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Lobo Lobo and the tomato

Updated on: 16 July,2023 07:11 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rahul da Cunha |

“Off cuss you know me Dikuna men, it’s me Lobo Lobo!”

Lobo Lobo and the tomato

Illustrations/Uday Mohite

Rahul Da CunhaA man stood at my doorstep, he had slick black hair, he had on a black dinner jacket—he had his back to me, so I couldn’t at first tell who it was.

“Uhm yes... hello, can I help you?”

“I have just returned from an impossible mission”, the man said, mysteriously.

I was intrigued, I was interested.

“Hmmmm do I know you sir?”

The man turned around…

“Off cuss you know me Dikuna men, it’s me Lobo Lobo!”

Lobo Lobo looked like Tom Cruise… he moved like Tom Cruise, but he was a far cry from Tom Cruise.

“Uhm… Lobo Lobo… can you explain to me why you are dressed... uhm so smartly, where did you get this jacket from?”

“I rented it from ‘Carvalho & Sons’, my tird cuzzin from mudders side... dey have a rent-a -jacket shop in our side.”

“So can you explain to me… why you carrying around a secret agent vibe about you?” 

Lobo Lobo’s voice went down to a whisper.

“See, Bossie, every year around dis time, my better half, Myrtle, makes her spesshul recipe… her Goan Tomato Curry, also called Tomato Saar, she has her secret blend of spices, coconut and most impoetently, tomato.”

“Right... I’m with you so far, but.”

“Arre wait men, Dikuna lemme finish, so she makes dis dish in bulk men, it is sent to all over Mumbai. Myrtle’s Tomato Saar is world famous in Virar.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“Arre bleddy tomatoes men, tomatoes… too costly men, how I’ll afford to buy dese blinking tomatoes at dese prices men, R200 per kg is too much men!”


“Den I was summoned to my boss’ headquarters”

“You have a boss who has headquarters?” I asked curiously.

“Yes… my boss, Myrtle called me to her ‘headquarters’, which is de kitchen. She gave me strict orders—

‘Lobo, I need 30 dozen fresh tomatoes, I need dem now, I have a deadline, I have one hundred orders of my tomato saar to deliver and I need tomatoes urgently,” she ordered. 

“So what did you do?”

Lobo Lobo’s voice went soft and secret service-y again…

“I hatched one number plot men… I knew dat I have to get many many tomatoes, 360 tomatoes to be precise and somehow smuggle dem back into de country.”

“So what did you do?” I repeated.

“See men Dikuna… I first made contact wid de India head of Tomatoes Inc, Surjit Singh  Tamatter is his name, finally got troo to him, he is busy keeping all the warring factions from fighting… at de moment it seems dat dere is a big debate, is de tomato a vegetable, a fruit or a berry, so he tolded me, it is impossible to get cheap tomatoes in India, so I should go to de Tomatina festival in Bunol… dat is in Spain, Dikuna men... it seems I can just pick up tomatoes in de street… over dere, during dis festival, dey kaali peeli trow de tamaotes at each udder, just for fun men, wot peepuls, just for mazaa, it is very similar to de festival here called PETA PELTER, during dis occasion all dese vegan peepuls, dey trow dairy products at each udder!

“Anyway! So I’m heading to de Tomatina festival, where I will be collecting almost 600 tomatoes and den transporting dem back to Mumbai.”

“Wow, that really seems like an impossible mission, Lobo Lobo!”

“Yes, men, but I will be helped by all de Tomato-based organisations world over, TNT (Tomatoes of Nigeria & Tanzania), TWEAT—Tomatoes (the) World Eats, TGIF (Thank God It’s Fruits) and TINTIN (Tomatoes in Tins)—dese all will be helping me carry de tomatoes back from Valencia to Virar.”

“Well Lobo Lobo, shouldn’t you be making tracks?”

“Yes yes, Dikuna men, I fly out at midnight… I will be parachuted into de Pyrennes mountain range where I will walk on foot, and a car will pick me up and take me to Bunol.”

“Best of luck, Lobo Lobo.”

“Accha Dikuna, from today till de day I return, I have a code name, if you want to contact me.”

“A code name... wow what is it?”

“Tik Tok.”

“What does Tik Tok stand for?”

“Tik Tok—Tomatoes in kilos, Tomatoes are ok.”

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahul.

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