iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Dibyojyoti Baksi, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 29, 2013
Actor-turned-politician and presently Congress spokesman, Raj Babbar’s controversial remark (at an All India Congress Committee briefing) about the, full meal at Rs. 12 in Mumbai, has been slammed nationwide.

He reportedly said, “People should have full meals two times a day. How one can have it is a very good question that you have asked. Even today in Mumbai city, I can have a full meal at Rs. 12. No no not bada paav. So much of rice, daal saambhar and with that some vegetables are also mixed. (sic)"

Following this, criticism came thick and fast, and a statement expressing regret has also been issued since. So we didn’t ask Bollywood celebrities to add to the long list of reactions. Instead, we asked them to talk about the cheapest meals they remember having eaten.

Richa Chadda, actor: Around seven years ago in a subsidised canteen, I had a south Indian thali for Rs. 15. It was in an ashram in Ganeshpuri, located outside Mumbai. Then, three years back, I found food for Rs. 25 at an Udipi place in Mumbai. 

Huma Qureshi, actor: Three or four years back, outside National Defence College (Delhi), I had a plate of roadside Momos for Rs. 20, and Chhole Kulche for Rs. 15 outside Gargi College (also in Delhi).

Shoojit Sircar, filmmaker: It was a long time ago in Kolkata. I remember having a full meal with rice, dal and a piece of fish for just Rs. 2.50. It was at a roadside eatery in Baghbazar in 2001 or 2002.

Manoj Bajpai, actor: Kolkata has always been the place where you get the cheapest meals. In 1989 or 1990, on Theatre Road in Kolkata, I had a Chicken Roll for just Rs. 10; the Egg Rolls were even cheaper. Now, it has gone up to Rs. 30, which is still cheap.

Vir Das, actor-comedian: The cheapest meal I’ve had was when I was studying in the US. I was broke. I made friends with a cook at this place called Akbar’s. He’d sell me samosas for 10 cents apiece. I would get 10 samosas for a dollar (nearly Rs. 60), which was my lunch and dinner. 

Tusshar, actor: While shooting for Shootout At Wadala in the interiors of Pune, John Abraham and I had Thecha (a vegetarian maharashtrian preparation) with bajra ki roti. That cost us Rs. 25.