BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 13 JULY 2022
In an informal freewheeling chat with Shatrughan Sinha, popularly known as Shotgun of Bollywood, the actor turned politician unveils about his penchant for bangla foods.
“ Do not attempt to change him. Of the 1.25 crores people of India, he stands out as unique,” describes Bollywood’s Sahenshah, Amitabh Bachchan about his close friend Shatrughan Sinha.
Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi are the jamai babus of Bengal. Their wives – Jaya Bachchan and Shairmila Tagore hailed from Bengal.
But besides playing a major role in a Bengali film and doing shootings for two of his superhit films- Kaala Patthar and Kalka in the nondescript dusty coal mining areas of Asansol, Shatrughan Sinha didn’t have any such direct relations like Bachchan and Patuidi, until he became the newest lok sabha MP of West Bengal after winning the Asansol by polls in April this year by a record of over three lakhs votes margin.
Talking to The Travel and Tourism Times, Shatrughan Sinha , the youngest of the four brothers described how much he is connected with the Bengali culture, rituals, and off course the mouth watering cuisines since the past few decades.
In his long journey as a student and an actor his Bengal connections dates from studying acting under the celluloid genius Ritwick Ghatak, who was at that time the Vice Principal of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune to acting in his lone bengali feature film in Goutam Ghosh’s Antarjali Jatra.
Besides like all other bhadralok bengalis his penchant for wearing white dhotis for himself and buying Bengali red sarees with black borders or vice versa for his wife, Ponnam Sinha as new clothes during Durga Pujas.
His wife also wears a sindoor in forehead and looks like a Bengali married woman in saris,as per the wish of Shatrughan Sinha.
“ Bangla khabar amar khubi priyo ( I am very much fond of bengali
cuisines) and particularly love bong cuisines like – bhapa hilsa, bhetki paturi, muri ghonto, moong dal, aloo dum with lutchi and begun bhaja, steamed rice with gondhoraj lemon,” says Shatrughan Sinha.
His wife wife Punam Sinha loves cooking and cooks almost all cuisines including Chinese, continental , Bengali delicacies very well for him but these days she has learnt the culinary skills of cooking bhetki paturi and other famous Bengali cuisines from the Asansol hotel chef, he claims
“ Knowing my love for Bengali foods RJD supremo and former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav used to send me the original delicious Padma hilsa fishes, journalist M.J.Akbar used to offer me Bengali thalis and during the shooting break of Antarjali jatra, Goutam Ghosh used to supply me coconut water and hilsa fishes in meals to beat the extreme summer heat and all these facts I have mentioned and you can find in prints inside my autobiography – ANYTHING BUT KHAMOSH,” adds Shatrughan Sinha.
After his emphatic win from Asansol this world renowned personality, actor turned politician has emerged as one of the biggest cultural brand ambassadors of Experience Bengal: The Sweetest Part of India, whom Tamil superstar Rajnikanth described , “ They used to call me the Shatrughan Sinha of the South.”