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Stop the maara-maari, Mr Maria

Dear Rakesh Bombay boy, Bandra lad, St Xavier’s College alumnus (we met once, when the college felicitated us both.

Also, my mother taught you English Literature, hence the informality). RR Patil pissed me off, post 26/11, when he notoriously said, “In big cities, small incidents do happen”. But he’s made up for that statement with your selection.

Illustration/ Amit Bandre
Illustration/ Amit Bandre

In spite of other top cop contenders sulking, oily ministers objecting, delegations meeting the home minister to re-consider, you are firmly in place. I kind of feel safe already, knowing that your CV includes nailing the 1993 bomb blast culprits. The point is, Sir, our beloved city’s in an unholy mess. The underbelly gets darker, the underworld gets more tentacular, and the underdog gets bolder.

The depravity that once flourished only in the darkened bylanes of Dongri has extended to broad daylight, all the way from Dahisar to Dhobi Talao. As a fellow Xavierite, may I offer you some help? I mean you can’t be everywhere at the same, right? But your influence can.

I have created two inventions to help you chastise your cops and curb crimes against women. Let’s start with your police force. Gotta be honest, Rakesh, the city hates the khaki brigade. They aren’t seen as protectors of the law anymore, but as perpetrators of lawlessness.

When did they descend from benefactors to bullies? Why take an oath to help citizens if you end up hindering or hurting them? So I’ve created THE SLAPOMETER. This is a small, battery controlled leather impression of your hand. Like a glove. Every cop, from havaldar to high ranking officer, has to carry it in his pocket.

Anytime one of them errs, be it callousness, crassness or corruption, your ‘gloved hand’ springs out of the pocket — points a finger at him for bad behaviour, raps him on the knuckles for bribery, and slaps him in the face for brutality.

We need to lose our fear of your guys. I need to be able to make the equivalent of a 911 call if I see a crime, not be fearful of getting embroiled in a police case. (Man, Rakesh, please make sure that your 103 number works 24/7. Women are terrified.)

To make women feel safer, I’ve designed THE TONGUE TWISTER. Think of it like the Wi-Fi of protection against the wayard mawaali, molester or mangalsutra snatcher. Whether his crime varies from opening his vile mouth to unzipping his pants, the Maria Wi-Fi kicks in.

Just one action of abuse or one utterance of unsavoury behaviour and all the woman needs to do is raise her hand and the man’s tongue automatically twists like a boy scout’s knot. The pain is so unbearable, that Guantanamo Bay will seem like Esselworld in comparison. Let me know, will send over samples for you to try. Best of luck. Our city needs to be restored to its former glory. By the way, Mom says ‘hi’.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com. The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.

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