Gimme my state!!!

Rahul da CunhaFor the past year, many areas in South Mumbai, from CharniRoad to Chinchpokli, had been demanding their own separate states. Proposals were sent to CM Prithviraj Chavan who picked four finalists. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he announced at a high level gathering at Oval Maidan. “We have picked four, but only one candidate will be selected for the Centre’s consideration. Now we will have an open debate, moderated by Arnab Goswami. Let each region representative stake their claim.” 

Byramji Petit Framroze, Bank of India cashier for 45 years, lifted his maroon topi once, said a quick prayer to Zarathustra and bellowed, “I demand the state of ‘Cus row Baugistan’. We wish to be separated from the other Baugs such as Khareghat Colony in Hughes Road and Navroze Baug in Lalbaug.”

“Arre, Bawa, you are a fool,” stated Yunus Kantawalla. “Why should you have your own state? Whole day you sit on your verandah, listening to old Perry Como songs, and stuff your face with mutton dhansak.”

Illustration/ Amit Bandre

Framroze responded with a slew of Punjabi gaalis with the Parsi twist. Yunus continued, “Instead it is we, who should have our own state called ‘Dongriganj’.” Framroze guffawed, “Dongriganj, your screw is loose or what? Your ‘state’ has produced the maximum number of gangsters, per square inch. It is like if Dadar is the college for cricketers, your area is the university for underworld dons. Dawood, Chhota Rajan, Chhota Shakeel.”

“Hey hey you sadra-wearing, salli-boti, how many films have been made about your area? I mean, is there a film called Shootout at Electric House? Do you have an equivalent book to Dongri to Dubai, at the most you would have Tarla Dalal’s cookbook titled, Thirty Delicious Parsi Dishes.”

Arnab Goswami jumped in, “Stop, stop, this is getting too personal. And everybody, please stop shouting. Next please.” Rasikbhai Dave struggled to his feet, flicked a speck of Pan Parag off his white safari suit and mumbled, “It is us vegetarian Gujaratis who keep the wheels of Mumbai turning. We want a separate state called Bhuleshwargarh where no one eats non-veg food.” Byramji shouted, “Hey gentleman, at once besija, you please return to Surat, where you came from. No Bhuleshwargarh for you.”

The last of the incredible four, Blossom Cinderella Genie Braganza, rose to her full 4 feet 4 inches and screeched, “I demand Dhobi Talao Pradesh. What men, we have Furtados Music Store, Metro Cinema, Kayanis Bakery, and unlike you Byramji, who have no Catholics, we have many many Parsi residents, plus a fire temple and Agiary. Yunusbhai, we have solid underworld dons, and Rasikbhai, Pan Parag is freely available.”

Goswami concluded, “Cusrow Baugistan, Dongriganj, Bhuleshwargarh and Dhobi Talao Pradesh. These are fine, but I want my own state. The state of Goswami.” “Where is it situated?,” everyone asked, fascinated. “In your living room.”

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper. 

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