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Shaken and stirred

Poor pay, less recognition have taken the sheen off MI6 spies. They can’t live up to the James Bond image.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2012 00:01 IST
Hindustan Times

This is certainly not licensed to thrill. The James Bond we know and love drives an Aston Martin, has his martinis shaken, not stirred and has beauteous women hanging on to his arm. And how we delighted in his saucy banter with M, his insouciance when faced with death. But, it would seem that real life Bonds are in short supply these days.

The head of British intelligence MI6 Sir John Sawers has been lamenting that poor pay and little recognition have put off new recruits for the agency. After all, who wants to take risks with their lives for so little? At starting salaries of £25,000, a martini or swish car cannot be on the menu every day. And the lovely ladies will be in short supply too if you are not in an Armani suit and rattling around a tony hotel. So in future, we will have to be content with the screen Bonds. Who can forget Sean Connery with his whisky-soaked rasp, the elegant Roger Moore, the sharp Pierce Brosnan or the rugged charm of Daniel Craig?

In actual fact, the world of espionage is fraught with danger and not really half as glamorous as the screen depictions. If diplomats can have hardship allowances, surely those ferreting out information for their country are entitled to a few perks. But, none of this life for our Indian spooks. They seem to be faceless bureaucrats who would never speak of anything being shaken or stirred, least of all a martini. But maybe, just maybe, one fine day we will have our own version of Bond movies. And who would play Bond? Could it be one of the Khans or would they be too short? Could it be Hrithik? Or is he too good looking? Well, we leave it to you. Do let us know if you have any ideas.

First Published: Jul 24, 2012 23:59 IST