Now this boomeranged. Shobhaa De, who defines herself as a 'journalist, columnist, social commentator, opinion-shaper and author of 18 books' as per her Twitter bio, tried to shape an opinion here, even if it intended to begin a series light-hearted conversation or a 'pun-intended corollary' or a simple 'absent-minded' attempt to draw a humorous marker.
But it didn't go down well. The pun was on her and it was so direct and open, unlike 'her intended pun', that she was forced to backtrack and had to come forward to issue clarification that she 'didn't intend to offend anyone'. But then, in the style of 'old habits don't go', she ended up giving advice to the Madhya Pradesh Police to 'consult a dietician if indeed the image of the overweight policeman was authentic'.
Shobhaa De @DeShobhaa
Mumbai/Maharashtra Police, pranaam. No offence intended. M.P. police, consult a dietician,if it's an asli ,undoctored image doing the rounds
11:39 AM - 22 Feb 2017
We all saw what the Mumbai Police response did here. Let's see how the Madhya Pradesh Police responds, if at all it goes to respond.
It was began yesterday. Mumbaikars were voting for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls and as happens, the security apparatus of the city was geared up to meet the occasion with heavy police deployment. The election process went on smoothly and the day thankfully passed without any incident.
But Shobhaa De, the famed but controversial socialite of Mumbai social circles, known for especially her controversial tweets these days, thought to take a different take on this heavy police deployment. She tweeted 'heavy police bandobast in Mumbai today!' with an old photograph of an overweight policeman thrust somehow in a plastic chair. The photograph is a Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp favourite and has done rounds and rounds of social media circulation.
Shobhaa De @DeShobhaa
Heavy police bandobast in Mumbai today!
7:02 PM - 21 Feb 2017
Now it was for Shobaa De only to clarify what was her intention behind tweeting her mind with photograph but the Mumbai Police certainly did not like it, 'even if there was an intended pun in Shobhaa De's tweet'
The Mumbai Police tweeted to express its displeasure, tagging Shobhaa De and her tweet, and pinned it as well. It said it too loved jokes but certainly not the ones in bad taste, like this one by Shobhaa De. And it certainly expected a better corollary from a responsible citizen like Shobhaa De.
Mumbai Police @MumbaiPolice
We love puns too Ms De but this one is totally misplaced. Uniform/official not ours. We expect better from responsible citizens like you.
9:53 PM - 21 Feb 2017
After this Mumbai Police tweet, now the joke was on Shobhaa De. Twitterati soon began slamming Shobhaa De and it is still continued unabated.
And we can say the Janata consensus can be summed in comedian Suresh Menon's response. Responding to the Mumbai Police tweet, he wrote, "well said Mumbai Police, but please forgive Shobha aunty. It's called attempted humour cum hallucinations as age sets in."
Suresh Menon @sureshnmenon
@MumbaiPolice well said but please forgive Shobha aunty ....its called attempted humour cum hallucinations as age sets in 😊
9:57 PM - 21 Feb 2017
Right or wrong, Shobhaa De has been in multiple controversies with her tweets. She was slammed for Rio selfie tweet where she mocked the Indian contingent at Rio Olympics last August, "Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao. Selfies lo. Khaali haat wapas aao. What a waste of money and opportunity."
She had objection on prime minister Narendra Modi being called a rockstar for his speech to the Indian Diaspora at Dubai Cricket Stadium for which she was widely panned, "Can we please stop referring to India's Prime Minister as a 'Rockstar'!!!! Hello!Dubai. He isn't from Bollywood!"
Or for instance, her 'beef and compulsory Marathi films screening' tweet targeting Devendra Fadnavis, "Devendra 'Diktatwala' Fadnavis is at it again!!!From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!" for which she got privilege notice from the Maharashtra Legislature.