Moonshine Forever

[Long post warning]

[Figure 1: Clip with sub-titles from the movie “Bow Barracks Forever”]

In the long list of grouses (the marginalization of Subhash Bose in the Indian national Congress, the policy of freight equalization, lack of funding for Bakreshwar power plant, Sourav Ganguly’s treatment at the hands of the BCCI, Soumitro Chatterjee being overlooked for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and “Ami Kolkattar Rosogolla” not being made the national anthem being some of them) that we Bengalis have nurtured over the years like festering wounds that refuse to heal, nothing perhaps rankles more than the fact that Moonmoon Sen was never given the iconic status in Bollywood that she so richly deserved.

People who closely follow Bengali movies noted amazing flashes of brilliance in her performance in “Baidurya Rahasya “where she played a no-nonsense lethal detective who goes undercover as a sexy Vaishnavite priestess with a craving for fish (her famous line “Mamu ami maach bhaja khamu” [Uncle, I want to eat fried fish]) still gives me the shivers whenever I hear it). Soon her flawless pronunciation, unaffected manner of speaking, acting prowess [video] and her overdone femininity (called “nyakamo” in Bengali) had made her the darling of what Taran Adarsh calls the “classes and the masses”.

Kolkata however proved to be too small for her and before you knew she had gone off to be with the big fishes in Bombay. Here she quickly made her name doing substantial roles opposite the cream of the crop like Raj Kiran, Puneet Issar and the God of all things—Mithun-da [watch this video of Mithunda forcing off MoonMoon Sen’s anti-gravity shoes as they play basketball, wearing them himself and then perching Moonmoon on top of the basket]

[Figure 2: MoonMoon Sen in red anti-gravity shoes playing basketball and flying through the air in a skirt]

However after her much-appreciated performance as a sexy corpse in “100 days” where, even dead, she managed so many sensual contortions that even Maryl Strip had to publicly applaud the acting, Moon-Square, for reasons not truly understood, vanished into obscurity (save for appearances on TV as a talk show host) leaving lesser lights like Madhuri and Sridevi to rule the roost.

Why this happened we never truly understood but this inability of India to give such a great artiste her due has left a bitter taste in our Bengali mouths, like the bitter aftertaste of too much sorshe (mustard) in our sorshe-ilish (Mustard-Hilsa).

Many of you are possibly thinking—why don’t you just let sleeping dogs lie? After all the world has moved along, Moon-square’s daughters now rule the MMS industry if not Bollywood and are acknowledged by one and all to be great patriots.

From Times of India : “Riya Sen is a true patriot

The world might know her as a sultry diva, who sizzles the silver screen with her glamorous appearance, but deep within, actress Riya Sen is a true-blue patriot whose heart is ready to sing hosannas for the country. The girl who has celebrated her 27th birthday on January 24, is now looking forward to celebrating the Republic Day with gusto. NT gets up close and personal with her.
On the republic day: “I am one of those people who are born with a free spirit. Although on occasions like the Republic Day or the Independence Day I don’t do anything special, but those paper flags selling along the streets or the live telecast of the Republic Day parade always fill up my heart with patriotism. To me these occasions are the symbol of that precious essence of freedom, for which the freedom fighters gave their lives.”

So why, for the love of Ranjit Mullick, do I rake up this generational hurt now at a time when the nation is passing through a crisis?

Let me explain.

After trying to desperately get a hold of “Jimmy” and drawing a total blank (proving once again that darshan of God is never painless), I did manage to see “Bow Barracks Forever, a movie that stars Moonmoon Sen. Before I talk about Moonmoon’s performance, let me give a brief introduction to Anjan Dutt, the director of this most marvelous work of art.

Anjan Dutt is one of Kolkata’s much vaunted “intellectuals”. His claim to fame, besides directing “art movies” , is singing “jeebonmukhi gaan” (English translation: life-affirming songs), the majority of which have one single theme. That being “I am a poor boy. You went away and married a rich man. Do you still remember me? Are you happy?”. And in the case of Anjan Dutt, it’s just not the subject but also the tune that gets recycled.

Anjan Dutt also has another little obsession (or perhaps I should say “cause”) that he likes to indulge in from time to time— the travails of the Anglo-Indian community of Kolkata. Whether it be his great hit song, Maryanne, about an Anglo-Indian who gets rejected by the Bengali boy because her skin is ironically not fair, or his directorial venture BadaDin (Bengalis take care to pronounce this as Boro-din and *not* as Bada Din) about an Anglo-Indian singer being intimidated by evil “native” Bengalis, Mr. Dutt strongly maintains his focus.

As he does in 2007’s “Bow Barracks Forever”. The non-Christian Bangalis are predictably either the villains or the buffoons, out to grab the humble tenements of the Anglo-Indians.

And the Anglo Indians?

Yep they are all here—all the stereotypical Anglo characters that you have seen in Hindi movies for the last 100 years.

The drunk. The cheat (imaginatively called Peter the cheater). The horny wife. The wife-beater. The criminal. The musician. The promiscuous doing “lafda” with “chokra-log”. The big-hearted pastry-making matriarch.

Despite their mind-boggling variety what unites these Lobos and Bragananzas are that they are all losers, all desperately poor, all weak, all hate the city, all golden-hearted (well except the Armenian) and all of them use the words “bugger”, “man” and “bloody” in virtually every sentence they form.

Of course, from my personal experience, the Anglo-Indians I ever came across were well qualified, focussed on their life, spoke unaccented non-Braganza English and usually avoided the use of the word “man” after every sentence.

But then the Anglo Indians I knew must have been the exception.

I am sure Mr. Dutt knows better.

Because one thing to remember is that “Bow Barracks” is an art movie. Hence it is good.

If the director was Navkumar Raju (the director of “Topless” and “Flirt Mera Dil”), then yes one could argue that the Anglo-Indian characters are all stereotypical and unidimensional.

However since this is high art, we must say that the director goes against stereotype while reveling in it (whatever that means).

Again if the director was TLV Prasad, we could get away by saying that the actors hyper-act (i.e. ham inconsolably) throughout the length of the movie, with exaggerated emotions and facial contortions.

However this being very intellectual, we are obligated to say that the characters are raw, earthy, emotional and sensual.

And it is because of the movie’s artiness and worship of gritty reality that we get to see an exposed male bottom (however with the underwear perched precariously close to the foothill of the buttock—after all no director wants overexposure)

[Figure 3: Sabyasachi Chakraborty, last seen doing kung-fu fighting as Feluda, plays an “Armenian” whose side-burns and jacket make him look like he just stepped out of the sets of Grease]

Wait wait you say. How come we started off with Moonmoon Sen and ended up with Sabyasachi’s sideburns?

Okay here is the deal.

“Bow Barracks Forever” would have just remained an amazing art film had it not been for Moonmoon Sen. Back to the frontlines of mainstream acting after a lengthy hiatus, she is now four times her original size and sixteen times as skilled in her craft. In the very few scenes that she has, Ms. Sen elevates “Bowbarracks Forever” to the level of a Battleship Potemkin or King Kong. Of course it must be said that she is helped a lot by the director’s imagination and George Baker’s blue thong-like undies.

George Baker who? Another diamond in the rough, George Baker is well-known to a generation of Bengalis as “Gora” and as the scheming manipulator in the corporate-family drama “Chowdhury Pharmaceuticals” where he, Moonmoon and later-to-be-head-of-Kolkata-Corporation Subroto Mukherjee sizzled so sensationally that even Satyajit Ray reportedly called the unintentional hilarity “better than Chaplin“.

In an example of brilliant color-blind casting, perhaps the only Anglo-Indian from Kolkata, George Baker is cast as a married Bengali insurance agent, Vipin, who sells insurance policies to the Anglo-Indians and provides premium service to Moonmoon Sen, who essays the role of sexually frustrated wife Rosa.

In the greatest scene of the movie, and perhaps one of the greatest in Indian cinema, we seethe George Baker and Moonmoon Sen characters go at each other carnally like a hammer and anvil as a picture of Jesus Christ looks serenely on. Moonmoon and Baker are in their elements here, giving passionate expressions and guttural sounds of the kind never seen outside Animal Planet.

This is not titillation or just a mere plot point, but an outpouring of frustration and loneliness at its most elemental as old flesh strikes even older flesh.

One must say that the way Moonmoon mauls George Baker’s man-breasts, Mr. Baker must thank his lucky stars that this shot got canned in one take, cause his nipples would surely have been yanked off if multiple reshoots had been needed.

Here is the sequence. that contains the famous love scene.You are advised to not see this at work. Or on a full stomach.

After the congress has taken place and George Baker walks around in blue underwear (I presume he was an agent of Blue Cross/Blue Shield), Moonmoon displays her acting chops (among other things) with a soliloquy delivered in the classic uber-“nyaka” style ending with the priceless “We are both becoming buddas”. But this is not the only scene where she and Anjan Dutt combine to produce beautiful music.

Later on, she abuses a lady quarter her size by calling that lady “a fat bitch” in a sequence that is supremely artistic.

An equally “brings a lump to the throat” scene is when the great actress comes back home to her husband after being dumped by Vipin. Within minutes of her coming back, the under-sexed husband strips and offers his body to his lusty wife with a “everything I have is’s not much” (of course “not much” should be taken metaphorically) . In response Moonmoon, restrained and yet so very Moonish, says “I’m the lousiest bitch ever born in the city” bringing tears to the eyes of even the most hardened movie-goer.

[Figure 4: Husband offers his toned body to his wife]

D H Lawrence once said:

The moon is a white strange world, great, white, soft-seeming globe in the night sky, and what she actually communicates to me across space I shall never fully know. But the moon that pulls the tides, and the moon that controls the menstrual periods of women, and the moon that touches the lunatics, she is not the mere dead lump of the astronomist…. When we describe the moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness.

While we may never know for certain if Moon-square can pull the tides, affect lunatics and control other matters of monthly importance, what we do know for certain is that Moonmoon Sen is anything but empty, anything but lifeless.

Oh lovely, lovely oh. Don’t stop.

66 thoughts on “Moonshine Forever

  1. Finally, first to comment 🙂 But the post seems too long to read 😉 you should give a warning- I stopped midway somewhere

  2. Done. Posted warning. Incidentally in response to a question from a previous post, I do not give out Ipods for first commenters.

  3. Awesome awesome awesome. And Harshit dear, if the post seems too long and you do not have the patience to read it, give it a rest baby.

  4. Anglo-Indians, East Indian Christians and Goanese Christians are often interchangeably stereotyped in Bollywood.

    Raj Kapoor and Hrishikesh Mookerjee, I recall, also showed a lot of stereotypical “mixed race” Christian characters.

  5. No wonder Suchitra Sen went into hiding sometime in the 80’s.

  6. Ah! finally the GB of yore is back! Loved the post!

  7. God Almighty!!!
    I know very little about Bengali cinema and/or MMS’s career (Is that a coincidence ? Having those initials ?), but that clip….. God Almighty!!

    Great post GB

  8. Good luck with finding a copy of “Jimmy”

  9. raja banerjee May 22, 2008 — 5:11 am

    this is vintage GB stuff guru…..Loved it !!!

    did u also notice the expression on the “chokra’s” face while the armenian’s wife was eating his melted 1 rupee ice-cream cone?

    and an inside story to you – recently alpona goswami (the louise of moon-square’s thelma in baidurya rahoshyo) visited us (she is my shashuri’s friend and i had to address her as alpona aunty – how sad!!!!)and she told us that moon-square eats makhon-bhat with aloo-shedho for breakfast everyday !!! no doubt we got to see so much butter that tempted dear anjan dutta’s aloos !!!!!!!!

  10. Blue cross/Blue shield – that’s a gem.
    Nice piece.

  11. Moonmoon sen looked so hot in her youth … moonmoon wants to prove that she is better than aparna sen. now its riya and raima’s turn to prove they are better than konkona . LOL.

  12. Anti-Gravity shoes!!!!! i had no idea that Prabhuji was the one to introduce them to the celluloid world…but i guess one should never doubt the “God”

  13. I remember a movie of Moon moon Sen and Shekhar Suman with Satish Shah- some light comedy-forgot the name though-but I remember her being a very nice actress

    And yes, damn! I missed my iPod !

  14. You know i watched this film on big screen. After dinner. That’s what real nausea’s all about. Had to sneak into ‘Partner’, going on in the next screen at Adlabs to bring back comfort to my eyes which refused to respond and brains that were pushing for August 15th after watching this.

  15. Moon-square sen is like a “be lagam”(1988)”musafir”(1986) who wants to run free and ‘dance dance'(87) in ‘chorus'(74)..she’s so sexy that her ‘shisha'(86) is her ‘majnu'(87), she has been ‘andar bahar'(84) of controversies and various ‘jaal'(86) had been set by her rivals such as mandakini ‘lekin'(90) she emerged as ‘waqt ka badsah'(92)
    She has made ‘love at time square'(03).’It was raining that night'(05) when ‘Taj Mahal'(03) was erected by her.. Her ‘irada'(91) was ‘kuch to hai'(03) which screams- “I dont wana be my mother”..
    We all know that her ‘Jakhmi rooh'(93) would not heal in ‘100 days'(91) or even if she is in ‘nil norjone'(03) of ‘Bow Barrack'(04) but we all know that ‘woh fir ayyegi'(88) as she is one ‘vishkanya'(91)


    R E S P E C T

  16. This is four times your average posts, but sixteen hundred times better than your last few. Brilliant !!

  17. oh ‘man’! you are back!!!! agree with Sandeep, moonsquare triggered you

  18. Mayri..moon square’s purpose on earth has been defined by you so explicitly..georgeda’s manmammaries was so exciting??
    Moon..yeah her was for a looong time the ubiquitious Boudi goddess that we all fantasized about at the rear end of Jadavpur BBD Bag mini…hoping she/or someone like she would plonk her peti and pacha beside the slavering us after dropping her khokha to school or just going to pick him up from Pantha Bhavan….
    hmmm…the saree greatly draped just between two 38D towers!!!!
    Moon square helped us through the 80s….

  19. arguably the hottest bong ever…

  20. Methinks, Suchitra Sen is the hottest and classiest of all Bong actresses…..ever. Only Mithunda’s imaginary daughter(unless there is actually one) can beat her in beauty and class.


    chee chee… barite maa-bon nei? Patho-Bhobon-e chele pore jaar, tar boyosh ontoto 30.

  21. @ neel and Rishi Khujur
    wtf? get your spelling right. It’s not ‘Pantha Bhavan’nor ‘Patho Bhobon’.
    It’s “Patha Bhaban”.

  22. @Rishi Khujur
    what? you cant ogle at a 30-ish woman?
    what, no hopes for us fat ole ladies?!?
    i dont know the colour of my LIC agent’s innerwear, but i am sure that he is going to run away if i just even leered at him.

    time i cultivated a gardener in hopes of getting a ‘suitable’ gardener.

  23. @swatidi,
    i agree with neel and disagree with rishi khujur(whatever it means)…trishordhho to kichhui noy, jadavpur fantasy chirokalin. fat old ladies’ p and p (as described by neel) zindabaad…MMS amar rahe

  24. @ Swati di
    Na..mane..ummm…mane…I didnt mean it that way.

    BBWs are always ogle-worthy (until maybe they are 50-ish).

  25. Absolutely hilarious reading. My first read incidentally. At times I laughed so hard and so long, my wife came running in to see what was wrong. The school’s name I think has been deliberately/correctly(perhaps?) spelt as “Pantha (as in goats/kids) Bhavan”
    The shriek of Moon squared as she pummels those “moobs” of George Baker was so horrifying it sounded like someone running from Count Dracula. Only afterwards, as one picked oneself up from the floor where he had been thrown in shock did one figure out what actually was going on.
    All in all a great read.

  26. GB,

    Have you forgotten Anjan Dutta’s classy notorious “244-1139” – “Chakri’ta pechi Bela shuncho?” that had all of Calcutta calling Mr.XYZ at the said number asking for Bela? Those werethe days – Nachiketa, Suman, and Anjan’s shortlived modern popular non-filmi Bangla music that had raced up the charts.

  27. And then Arnab, Moon Squared lost out in Hindi movies because she can’t speak her own lines. And without that husky voice, some starlet dubbing for her with her tinny shrieks, the full effect of the Moon Squared magic was lost. MM is our only true blue urban heroine.

  28. Great post, GB. Loved it.

    I agree that Anglo Indians are stereotyped, but I must say that the ones I knew (lots of classmates at school in Cal) were just that. “Man” at the end of every sentence and “Bloody” in between.

  29. Hi GB,
    I am a regular reader of your blog though I seldom comment. This time I could not resist. I must say you are back in form after a long time. Great post enjoyed it thoroughly! Esp. the self-referential humour.

    While we are there, I have a question… I have never understood the fascination you bongs have for Moon Square’s mom, Suchitra Sen. I found her acting to be very strange and laboured. I had first thought it might be because of the language(Hindi films), but then the other day I caught a few of my favourite Geeta Dutt bong songs on YouTube that were picturised on Ms Sen. I am sorry to say she is equally laboured in Bengali too. So what is it in her that has had generations of Bongs tied to her tear ducts? Anyone care enlighten me? 🙂

    Anyway, Keep writing.. Forget IPL and cricket and get back to films that is your forte!. I too await the review of Jimmy in great anticipation.

  30. i could cry…

  31. I haven’t seen this movie yet so it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment, but I do remember the movie The Bong Connection by Anjan Dutta.
    Though it suffered from stereotypical portrayal of characters and no surprises but still it had its entertaining moments too 🙂

    GB I have a request for you: Why don’t you review the incarnation of MP Fatakeshto and Mithunda’s brilliant return to mainstream Bangla movies.


  32. [Edited out: No libelous/unsubstantiated/over-the-top-personal comments please. I know this is a subjective thing but this comment made me “uncomfortable”.]

  33. Vintage (Moon Moon and the post). Awesome.

    The Animal Planet clip is tremendous. Baker moons Moon-Moon.

  34. @kaangeya:

    Suman is more versatile and has more talent than the other two put together, and more.


    You know what? I used to think the same when I was a kid. What was the big deal with Suchitra Sen? That was because the only exposure to Suchitra Sen I had till then was through some songs on TV when I visited Kolkata, where she was forced to use mannerisms as were in vogue in the B&W days.

    But her impact is most felt then you actually watch some of her movies. The brilliance hits you like a gale storm. I will just take two examples of movies that you might have access to.

    The first is the original Bengali version of Khamoshi (Waheeda Rehman, Rajesh Khanna). I think it is called Deep Jele Jayi (Lighting the Lamps). Her performance in that movie is so brilliant that it leaves even a great actress like Waheeda overshadowed when you compare the two.

    The other is the Hindi movie Aandhi. I dare you to name another actress of the time who could have played THAT role with the kind of insouciance, panache, and steel that Suchitra Sen did. A role with grey shades, that of a political, powerful, ruthless woman with a softer side that is revealed when she gets back in touch with an old flame/husband. Just watch it once more, please.

    She has also broken a mould in many of her films, frequently choosing roles that other actresses would run from. As an example, I offer another brilliant Hindi film – Bambai Ka Babu. The theme was so controversial, dealing as it did with tortured feelings of incest, love and identity, that I am continually amazed that it was made at all!

    I am sure others can give you many examples from Bengla films. I just thought Hindi examples would be easier for you to access.

  35. oh… wow… you have just sold the film to me… it has made to of my sunday afternoon list… GB gr8 post after a long long time… hilarious… facts about anjan dutt are very true…

  36. fatafaati as usual!!! Wonder if moon-moon has been neglected not only by the film fraternity but also by you. So, how about waxing eloquent before its too late, again.

  37. debasish ghosh May 23, 2008 — 10:54 am

    Since the vintage GB is back can we all have a post each on
    1) Nachiketa (we used to refer to him as kochi netaa)
    2)Feluda (as requested earlier)

  38. ‘… as a picture of Jesus Christ looks serenely on.’

    This is another one of Anjan Dutt’s favourite recurring methaphors or imageries or whatever. Remember ‘nona dewal theke jishu chhol chhol chokhe…’ from Maryanne? There’s a similar line in Samson as well, if I remember correctly.

  39. Absolutely hilarious !!! Esp the line “… giving passionate expressions and guttural sounds of the kind never seen outside Animal Planet.” Altho’ I haven’t seen the movie, this post assures me that I haven’t missed much. If I watch now, ur post will surely be on my mind. 🙂

  40. i didnt have the guts to sit through this movie. what a sham this whole genre of movie making is, supposedly by intelligent, intellectual, “hatke” people, who promise the moon and deliver a load of crap like moonmoon s histrionics.

  41. gb,
    ur back with a bang! so correct abt the ‘full stomach’ warning. even the hana highway induces less nausea.
    to my utter embarassment, i actually convinced my non-bong hubby to watch the film, assuming it’d be diff frm the rituparna, chumki choudhry types. now, he’s having the last laugh. 😦

    seriously, what was sabyasachi thinking? he was even worse than moon2 & neha dubey put together.

  42. I saw Jimmy today. I’ve never seen a movie before which so richly deserves a GreatBong review.

  43. hahhahaha…..


    i actually saw that ‘love making’ clip on U-tube…i thought this was one of the cinematic jewels of the ye olde eighties…did not realize this is actually quite a recent movie…

  44. @ drift wood

    ditto…my non bong wife actually enquired about the clip to my acute discomfiture…

  45. Oshadharon…..ekkeybare apnar onanukoroniyo style!!!

  46. This is wonderful, loved it.

  47. suggest me few modern classic bong movies..i have seen Titli far ..and i am a big fan of konkona.

  48. Anirban Mitra May 26, 2008 — 9:14 am

    But all said and done Arnab, she was probably the only Indian who made the great Imran go weak in the knees. You have to give her that!!!

  49. @Anonymous: Thanks

    @Rishi Khujur: Indeed they are.

    @Red: 🙂

    @Sap, Akasuna: Thanks

    @Raja Banerjee: The cornerstone of a healthy breakfast !

    @S.Pyne: Thanks

    @Sunny: Tall ask.

    @Sanny: Now you know.

    @Harshit: Do define the “nice”-ness

    @Moitra: Sneak into “Partner”? From the frying pan into the fire?

    @Andy_Pundit: 🙂

    @Sayandip, Somak: Thanks

    @Neel: Indeed

    @Kaunteya: After me that is

    @Mihir: Thanks

    @Kaangeya: No I have not. I have not indeed. But even that song has THE theme of most jibonmukhi songs..

    @Pighooey: Thanks

    @Ritu: I second Shan’s comment.

    @Chagol: So could I?

    @Dark lord: Havent been able to get hold of any of Mithunda’s Banglas..

    @Neeraj: Thanks

    @V: 🙂

    @Whatisinaname: How could I neglect her?

    @Debashish: Will remember that. Am not a big Feluda fan btw.

    @Shrabonti: Right !

    @Sen: 🙂

    @Nikhil: 🙂

    @Drift Wood: Agree. Sabyasachi was horrible especially that sequence where he comes and does something like a “haloom” tiger cry in a bid to seduce Neha Dubey. No wonder she was getting it on with the bare butt kid.

    @Shouri: Eighties? Oh lord no Moonsquare wasnt that old then

    @Abegprobon: Dhonyobad

    @Aditi: Thanks

    @Sunny: Let me suggest “Utsob” by Rituporno.

    @ANirban: It didnt take much to get Immie Khan on his knees. Zeenat managed that too.

  50. Anjan Dutt is one of Kolkata’s much vaunted “intellectuals”. His claim to fame, besides directing “art movies” , is singing “jeebonmukhi gaan” (English translation: life-affirming songs), the majority of which have one single theme. That being “I am a poor boy. You went away and married a rich man. Do you still remember me? Are you happy?”. And in the case of Anjan Dutt, it’s just not the subject but also the tune that gets recycled.

    i think arnab is unnecessarily harsh on anjan. he has written very good lyrics and sung them well (i do not know arnab’s taste — but of course anjan is no abdul karim khan). i cherish a lot of his compositions and they surely cover a wide variety of themes, not just the poor-boy-loses-rich-girl-to-a-rich-boy one. i suspect arnab is slowly becoming captive to his audience? nothing wrong with that, but it has its own shelf life. 🙂

    if there are some readers here who also enjoy anjan’s songs, you may listen to them here.

  51. @Naiverealist:

    A fan of Anjan Dutt who uses the word “shelf life”—hmmm I wonder how long the shelf life of Anjan Dutt was.:-)

    Incidentally, just because you do not agree with my choice of music does not mean that you get the right to “suspect” things about my motivations. Does it?

    And oh FYI I too enjoy(ed) Anjan Dutt songs (many eons ago) just like I enjoyed 2 Unlimited and Backstreet Boys. Doesn’t make either of them great artistes though.

  52. Arnab, just little info on “In an example of brilliant color-blind casting, perhaps the only Anglo-Indian from Kolkata, George Baker is cast as a married Bengali insurance agent”; George Baker is not an Anglo-Indian, he belongs to the Greek community. Unless if you want generalize Greeks or descendants of old Greek traders communities in Calcutta as Anglo-Indians too.

  53. arnab,

    you are right 🙂 i have no rights, only a keyboard 🙂

    i am sure you have liked ‘calcium’ and ‘jachche chole’…

    i don’t know what is — or should be — the trajectory of one’s music tastes.. probably something like this?
    cliff richards –> michael jackson –> carpenters/ love songs with one tear drop on the cheek –> rock –> heavy metal –> rock –> blues –> jazz –> classical

    in bengali music there’s no such categorization; one could move from gouriprasanna to atulprasad, shyamasangeet, and rabindranath (and within that from sagatalakshmi –> debabrata –> subinoy, arghya sen and arabinda biswas). and get a great deal of energy from calcutta youth choir’s ‘pathe ebar namo sathi… tokhon e gan tole tufan, nobin prane plabon ane dike dike’…

    i am already sounding funny. btw, it is probably because of location — but i still enjoy some songs of pratul, nachiketa, suman and anjan.

    enjoyed your article in Outlook ! keep writing.

  54. Seriously Daeboo, is there any truth to this rumour of George Baker being Greek?

    Yes, there was a Greek community in Cal, there’s even a Greek Orthodox church. But I do recall seeing an article in The Telegraph where Baker himself claimed he was Anglo-Indian. Who can argue with that?

  55. I liked your blog and it is beautiful and mindblowing

  56. No writing on MoonMoon Sen can be complete without the mention of serial “Grihadaha” where the Plump Ranjit Mullick competed with Plumper Shmoit Bhanja (The bong hero who wasnt ever ‘there’) to get ‘Achala’ Moonmoon’s attention. Considering Moonmoon was not any featherweight herself, she rendered the state of rest of Achala rather well and therefore the serial could not ‘run successfully'(nahin chala). I get goosebumps recollecting her husky nyaka voice dialogues with her pet parakeet ‘Kakatua’ in this serial. No one has been able to bring in a new insight into the character other than Supriya Debi with her rendition of ‘Janani’.

    Also remember reading in old Anondolok (column by Mokkhiraani who I believe is an alias for Rituporno) that after hearing about Prabhuji’s film on RamKrishnaDev, she showed interest to do Mother Teresa. But on hearing that Prabhuji has been maintaining a ‘satvik’ lifestyle prior to and through the entire shoot, she changed her mind. She confessed that she could not be so devoid of ‘pleasures’ for a role!!.

  57. Dont have to e Satvik to play Theresa. Jesus already died for all the sins that may be committed.

  58. From another bengali by birth June 2, 2008 — 12:20 pm

    Well, I don’t know how I landed up at

    In case the post reopens, my comments.

    I think Bengalees are by default FAT > LAZY > and Freaking Idiots, lot of talks and excuses to be more lazy. I am too small to comment on a community that give the 3 fundamental words to the country (Jai Hind, Bande Mataram, and JANA GANA), but this more about the attitude and an approach to life that I saw around since; well I’m 32 now.

    They are more confident in flexing stupid muscles to a fellow Bengali and big talks at home. Gossiping, happy with what they have @ less to lesser work as possible. oh well, the intellectuals and the ‘DOL PAKANO’ thing.

    Sometime back I saw 42yrs old guys, who gets 1500 per month at the office for doing basic accounting and seat around all the day, he never wanted to work hard to get a better salary where the other guy the guard earns better them for doing more than standing/seating around.
    Or a Ricksaw puller in Kolkata, who used to own a TAXI in Delhi, preferred to buy Ricksaw selling his TAXI, for him it was Too hard work to be in Delhi and just the other way around, Non -Bengali TAXI drivers in Kolkata. Bengali TAXI drivers like playing cards all the day or can’t get a Taxi on rent because they could pay only less than the non-Bengali drivers.

    Best thing I heard few days back in a comedy show,
    HANUMAN was from which community. Must be a Bengali else who could burn up his tail for..

  59. Uff Sen-fan, jaa-taa! No one shit-talks Samit Bhanja. The man in his youth was pretty much the only tolerable hottie in Bengali films after Soumitro. Have you seen him in Aranyer Din Ratri?

  60. Arnab, MMS’s debut in “Rajbodhu” was in ’82 and she was already over 30 then. But gorgeous. Pity she never bothered to act. But even Anil Kapoor’s pelt could not dissuade us from going to see “Andar Bahar” – MMS in bikini! Va va voom! (Come on, this was 1985!)

    Weird thing is, she is very articulate and nice in person. Even witty, at times. Must be some strange neurosis that makes her project such a skanky public image.

    This “Bengali by birth” person is fascinating. May we have some more from him, please? Such insight, such erudition.


  61. Incidentally George Baker is Armenian in reality.

  62. Arindam – see now that makes a whole lot more sense – there was always a bigger Armenian community than Greek in Calcutta.

  63. Wow…..thats a lovely post about the iconic moon-square….sums about all I ever wanted to say and all I never thought of! Thanks to Great Bong, all is now in public domain. Cool one….would look out for your summary of Kumar Sanu someday!!

  64. Anjan Dutt is slowly emerging as the Ed Woods of Bangla Cinema.Pure Camp Cinema.Bad cinema becoming acceptable. His Bara Din (or as the Bongs say’ekta doi bora din’) is Anjans contribution to Hindi Camp Cinema.The entire film is so tragically puky that at some point it becomes watchable. All his films have recycled portions from other films all churned up and ejected half digested from either of the orifices.
    Jeo Guru. Jeo

  65. GB – great work. this is the first time I read ur work and wish it was more. didnt find it long at all. was hilarious.

    Fateh – ditto. anjan dutt is definitely India’s answer to Ed Wood. I managed to enter Chowrasta today and exited during interval (thank God for interval). Cant believe I went for it even after being tortured by Bong Connection.

    Harshit – c’mon. if u found it long, u gotta hv missed the punchlines.

Have An Opinion? Type Away

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close