SHIV SENA

Farzana Contractor

Saffron And Cigars: Balasaheb, The Bon Vivant

I wish Balasaheb Thackeray was alive to raise a toast to the 50th anniversary celebrations of his saffron-hued, ultra-right political party, the Shiv Sena, today. He would have done it with a glass of French wine. Jauntily puffing on a Cuban cigar. I knew him well. Not only as the Shiv Sena supremo, whose fire and brimstone speeches were legendary, but also as a bon vivant with a taste for good food, fine wines and full-bodied cigars.