Sunday, August 4, 2013

My new title: Mumbaichchi Bai!

This appeared in Sunday Times today....
 Rantings of a drunk, frivolous, Page 3 ‘Bai’….
Remember that lovely song? “Mujko yaaron maaf karna… mein nashey mey hoon…?” I have been singing it all morning. And even as I key in this column ( between noisy sips of  local daaru), I am hiccupping away. Maybe all my favourite Mumbai netas are thinking of me? Hic! Must invite a couple of them  to the next Page 3 party along with other socialites, just to ‘utaaro’ my nasha, as promised. I believe they are feeling left out and sulking. Hey Bhagwan! This Page 3 life is so difficult to lead. I wish these netas would understand. We have to consume free daaru night after night, do ‘ulti’, and then face charges of being ‘frivolous’. It’s really not easy being a socialite these days. Netas have it better. Much better! Pata nahin kyon, but our netas get very, very uptight and upset by people they call ‘Page 3’ – the elite, according to them ! They use the word ‘elite’ as a gaali. Maybe, they also want to be elite and on Page 3 ? Drink free daaru? No, that can’t be the reason. They have been drinking free daaru all their adult lives in any case. But they are still so obsessed  by Page 3. Jealous ho, kya?
 Let’s face it, our dynamic netas have made more money in a short, short ( shorter than the skirts starlets wear at Page 3 events) period of time, than most of our very successful industrialists. That too, without putting up any industry! And they have more houses, bungalows, malls, multiplexes, even townships, than the most prosperous people in India. In fact, netas pay for nothing at all! They own fancy cars, luxury watches, yachts, jets, pata nahi aur kuch kuch, enjoy lavish foreign holidays, possess kilos of gold, priceless coloured diamonds  and much, much more. Sab kuch phookat mein. Gratis! But they continue to point fingers at others and crib, crib,crib. Look at the track record of some illustrious leaders in my own State of  Maharashtra. You name it, they’ve done it! Cheated, looted, corrupted, raped, even murdered. Kisiko kuch hua?
Ours is indeed a strange country. As India rolls towards its 66th Independence Day this month, it is worth reviewing what has really changed during the past dramatic decade. In a word, it’s something called ‘sharam’. There is none left.The political class has become totally besharam . Nothing shames  nor embarrasses our elected representatives. And these are the people who want to ‘teach a lesson’ to others. What sort of a lesson? As I look out of my window on a gloomy monsoon afternoon, I can see a police van and a posse of cops. The lobby of the building we live in, has some more cops sitting around waiting for hired mobs to arrive. They are there to ‘protect’ me. And I am thinking to myself – how shameful that it has to come to this! What a waste of public money that these over worked officers are idling away their precious time to protect a ‘Bai’ who is being intimidated and threatened. Surely,our city needs these men to be doing something far more productive.  But this is what it has become – an absolute farce! It makes me wonder which raw nerve was touched by that innocuous tweet in the first place?After I read what those netas said in response, I was embarrassed. For them. For all of us. Can they do no better than launch cheap, personal attacks on a woman? Not that the attacks per se bother me. It is the syndrome that disturbs.
I love my Sauvignon Blanc. And am happy to pay for the best. Isn’t it far better to get ‘drunk’ on good wine occasionally, than to be permanently drunk on power? This ‘Bai’ is a staunch ‘Mumbai chhi Bai’. And proud to belong to what was once a great city. Today, it is crumbling and collapsing into itself. Because those very leaders who are debating its future, have zero interest in saving Mumbai and creating a  truly world class city India can be proud of. Yes, this is a view from South Mumbai. Unapologetically so. It’s a pretty good view. It will be even better when the cops leave. For that will prove there is still room for civilized dissent in an increasingly hate filled, polarized , aggressive city controlled by bullies.
And now… on to the next Page 3 party. I am sure I’ll run into half the Cabinet there. Of course, all those poor chaps will be drinking nimbu paani. Cheers!



V said...

One of the best post i come across in recent times & a hard slap on the face of these cheap, dirty, corrupt, non sense creatures/politicians!! Simple straight forward message Cannot Be Tamed!!

Anonymous said...

Agauh baayaa ... hee kaay jhaali?

I can feel the angry frustration in your words, Shobhaa ... and have felt the same many, many times ... thanks to the political types.

I have a personal reason for hating the communal types ... I wrote angry, vitriolic prose the other day taking on the Shiv Sena and its mirror image party - MNS frontally. In case you haven't read it, here is the link:

And why do I blame these regional goon types?

Because of these fascists - I lost my mother way back in 1992 - and she was [perhaps is, wherever she is] a devout Hindu Brahmin [and so am I] as she could not reach the Sion Hospital in time while suffering a heart attack.

God only knows how many persons comparable to my mother, sister, brother, uncle and so on had to die to allow the Sena grief to ebb out upon the passing of Balasaheb.

I wrote that much in my blog then as well.Here is that link:

I was born in Mumbai, like you Shobhaa. I am proud to be a Mumbaikar ... like you ... and every other person on the street in that city ... despite my living in Chennai these days.

Once upon a time, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, agnostics, atheists ... the lot ... all of us trusted each other despite out disagreeing politically with various points of view.

I will quote an erudite captain of industry - Mr Narayanmurthy in this regard about the right to disagree. He said during one of those television chats - "I will welcome your disagreeing with me so long as I do not find you disagreeable."

From your angst, I can discern that the schmucks in Mumbai [give me Bombay any day] are converting persons to become more and more disagreeable. And this was more pronounced in the Rane kid mouthing diatribe against Gujaratis. His pathetic defence of the indefensible, reprehensible and irresponsible statement was that he was attacking Narendra Modi's politics. If that was so, the matter, in my opinion, was plain as pikestaff. Someone from Congress party's upstairs is egging the party's faithfuls to get the funding available to Modi stopped by pouring ditch water on the business community.

I vehemently condemn the neo-fascists - for they are the same as the Hitler Youth of WWII.

The sadistic skinheads of those days actually triggered the division of a land once called Palestine into Israel and whatever else the bits and pieces are called.

You said something as an aside ... justly and in jest. If the goons cannot ingest something as simple as this, the Vaanara Vede porgaas [monkeying mad boys] ought to get their taste buds and the white thing they call a brain really examined.

nachiket said...

do understand the sarcasm in your comments....and very 3 and politics are two sides of same coin...saving their skins and only while trying to create a fuss....well....that's two of the biggest miseries of the modern post 91 india....both desperate of money, fame and power...besides any and I mean literally "any" value whatsoever.....good luck for pg 3,4....and whatever pages....

Shwetha said...

Well said, these uptight political blokes have no job whatsoever than to fake react on an innocuous tweet like you said and deliberately disregard the humor/ satire, and instead go on a self obsessed tirade. Shameless, group of people wasting the country's time and money.

the Egghead said...

(i have sent this to you on facebook too).

Dear Shobhaa,
Please do read the full message -

You don't know me but I do and we have never met :)
Your books started getting famous when I was in highschool (now I am in my 20s, a bachelor of philosophy).

Your image was (still is) always been portrayed as 'bigdi hui high class bai' and we teens reading your books was never really appreciated. .. but i realize your books and persona has always left quite an impression and evoked a strong reaction in everybody, even those condemners of yours :)

...of course their arguments could never convince me! (though i hardly got to read any of your books :| )
i very well know that indians always want women to be radical only in limited ways, i know how ridiculous their idea of 'freedom' in general is.

anyways. my purpose to write you here and now, is to let you know (giving due consideration to the fact that you might actually not care about it) that I SUPPORT YOU with regard to your recent comments on Mumbai and separation of states.
I can clearly see that your comment is meant to make people think over this politics of separation of states, that tomorrow any bunch of districts can come up with the same demand ... that tomorrow any state may demand a status of a separate nation.

That's all I wanted to say, and one more thing - Your boldness has always appealed me.
Thank you.

Megha Parmar said...

Sometimes politicians, sometimes so called advocates of morality. This is a free nation & everyone has a right to expression his or her views(without being offensive). From Literature to Art, people who have guts to express views are threaten & boycotted. This the sad state of India after 66 years of Independence.

Regarding, Mumbai being a independent state-I am not sure of the merits & de-merits of independent state but I am sure Mumbaikars really want a good administration. We want a our financial capital to have best infrastructure free from potholes, water logging, better public transport, traffic free roads & much more that a city like Mumbai deserves.

alakananda banerjee said...

nicely written!!!

Anil Kumar said...

Very well written Ms De.

These bullies in Mumbai have similar characteristics to their counterpart in Uttar Pradesh. Only difference is one is shameless Yadav family lead by Akhilesh Chuttad Yadav. While Thakre's have too much of arrogance.

Nidhi said...

written vry well

Tapas Sen Gupta said...

Un-inebriated facts...well written

Doc said...

Your comments were like saying Bhagavat Gita in front of an ASS .
These fellows what have they done for us.taking money from banias and shop keepers to spare their show cases and we idiots working for Insurance and Banks supported them in all the Bandhs.
Everybody is looting Mumbai and MUMBAI HAS NO SAY IN IT.
Jai Maharashtra and Jai Bharat.
Deepak Rau.

leena gupta said...

AWESOME.. super like..

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