randomly in pursuit of upcoming Rajnikanth movies, I came across her: she was called Mamta Mohandas, and like most performers from the south of Cauvery, she has acted in films of all four languages.

For the sake of information, she's also a playback singer.

The sleuth
As we know, it is a mistake to think that one can solve any major problem with potatoes. Somewhat strangely, the same doesn't hold for carrots. There was a man who actually used to do that on a regular note.

Back in 1985 there was a television serial on Doordarshan called Karamchand. Karamchand was played by the inimitable Pankaj Kapur, and had a female assistant (Kitty, played by Sushmita Mukherjee) to boot. The stories were concise, well-knit, Pankaj Kapur was brilliant, and we were all hooked. It still remains the bestest mystery serial ever launched in the history of mankind. Okay, maybe not that much, but it was awesome.

Sony TV tried a relaunch in 2007, with Pankaj Kapur as Karamchand, and Sucheta Khanna as Kitty. It didn't go very well. I suppose it had a lot to do with the fact that there was no conspiring mother-in-law, no designer clothes and interior decoration, and the fact that it wasn't called Kkaramchand.
The cricketer
I was very happy, over a decade ago, when I first heard that Devang Gandhi had been selected to play for India. He made two fifties in his first two tests; and opened with Ganguly in his debut ODI, thereby making it (possibly) the only instance of two cricketers from Bengal opening batting at international level. They put up a 100-run partnership (he also had two hundred-run partnerships with Ramesh in first two tests).

Then he went to Australia. He simply stood with his bat like a fishing line, and the ball seemed to fly past him in all possible directions. He and his bat never seemed to care about the ball went, and was dropped after making 4 and 0 at Brisbane.

He played two more ODIs on that tour, and we never saw him again. He ended with an ODI career tally of 49 runs, which is still the lowest for anyone who had one hundred partnership in his career.

My favourite Devang memory, though, is how he got out in his first innings down under. McGrath bounced, he ducked, his bat held in mid-air; he looked quizzingly towards cover or point; the ball took his glove and went to fine leg.

And when he came back home, he said that he thought he had practised enough for the trip: after all, he had practised against the local seam bowlers (I suppose he meant those with a run-up exceeding ten steps) at Deshapriya Park. How could that go wrong against McGrath? It's supposed to be the same, after all.


  1. pure randomness does not justify the coexistence of the three subplots. what am i missing?

  2. great.
    ami sure erokom tribute aage beshi lekha hoy ni.
    tobe amar bujhte hints legechhe...:)

  3. Pankaj Kapoor represents North and Northwest , Debang Northeast and ofcourse Mamta represents south. Even in 21st century if we want to represent India by three words, we should use his name- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.( this is the message probably)

    I am amazed. I am running out of adjectives, may be I need to borrow some adjectives from Navjyot singh Sidhu. Jokes apart, this is one of the best post ( considering all blogs I read) I have ever read.

  4. I must say this is one of the best posts in your entire blog. Besides my personal opinion about the person, this post is something awesome!

  5. byapok diyechis eta! :) ami prothome dhorte parini, dwitiyobar porar por link ta pelam.... sabas!!!

  6. Wow! Gandhi Birthday special tai ghyam diyeacho...!!
    Gandhi nije jibito thakle emon ta kolponai aante parto na...:D

  7. kkhasha hoyechhe....prothome dhortei parini