Rahul da Cunha: The Statue of Lobo-ty
And so, my cable operator Thelonious Lobo came over in a huff, steam coming out of both ears
And so, my cable operator Thelonious Lobo came over in a huff, steam coming out of both ears. "What men, bleddy men, I'm damn bald ragged men, wot is dis country coming to men?!" Lobo Lobo asked in the way that his questions and statements usually had the same tonal ending.
"What ails you, Lobo Lobo?" I enquired. "Arrey chhe, dey are destroying dese statues all over de country, blasted rascals. Statues of all big big people — Dat Russain bloke wots his name, ah yes dat Lennon fellow..."
"Uh Lenin, Mr Lobo… not Lennon. Lennon was one half of the greatest songwriting duo. Lenin, on the other hand, was a Marxist."
"Okay, men, don't be so technical, I meant Lenin that full Leftist, Communist guy. Now his statue in Tripura is leaning to de right. Wot cheap trills dey get? Den, some Mukherjee, Chatterjee, Banerjee, Bose big daddy, dey smeared his statue with ink in Kolkota. Den det are vandalising our Fadder of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. No respect men, how dey can do all dis. Just imagine, Dikuna, if when dey build dat Shivaji statue in de sea and some chappies go out on motorboats and put ink or paint on his face…?"
"Uhm Theo, why are you so angry, I never pegged you as patriotic person. I'm very impressed." "No no nutting about patriotism, men. If people have made a statue for you it must be respected, like supposing Rohit Sharma makes a statue for Nita Bbabhi Ambani outside Antilia, and someone from Chennai Super Kings, say Doni, comes and destroys it, not fair na?"
"Right. But I still don't understand why you're so pissed off. There are far greater things to get annoyed off within this city na? Why are you so bothered by the desecration of —"
"Okay let me tell you de trut. See, in Virar, we have many big big statues for many respected people. Like my fadder Lobo Lobo Sr. has a statue of his own. I don't want to boast, but dere are two of me, alone." "Dere are two statues of you in Virar?"
"Yes, I am a carrom champ. Fie ears in a row, I am de unconquered local winner. So dey have made a large statue of me outside de venue."
'You have a marble statue for being a carrom champ?" I asked, incredulous.
"Uh no, it's more like a scarecrow… but it's tall — only problem is de crows don't get scared men… dey keep shitting only..."
"Okay, and what's the second statue?"
"See, I won Best Cable Operator in full Mumbai, and the Cable Operators Association made a bust of me. Last night, some jealous person had removed de brain section of my head!"
"So that's like a lobo-tomy!" I tried joking. Lobo Lobo wasn't laughing.
"Not fair men, in full Mumbai, I was de first maka pao statue and dey've destroyed it, chhe!"
"So, my friend, think of this, you'll be the first Khada Catlick," I concluded.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Do you know Manmohan Singh cannot read Hindi?