Anil Thakraney: Lucky De

02 Aug,2013

By Anil Thakraney


Fifteen years ago, I was a huge fan of Shobhaa De (hope that’s the spelling she uses these days), in fact, she used to write for the magazine I edited. That’s because De was both, brutally honest and relevant in her columns. Along the way, she misplaced her mojo for unknown reasons, her writing lost the punch, De started openly pandering to the rich and famous, and the only place she has been making a mark is at the Page 3 parties. I lost all interest in her.


Well, she’s hit the headlines again and boy, De must be lurving it. Suddenly, politicians of Maharashtra have joined forces to get after her, even the CM (no less!) has found it necessary to react to her tweet. A tweet, which our busy lady might have written more out of boredom than a desire for change, a tweet which is not even a fresh thought, Mumbai as a separate territory is an idea that’s been floating around for decades. But De got lucky, her tweet got picked up. And the Maha netas would want to get involved with emotive stuff like this because most of them are incapable of doing any real work for the city and the state. Guess Ms De will soon throw a big party to celebrate her return to relevance.


Speaking for myself, I felt happy that the writer had found the long lost attitude, but that feeling was quickly demolished when I watched the lady defend her tweet on television. Ma’am has chickened out, you see. De claims she stands by the thought, but then throws in defeated words like ‘satire’, ‘I didn’t mean it’, etc. What a shame! She ought to have walked the talk, and demanded that Mumbai must get separate statehood. That’s what many Mumbaikars would want because everyone knows that the Maharashtra netas have collectively milked Mumbai of its cash but have done nothing in return for the once great city. Here was a chance for De to stand up for the right thing, to be a leader for change, a feisty leader we badly need. But she got cold feet and ducked out. Nope, the mojo isn’t back, but the phokat publicity is. Good for the lady, she can get cracking on her next salacious book. And the next happening party. Cheers!


PS: Giffgaff is a UK mobile phone operator. They are different, and they don’t want consumers to shy away because they are different. And to make that point, the funky advertiser has used zombies in the commercial. It’s a novel idea but risky too, I found the ad quite scary!


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney


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