HT Image
HT Image

When Mamata Banerjee took bath with a saucepan

In life as in politics, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is known to have unconventional ways. Banerjee reveals how she used saucepans for taking bath during her trip to New York in 1998 in her just-published memoirs My Unforgettable Memories.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2012 08:04 AM IST

In life as in politics, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is known to have unconventional ways, like when she used saucepans for taking bath during her trip to New York in 1998 or bought lip balms mistaking them for lipsticks.

"I had left a saucepan in the bathroom because in American hotels, it is difficult to get buckets or mugs. When I entered my room, I bumped into the cleaning lady and she was quite bewildered about the saucepan in the bathroom," Banerjee writes in her just-published memoirs My Unforgettable Memories".

"I tried to explain to her that I use it to take my bath but she just could not understand," she says recalling the funny incident.

Call her unsmart or whatever, the chief minister once rode pillion on a motorbike in rural Bengal and even now wears 'hawai chappals' (rubber slippers) to office.

She was candid enough to say in her book, "When it comes to things like this (shopping), I am not very smart; in fact, kids today are far smarter than me."

She said she had never been fond of dressing up and wearing make-up.

While returning from the same trip, where she had gone as part of a UN delegation, she wrongly bought lip balms in place of lipsticks while shopping for gifts for friends and family with her USD 100 savings.

"For the girls in my family I bought chapsticks (a brand of lip balm) believing they were lipsticks. When I gave it to them, I said, "See aren't the colours pretty". They said, "Sure, but they are all the same colour... these are chapsticks."

W

hen all the girls, including her niece, started laughing at her, she gave them a curt reply, "Next time, one of you should come along to make sure that I am buying the right stuff."

But the girls said they were happy that 'Didi' bought something for them.

"At home, I sometimes amuse myself styling or cutting hair and my victims are the ladies of our household. But otherwise, it is my family that takes care of my needs everything from toothpaste, to saris, and bedsheets. I do not keep track of all this and my mother and I pretty much live like guests in our own house," she writes in the book published by Roli Books.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021). (Elsa Dorfman via Wikimedia Commons)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021). (Elsa Dorfman via Wikimedia Commons)

Essay: The importance of Lawrence Ferlinghetti

By Chintan Girish Modi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 05:38 PM IST
The courtroom drama around Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s publication of Alan Ginsberg’s Howl (1956), that focussed on the defence of free expression, provides a case study for contemporary writers, filmmakers, and stand-up comedians in other parts of the world facing censorship
Close
The story of that Indian-origin barrister, George Edalji, has now been dug up in detail and brought to life in a new book by London-based historian-author Shrabani Basu(Amazon)
The story of that Indian-origin barrister, George Edalji, has now been dug up in detail and brought to life in a new book by London-based historian-author Shrabani Basu(Amazon)

New book uncovers Indian mystery probed by Sherlock Holmes author

PTI, London
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 10:27 AM IST
Arthur Conan Doyle was drawn to investigate just one real-life crime during his lifetime and it involved a British Indian man wrongly accused of a series of mysterious crimes in an English village in the early 20th century.
Close
On this week’s reading list: a portrayal of the publishing world in India, lessons from the unusual career of a civil servant, and a critique of illiberalism and violence in Indian politics. (HT Team)
On this week’s reading list: a portrayal of the publishing world in India, lessons from the unusual career of a civil servant, and a critique of illiberalism and violence in Indian politics. (HT Team)

HT Picks; New Reads

By HT Team
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:46 PM IST
This week’s list of interesting reads includes a satire on the Indian publishing scene, insights from the career trajectory of an atypical bureaucrat, and a critique of the illiberal forces that dominate our lives
Close
Author Sharanya Manivannan (Catriona Mitchell)
Author Sharanya Manivannan (Catriona Mitchell)

Interview: Sharanya Manivannan, author, Mermaids in the Moonlight

By Chintan Girish Modi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:30 PM IST
The Chennai-based author makes her debut as an illustrator with Mermaids in the Moonlight, a picture book for children drenched in folklore, magic and the history of the civil war in Sri Lanka
Close
A farmer ploughs his fields under the relentless sun. (Shutterstock)
A farmer ploughs his fields under the relentless sun. (Shutterstock)

Review: Along with the Sun edited by Ki. Rajanarayanan

PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:13 PM IST
Caste, cattle and moneylenders decide the fate of the underclass in this anthology of 20 stories from the Karisal region of Tamil Nadu
Close
At the Charminar in Hyderabad, India. (Shutterstock)
At the Charminar in Hyderabad, India. (Shutterstock)

Excerpt: Born a Muslim by Ghazala Wahab

By Ghazala Wahab
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:04 PM IST
Ghazala Wahab’s new book looks at how the world’s second largest religion is practised in India. This exclusive first excerpt is from a chapter on the changing face of Muslim society in the country
Close
Flower power: A flower market in Bengaluru. (Shutterstock)
Flower power: A flower market in Bengaluru. (Shutterstock)

Review: Flower Shower by Alka Pande

By Subhashini Chandramani
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:34 PM IST
Aesthetically designed and with an engaging narrative, each chapter of the book begins with a carefully chosen quote and every page is steeped in fascinating information. The rose, the lotus, the champa and the marigold are only some of the flowers that feature in this beautiful volume
Close
Usually, successful entrepreneurs share their life journeys through autobiographies, but Irfan Izhar has chosen poetry for this purpose. (Representational Image) (Unsplash)
Usually, successful entrepreneurs share their life journeys through autobiographies, but Irfan Izhar has chosen poetry for this purpose. (Representational Image) (Unsplash)

Dubai filmmaker Irfan Izhar unveils maiden book in Delhi

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:27 PM IST
Irfan Izhar, packaging industry baron made a resounding debut as an author with the launch of 'Samundar Samne Hai', a compilation of his reverberating Urdu poems.
Close
The story follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage.(Wikimedia Commons )
The story follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage.(Wikimedia Commons )

Hillary to co-write thriller on 'State of Terror'

PTI, New York
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 08:00 PM IST
Former US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and her long-time friend Louise Penny will come out with a novel "State of Terror" which will be published on October 12 by Pan Macmillan India.
Close
Author Anuja Chauhan says she has attempted a whodunnit in her new book, Club You To Death, which is a mystery based in Delhi.
Author Anuja Chauhan says she has attempted a whodunnit in her new book, Club You To Death, which is a mystery based in Delhi.

Book is full of Bangalorean characters, hopefully no one comes to know: Anuja Chauhan

By Henna Rakheja, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 06:31 PM IST
Author Anuja Chauhan reminisces the time when she decided to settle in Bengaluru, and feels elated to have made the Garden City her home.
Close
The book, titled "India: A Scamster Born Every Minute", will be released under Penguin's Viking imprint in 2022, the publishing house said in a statement.(penguin.co.in)
The book, titled "India: A Scamster Born Every Minute", will be released under Penguin's Viking imprint in 2022, the publishing house said in a statement.(penguin.co.in)

Upcoming book by Snigdha Poonam to expose subculture of scams in India

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 05:16 PM IST
Penguin Random House India on Wednesday announced the acquisition of a new book by award-winning journalist and author Snigdha Poonam that gives an insight into the subculture of scams, cons and frauds in the country.
Close
The first wonder written in the genre, this book brings together various YouTubers and their journeys on paper. (Representational Image) (Pixabay)
The first wonder written in the genre, this book brings together various YouTubers and their journeys on paper. (Representational Image) (Pixabay)

Ajitabha Bose pens journey of YouTubers in his book 'The Youtube Stars of India'

ANI, New Delhi [india]
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 07:50 PM IST
The book holds soul-inspiring journeys of the most influential YouTubers penned by India's most popular pocketbook writer Ajitabha Bose which features Youtubers like CarryMinati, Ashish Chanchlani, Amit Bhadana, Harsh Beniwal, Prajakta Koli, Mortal and many more.
Close
"India's rich tapestry is woven together by her stories. These tales can be from the great epics and mythology, or from the ancient history of this rich land.(Unsplash)
"India's rich tapestry is woven together by her stories. These tales can be from the great epics and mythology, or from the ancient history of this rich land.(Unsplash)

HarperCollins, Amar Chitra Katha announce joint venture

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 07:01 PM IST
Amar Chitra Katha has joined hands with HarperCollins India to bring the iconic folktales of India from its comic books in a new format for younger readers.
Close
Bare Necessities: How to Live a Zero Waste Life(Instagram)
Bare Necessities: How to Live a Zero Waste Life(Instagram)

Bare Necessities: Book shows how to lead sustainable lifestyle in India

PTI, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 06:46 PM IST
A "one-stop guide" on how to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle in India, "Bare Necessities: How to Live a Zero Waste Life", published by Penguin, is written by environmentalist Sahar Mansoor and sustainability consultant Tim De Ridder.
Close
"When I went looking for masterminds of science in India, I found so many that I was overwhelmed... We decided upon the inventions and discoveries that twisted our toes and made us agog with wonder.(Amazon)
"When I went looking for masterminds of science in India, I found so many that I was overwhelmed... We decided upon the inventions and discoveries that twisted our toes and made us agog with wonder.(Amazon)

Book introduces children to rare discoveries of Indian scientists

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 04:11 PM IST
An upcoming book will educate children about the daring discoveries and ingenious inventions of India's brightest scientists.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP