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Daily Fix

You Like Potato,
I Like Potaahto





Things have come to a pretty pass
Our romance is growing flat …

Goodness knows what the end will be
Oh I don't know where I'm at
It looks as if we two will never be one
Something must be done:

You say ee-ither and I say aye-ither,
You say nee-ither and I say naye-ither
Ee-ither, aye-ither, nee-ither, naye-ither
Let's call the whole thing off.

You like potato and I like potaahto
You like tomato and I like tomaahto
Potato, potaahto, tomato, tomaahto.
Let's call the whole thing off …

[Famously sung by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald]


Trust Hindutva’s India to come up with something really, really silly every morning, right on cue. I’m beginning to think that they have a whole RSS brigade in khaki shorts whose mandate it is to invent something uniquely goofy every day.

Get it? I-N-V-EN-T! They’re good at inventing things, aren’t they? They’ve been busy at it since the heady prehistoric vedic good-ol’-days of urrhan-khatolas and sudharshan chakras and similar hi-tech!

Here’s this morning’s invented stupidity. Here’s how Rishi Iyengar reports it in TIME magazine.

*   *   *   *   *

Mihir Joshi, an Indian musician recording his first album last year, needed a word to rhyme with today in one of his songs and found one that he thought fit perfectly. But India’s Central Board of Film Certification disagreed, and replaced it with a beep when the music video debuted on TV over the weekend.

The word they had an issue with, much to Joshi’s surprise, was 'Bombay'.

“I started laughing and I said, ‘What are you talking about?’” the 33-year-old singer told the New York Times.

Bombay is the former name of India’s financial capital of over 20 million people, but in 1995 it was changed to Mumbai on the demands of the right-wing party governing the city at the time. The party claimed Bombay was a symbol of British imperialism, and changed it to better represent local culture. Similar renaming initiatives were implemented in other Indian cities like Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Chennai (formerly Madras) and Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore).

But old habits die hard, and many Mumbai citizens still refer to the city as Bombay. In fact, as the
Wall Street Journal points out, there are several private and government institutions that have retained the colonial-era name.

“I have nothing against the word Mumbai,” Joshi added. “I’m not calling it Constantinople or Atlantis or whatever.”

The board’s decision prompted outrage from several Twitter users, whose choice of hashtag ironically made
#Bombay the top trend in Mumbai on Monday [February 2, 2015].

*   *   *   *   *

So much for the millions marching around the world crying themselves hoarse for freedom of expression and stuff like that.

If this carries on for much longer, I fear we may have to add a section on the homepage titled MODI-ISMS. With the sub-title: “Today’s Stupidity From India”.

In the meantime, I think we’ll start a jihad of our own against this newly invented Indian freedom to be infinitely bonkers.

Henceforth, the word ’Mumbai’ is banished from our pages for all future postings, until further notice.

It’s B-O-M-B-A-Y.

And we’ll go further.


And … M-A-D-R-A-S … B-A-N-G-A-L-O-R-E …

Like Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, it’s gonna keep on coming back.

Now, put that in your chaa and slurp it.

*   *   *   *   *

P.S. In case you’re wondering … this foolishness didn’t just happen out of the blue.

A mere two weeks ago, specifically on January 19, 2015, a new chairperson -- Pahlaj Nihalani -- was appointed to India’s Censor Board. That is, soon after the previous chief, Leela Samson, resigned in disgust, alleging ‘interference by the government’ in Board matters, citing "coercion and corruption." 13 other Board members resigned along with her.

The government has, with undue haste, stacked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by appointing nine more of its hackeys including “an RSS ideologue, a BJP general secretary, the BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Howrah and a playwright who has scripted a movie on PM Narendra Modi.”

The new Chair’s qualification? He recently produced a six-minute campaign video for Modi titled 'Har Ghar Modi'.

Then there are: BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo (BJP, Gujarat); Ramesh Patange (RSS); Ashoke Pandit; Chandra Prakash Dwivedi; Syed Abdul Bari (Gujarat); Mihir Bhuta (who wrote a film script on Modi); George Baker (BJP, Calcutta); S Ve Sekhar (BJP); and Jeevitha (BJP).

None of them are bright lights by any stretch of the imagination. Nor are they known for being leaders in either high taste or good judgement.

You see what I see? The daily silliness’s in India are not random … they are umbilically hitched to the wacko new ‘high command‘ that‘s now running that sad country. 

February 4, 2015


Conversation about this article

1: Aryeh Leib Lerner (Israel), February 05, 2015, 3:20 AM.

Well, let's see. St. Petersburg became Petrograd, then Leningrad ... and is now Petersburg again! So, anything's possible.

2: Kaala Singh (Punjab), February 09, 2015, 11:49 AM.

They even renamed the Connaught Place market in Delhi as Rajiv Chowk -- yes, you guessed right -- the mass-murderer Rajiv Gandhi!

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I Like Potaahto"

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