Friday, December 15, 2006
Yesterday, Koena Mitra found herself stranded in Trivandrum because the traders there suddenly decided to call a 24-hour bandh. Said Koena, speaking from the Taj Hotel in Trivandrum, 'I had come here for the opening of the Kinetic store.
I attended the opening but when I was returning to the hotel, the driver told me that the LDF had called a 24-hour bandh from 12 am on Wednesday till 12 am today. I was to take an early morning Jet Airways flight today, but missed it because of the bandh. My hairdresser and I are stranded in Trivandrum.'
Adding that no stray incidents have affected her, Koena says, 'There's complete silence here. Not a single cycle or car is on the road either. In fact, they told us that the only way they could get us to the airport was if they could get a police van to escort us there. My organiser, who is also stranded with us, hasn't managed to do that till now. On Tuesday night, huge crowds had gathered near the hotel and were shouting slogans.'
Kerala's ruling party, the Left Democratic Front (LDF), is supporting the traders' bandh.
Till Wednesday night, Koena hadn't got a flight back to Mumbai. 'We called all the airlines and asked them which flights were available. We had to let go of four flights. A lot of airlines didn't want to land or take off. Also, they needed a minimum number of passengers to fly.'
Living on dosa
How is she spending her time? 'I am watching TV. The food here is not great. They cook all the food in coconut oil, including omelette, so I am living on idli-dosa and black coffee. I walked to a local temple with my hairdresser as there was no transport available.'
Adds a source close to Koena, 'The manager of the hotel said the problem didn't happen overnight but was decided long back. Koena wasn't informed. The local people who were a part of the event forgot to inform the Mumbai group.'
Koena is worried about her rehearsals. She is performing for a product launch in Lonavala today and Star Gold's Sabsey Favourite Kaun tomorrow. 'I won't have much time to rehearse for my Lonavala show as I will be reaching today.'
She performs at the Sabsey Favorite Kaun show along with Bipasha Basu, Akshay Kumar and Shiney Ahuja. 'I am very excited as there will be a surprise element in my dance - one of my co-stars who has never performed before will make his first stage appearance with me.'
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