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   Among the people who have been invited to participate in Kaun Banega Crorepati is my friend who lives on the 21st floor and is a crorepati several times over and then some. (August 28, 2000)

When I called on him this morning, he was sitting in front of hundreds of general knowledge books.Three secretaries were picking out items from the books and one by one rapidly feeding him with the information. The butler was serving him almonds soaked in Bisleri overnight, to improve his memory. "I have to leave for Bombay immediately. Amitabh Bachchan has called me to participate in his show," he said.I pointed out to him that he was already in Bombay. "Don't get so excited, all sorts of people get invited," I said."More general knowledge books are on the way from across the world," he said. "I have sent my men to the best bookshops in the world to find them.""The more you read the better," I said. "Though some questions you will not find in any book. For instance, which book will carry this thing about Neville de Souza getting a hat-trick in the Olympics?"

"I am aware of that," my friend said. "Therefore I have arranged a meeting this evening with all the leading Indian footballers who have participated in the Olympics. They will brief me for the crore-rupee question.""That's wise," I said."Yes, I am getting special tutors for quiz contests from Germany, France and America to coach me. They are the best, each one costs the dollar equivalent of Rs. 5 crore, plus their travel charges, of course.""I am told these chaps are very good," I said.My friend continued: "I have asked Star TV to let me invite the audience for my show, I will pay whatever is required, plus pay the audience for participating.""What's the point in this," I asked."Don't you see," said my friend. "I am inviting very intelligent people, head-masters, intellectuals, etc. So, when it comes to, 'Ask The Audience', they will be able to answer correctly and guide me.""That's one question you are sure to get correct," I said. "Good show.""For, 'Call A Friend', I have arranged with the Pentagon to call their master computer. It has cost me a lot of money but I am sure it will be worth the amount. Now all I have to tell Amitji is call the computer in Washington."

"I hope the computer recognises Mr. Bachchan when he calls. Everybody else does, you know," I said. "Anything else?""No, nothing more, except that I would like you to accompany me to the studio and sit in the audience. And when I point you out to Amitji, wave back to him and say hello in Bengali.""There is one thing I do not understand," I said. "Why are you going to all this trouble and expense when you are already a crorepati?""Because I want to be a crorepati on TV," my friend said.

 
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