ENTERTAINMENT: Guess who’s misunderstood – Tweet swipe at Bachchan after metro blog – so no taking alternative suggestions of greater minds to solve ‘un-aesthetic & haphazard’ transport developments and smugly happy with pure desi-kish ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY SATISH NANDGAONKAR
Mumbai, Aug. 31: Amitabh Bachchan, who effortlessly set the screen ablaze with rapid-fire dialogue delivery, is struggling to get his message across in blogosphere and Twitterverse.
“So bye bye privacy and hello fellow traveller,” he blogged about a metro corridor that will rise above the protective walls of his Juhu bungalow Prateeksha.
A Twitterer shot back: “mr @SrBachchan has a problem with mumbai metro well i have a solution for u sir throw away u r cars try to travel in local trains.”
Ouch! Bachchan, one of the most articulate actors who chooses his words with surgical precision during interviews, was left explaining to Ayush_A on Twitter that “I most certainly do not have any problem with metro…do not fall a victim to mischief makers…read my blog first and see.”
But a problem he does seem to be having in communicating on this issue, even to one-time “brother” Amar Singh.
“Big B has every right to be unhappy about his privacy. But public development should always get priority. Lata Mangeshkar had problems with the Peddar Road flyover. But the flyover didn’t stop. Public necessities are more important than individual inconveniences,” said the politician who used to follow Bachchan everywhere.
The metro is expected to carry the burden that the suburban railway and bus network cannot handle and provide much-needed relief to millions of commuters.
In 2006, the government initiated some 146km of metro rail links that would criss-cross Mumbai and its suburbs at the cost of Rs 19,525 crore. In Phase I, the Metro-I Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar link and Metro-II Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd link will be constructed. Reliance Infra, owned by another Bachchan friend Anil Ambani, has won both bids.
Juhu residents are unhappy with the elevated corridor and have been demanding for months that the metro line go underground, so that their privacy is not disturbed.
Bachchan, who showed the world how fiercely he guards his privacy when son Abhishek got married, has not gone as far as Lata Mangeshkar did when she threatened to quit Mumbai if a flyover was built outside her balcony on Peddar Road.
But some heard a sigh in his blog. “It is finally happening. The metro rail being laid over the metropolis called Mumbai, some under the ground, some above over large tracts of cement structures is taking shape. There is general happiness from the commuters, for the misery of crowded locals and the uncertainties of the three wheeler or the yellow black cab shall hopefully be greatly reduced. But here is the killer… its going to roll over Prateeksha!!” he wrote.
“Yesterday the authorities came over to check externally the structural condition of all houses that would get affected by the rail car moving in its proximity and they came into Prateeksha. So, bye bye privacy, and hello fellow traveler.”
If Bachchan was looking for sympathy, the brick-and-mortar world would have been a more hospitable place than Twitterverse, where he has 3.7 lakh followers, at least on Tuesday.
He found support from the Shiv Sena. Describing him as an “ asli (true) Mumbaikar”, Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said: “I have read his blog, and I don’t think he is opposing the metro project. Whenever it comes to Mumbai, the Bachchan family has shared its joys and sorrows. Asha Bhosle had also voiced her problems with Peddar Road flyover. Everyone feels the need for privacy. But it can’t become a hurdle when it comes to development.”