Green Revolution in Red's heartland

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on June 13, 2011 Published on June 13, 2011


BL12DIARYIPL   -  The Hindu


BL13DIARY_SHIP   -  Bijoy Ghosh

On June 5, the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata was lit in green, marking World Environment Day. Interestingly, this ‘greening' was courtesy Tata Steel, as part of its environment awareness campaign. That's quite a happy coincidence. For, we all know that the regime in West Bengal has changed colour — from red (Left Front) to green (Trinamool). We also know that the new Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, saw red when the Left Front warmed up to ‘Tatababu' and his Nano car factory in Singur. However, now, with the ‘green light' on in the Writers' Building, Mamata Banerjee seems to be in a hurry to clear the way for ‘Tatababu's' return. As they say, it's always the first step that binds one to the second!

Role reversal

In normal times, top bureaucrats are a source of news for journos. But in Kolkata, the reverse is happening with a new government taking over amid bustle of change. As announcements come in waves, the bureaucrats are often caught unawares. So much so, when a reporter called a key official for relevant clarifications soon after the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee's announcements at the Writers' Buildings, he actually turned out to be a news source for the bureaucrat.

Changing times at Secretariat

Life always revolved around set routine at the state secretariat in Kolkata, but no more. The first Cabinet meeting of the new government concluded a little after mid-night. Since then, life has never been the same again, especially for the bureaucrats, with the working day stretching quite late into the night.

Apparently, even the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, is sympathetic to the cause. “Why are you still held up here? Must you not go home early?” she recently asked a top bureaucrat, while she leaves office close to 9 p.m.

Spirited inducements

The popularity, or rather the unpopularity, of the IPL tournament, is best summed up by this anecdote of a vendor for a major liquor company. When the first edition of IPL was held, he received a free ticket worth Rs 500 from the liquor company for one of the matches in Bangalore. His request for a couple more was politely, but firmly, turned down.

Came the next edition, he again received a free ticket, this time worth Rs 1,200. For the following show, more generosity poured out of the liquor company which completely stumped the vendor. He received a free ticket worth Rs 21,500 with more for the asking. For the next match, the company went overboard offering a free ticket and freebies worth over Rs 30,000 along with coupons for free drinks and food.

This left the vendor completely flummoxed until he went for the match only to find his worst suspicion proving to be true. There were exactly a dozen spectators including him in the demarcated stand trying hard to show some interest in what was going on in the ground.

Custom followed, ride denied

At the launch of India's first cruise ship, AMET Majesty, in Chennai port last week, the ship was moved a few inches from the wharf as is the custom to mark the launch of a ship. For the few people on board excited about the prospect of a ride on the high seas, it was just disappointment when the ship stopped and was promptly moved back to its original position.

The Tihar Brand

Brand strategist Harish Bijoor has been waxing eloquent about Tihar jail's growing brand equity. He may be right after all. On Sunday, one of the national dailies carried a quarter page ad by Tihar jail — a prison with a difference, it calls itself — advertising products sold by it. Branded TJ's (Tihar Jail's), the products include quality handloom, bakery products, garments, spices and handicrafts, all made in Tihar by its inmates.

Tollywood's title teasers

Tollywood never stops to surprise movie buffs with amusing titles or innovative, as some might call, for its new and upcoming ones. So much so, sometimes one gets a feeling whether producers and the industry have run out of new titles, or they are just getting that much more innovative.

The latest film set to hit the silver screen is Mr Nokia, perhaps latching on the proliferation of mobile phone users and the big brand image the Finnish company commands in the country.

Now sample some of the recent movie titles such as 100 % Love, Tic Tic Tic, Mr Perfect, Current, Orange, Darling, Blade Babji, Pista, Oops, Toss, LBW and Postman. While it is tough to track any pattern, you could find them amusing or creative. Any more ideas, Sir Ji?

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Published on June 13, 2011
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