Ranjona Banerji: Honey, you stole the show!

30 Jul,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


It’s hard to choose the biggest noosemaker of last week. Was it Danny Boyle for his quirky, funny and very British opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games? Was it Madhura Nagendra aka Madhura Honey for gate-crashing India’s flag march in the parade of nations and not being colour coordinated at the same time? Or was it our old friends, the various members of Team Anna in their fight against corruption and the people of India who support them?


This Honey or Nagendra person, depending on how affectionate you feel about her, has got no affection from the people of India – even less than they have for Anna Hazare. She smiled as she stole the show from our athletes but since then she has apparently even cancelled her Facebook page. The crime was double-fold: walking in the parade as if she belonged there, smiling away and then wearing bright red and turquoise which clashed horrible with the yellow of the Indian team. This is a rule which all gate-crashers must follow – at least attempt to blend in.


Her daddy in Bangalore has tried to defend her (daddies are vital for the defence of all those connected with Indian sport as we discovered in the Bhupathi-Paes face off, especially daddies from Bangalore) and so funnily enough has Lord Sebastian Coe of the London Olympics. Nagendra got “over-excited” he said. She was supposed to be a performer which is why she was lurking about, but was not eventually selected which is why she had no business lurking about. Then there’s the other suspicion (mine) of the British propensity for cultural determinism. Someone put her there to make the Indians athletes feel welcome as they entered the arena, it was hinted at somewhere. This is because the British feel that Indians only feel welcome when they see other Indians. In this case it backfired – as cultural determinism normally does.


So where does it leave Danny Boyle? Probably wishing he had selected Honey-Nagendra. What is this Honey thing anyway? The Indian press applauded the opening ceremony as did most of the world. Most even forgot that there was some speculation about AR Rahman being part of the show -which he wasn’t and no one cared.


Mumbai Mirror’s headline “Tepid London Boyle’s Over” upset firstpost.com which pointed out that the headline and the body copy did not match.


* * *


That leads us to the latest fast by Anna Hazare and his anti-corruption crusaders. Last year over one lakh people supported him in Delhi and that was a lot and this year 6,000 people supported him and that was a lot. In Mumbai last year when 5,000 turned up in Bandra that was too little, and this year 2,000 people in VT is a lot.


Thus proving that even mathematics is relative: If only my maths teacher had bought that argument when I was in school.


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One response to “Ranjona Banerji: Honey, you stole the show!”

  1. Piksavera says:

    There is something strange in the pictures and the video, as it were a movie trick and she was really not there, the shadows are not right, her shoes have something strange, her thumb in the left hand is all the time hidden, her name sounds like a code in sanskrit. Why are there no more pictures and videos of her when the stadium was full of cameras and technology…What if she was not there like the planes from the 9/11, all movie tricks!?

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