Now that Santa’s arrival in Mumbai is imminent, this writer is quite rightly wondering…
>> Whether Santa would have to pay the Bandra Worli Sea Link toll as he comes in from the suburbs into the city and think hmmm… it’s shot up since last year, hasn’t it?
>> Whether Santa would land on Mumbai’s tallest commercial tower -- Kohinoor Square in Dadar while flying in from the North Pole and then apologise to owners the Joshis for not taking permission before doing so?
>> Whether Santa will replace his traditional ‘jingle bells’ number to Fevicol Se, the item number in Dabbang 2 and think to himself that these Mumbaikars are funny people. The last time, they made him change Jingle Bells to Chikni Chameli, and before that, there was something called Zandu Balm Hui…
>> Whether Santa would consider going in for a gastric bypass procedure by one of Mumbai’s obesity surgeons but then decide against it, thinking he would try the new exercise fad all these page 3 people, especially the ladeeeez seem to be talking about these days. Something called the Zumba?
>> Whether Santa will prepare himself for a trip to China by eating a plate of Chinese bhel available everywhere on the city’s roads these days, so that he could get used to the Chinese experience?
>> Whether Santa’s sleigh pulled by reindeer will be stopped for a traffic violation and Santa would ask the traffic cop: ‘chala paavti dya mala”
>> Whether Santa would consult a fashion designer while in Mumbai, and decide to go in for a designer uniform or then would consult one of those image consultants for a complete ‘makeover’, Mumbai style?
>> Or then, whether he would actually go to one of the local readymade tailors or darzees in a little corner shop. The tailor would make a designer copy for Santa and ask him: what label do you want on your trousers? Calvin Klein? Armani? Ralph Lauren? Lacoste? Never fear, we got all of that here.
>> Whether Santa would attend a Page 3 party in the city and wonder why people are speaking in accents from countries that do not exist on the world map?
>> Whether Santa’s reindeer would injure a leg tripping over a Mumbai pothole and then Santa would have to write a letter to the BMC complaining about Mumbai roads? The BMC would write back in shuddh Marathi, and post their reply to Santa’s North Pole address, all the while thinking -- it is time people started emailing complaints on our website... at least we can ignore them saying we never got them. Sending letters by registered post makes bypassing them very difficult.
>> Whether Santa would try stuffing his sleigh and reindeer into the luggage compartment of a local train and irked commuters would shout at him: chal, chal, shaana ban, shaana ban
>> Whether after all that: 'chal, chal shaana ban' Santa would learn to play close attention to Mumbai’s bhaigiri lingo and pick up words like jhakaas or item or raapchick. Even remember terminology like champak and dhakkan and the other one called: mein Aligbaug se aaya kya? (do you think I am a fool?)
>> Whether Santa will try to get a slot on Kaun Banega Crorepati? while in Mumbai?
>> Whether Santa would buy one of those pirated books you get at Mumbai’s traffic signals? Or, visit a bookshop while in the city to check out the latest Indians writing in English authors? Or he has no need to do any of the above he simply orders his books on Flipkart which even delivers to the North Pole?
>> Whether Santa would park his sleigh at a pay ‘n’ park in the city and get gypped by the people running it, who would insist the parking charges have doubled at Christmas, and they do not give receipts for the same?
>> Whether Santa’s reindeer Rudolph would run into make up expert Cory Walia and ask him for some foundation to disguise his legendary red nose?
>> Whether Santa would take a round near Sachin Tendulkar’s new home near the Otters Club at Bandra, because he had heard about this new venue at the North Pole too?
>> Whether Santa would go and give his good wishes to the newly married Saif-Kareena jodi in Bollywood and then traipse around to wish Sid-Vid (Siddharth Roy Kapur and Vidya Balan) the same? While there, he could even learn some dance steps -- oooh la la la la, tu hai meri fantasy courtesy Vidya?
>> Whether Santa would have a cutting chai and dabeli at a roadside stall and wonder why Mumbaikars are going crazy to get into the Starbucks coffee cafe somewhere in South Mumbai?
>> Whether the head honchos of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) would allow Santa to do a ceremonial lap of the Mahalaxmi race track?
>> Whether Santa would hop into an autorickshaw leaving his sleigh behind while in the suburbs and get astonished at the hike in rickshaw fares? Whether he would do the same while in town, hopping into a taxi and then get into an argument with the cabbie, who would tell him that this is the fare and his meter has not been calibrated yet. Moreover does he know that commuters steal his meter card hanging on the back of the seat in the cab?
>> Whether Santa would seriously think about launching his own political party in Mumbai very soon and call it Santa Party of India (SPI) or some such thing. Then he can garner a band of followers and start agitating for a piece of land for a memorial amongst other things...
>> Whether Santa wonders which chimney to slide down as as all Mumbai’s mills have become malls these days and thinks that Indu Mills is still a Mill. But he is denied entry by the Republican Party of India (RPI) who now claim a part of the land as their own?
>> Whether you know that Santa had considered flying into Mumbai from the North Pole this time, but the Kingfisher flight he was booked on did not take off. So he had to come down on his sleigh and is now thinking of tying up with a travel company to sponsor his annual journey; he and his reindeer would wear their logo of course…
>> Whether Santa considers coming down during Navratri one of these days, so that he could learn a few dandiya steps and then take back a Falguni Pathak CD to the North Pole, so that he could try doing dandiya to some Christmas Carols too…
>> When talking about dandiya, Santa joins a garba class in Mumbai and learns how to do a mix of garba with Gangnam or Gangnam garba, the latest craze to hit Mumbai?
>> Why Santa looks surprised seeing cooing couples kissing under a plate of what looks like beans and bread in Mumbai and not a leafy sprig of mistletoe? Maybe, he has forgotten what he witnessed in aamchi Mumbai last year: in Mumbai during Christmas, people stay true to the character of the city and insist aiga! on kissing under the missal pao instead of the mistletoe…
>> Why, dear reader, in this season of gentle good cheer, where there is so much to be done -- tree to decorate and presents to buy, are you reading this tripe, anyway?
Mumbai Roundup: 9 incidents that took place this week
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Photos: Dipika Pallikal Karthik oozes oomph in bikinis and sarees
Photos: Kareena Kapoor Khan's grand birthday bash
Photos: 'Dangal' girls Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh's dinner outing