Prince and I: When Mamata Banerjee visited Buckingham Palace

Malini Banerjee
Malini BanerjeeJul 28, 2015 | 14:31

Prince and I: When Mamata Banerjee visited Buckingham Palace

The King and I a Rogers and Hammerstein musical (yes the same people who did The Sound Of Music) was about an educated Welsh widow (Deborah Kerr) who becomesa live-in governess to the King of Siam (Yule Brenner). In the movie Siam's King and its politics were exotic to the wide-eyed widow Anna. Maybe quite as much as our tangail jamdani wrapped chappal wearing didi was to the Prince.


Excerpts from the film re-imagined and re-interpreted with real pictures from Didi's tea with the Prince .


The King And I

King: Now, shall Mr Lingkong be winning this war he is fighting at present?

Anna: No one knows really.

King: Well, does he have enough guns and elephants for transporting things?

Anna: I don't think they have elephants in America, your majesty.

King: No elephants? No wonder he is not winning war!


Didi: Say, how do you manage to keep you streets so well ordered despite the traffic?

Prince: No one knows really.

Didi: Well, don't the hawkers and autos cause trouble?

Prince: I don't imagine have either in London.

Didi: No autos? No wonder its all so orderly!


The King And I

Tuptim: Good day, Madam. My name is Tuptim. I already speak English.

Anna: And very nicely, too.


Didi: Good day, Your Grace.  Though you know me as Mamata Banerjee, my country men call me didi. I already speak English.

(tongue firmly in cheek) Prince: And very nicely, too.


The King And I

Anna: Oh, but this is a lie!

King: [in agreement] It is a FALSE lie!


Sanjeev Goenka: I think Kolkata will be London anytime soon.

Prince: Oh, but this is a lie!

Didi: [in agreement] It is a FALSE lie!

(Sanjeev Goenka breaks into  a grin)


The King And I

King: You are very difficult woman!

Anna: Perhaps so, Your Majesty.


Prince: You are very difficult woman!

Didi: Perhaps so, Your Majesty.

Last updated: July 28, 2015 | 14:49
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