THIS IS HILARIOUS!
Dad sent this email while studying in Bombay (Mumbai?)
I had composed the following before I had read your message. Please accept it with my most humble apologies.
At that dinner after the exams, you two looked so aghast, horrified and incredulous when I was talking about Himmat. Did you really think I was going to thrash him if he failed to fix your computer? Dead right I AM! You two are my personal deities and I worship the ground you walk on (not you, mind, just the ground). So of course Himmat deserves to be thrashed if he has the temerity to fail to fix your computer. Twice a day if you so desire.
PS Here is another silly e-mail I sent to Preeti. I was sending it to Sarita and Imtiaz because they insisted, so I am sending it to you too so that you can keep a check on me and censor me if I get too naughty in my youth. I don’t get a pipe shoved up my arse in this one, but then you can’t have everything all the time, can you?
There is a festival in Mumbai called the Ganapati Chaturatahi. It is celebrated all over Maharashtra, but it is particularly big in Mumbai. Why? Because the Indians are a very hard working people. I think. They work all the time, all hours of the day. Whenever you go out in the streets, you find them crowded, the shops open, and the hawkers shouting things like “Vada” or “Bhel Puri” or “Changamangvatanung” or similar nonsense. Then they get fed up of working so hard and grab any excuse to blow it. They particularly like Ganesh because he is such a roly-poly sort of laid-back devta, and brings them success in their endeavors. So at Ganapati they bring out the Ganesh moortis and put them on display. Some are small doll sized affairs, but some are absolute monsters – 10 metres high. They take a whole year to make. Then there are elaborate surroundings – castles and caves and palaces. This time there was an exact replica of Mysore Palace.
Monday, September 03, 2001 10:05 AM
They spent crores of rupees on these displays. They are so elaborate as to be mind-boggling. I saw one and my mind went “boggle boggle boggle”. I stopped seeing any more. The most elaborate and expensive displays are financed by the Mumbai Mafia Gangs. The best one this year was financed by “Chotta Raja” the notorious gangster on the run – he was reported killed by a rival gang (headed by the infamous killer “Daud”) in a grenade attack in Karachi – but he rang up the Mumbai Star News TV station from Singapore to reassure the public that he was all right, Ganesh was looking after him. The public needn’t worry about his health – he was fit enough to murder a few dozen more people any time. The public heaved a collective sigh of
relief and offered prayers of thanks to the statue of Ganesh (the one Chotta had put up at the cost of over a crore). This happens on a smaller scale all over Mumbai. The bigger the crook, the bigger the display.
They worship these moortis for 10 days and then they parade them through the streets with great pomp and ceremony. There is dancing, drum beating and colour throwing. The whole of Mumbai is brought to a halt. Anyone foolish enough to venture on the street in a car or taxi or bus is stuck in traffic for hours (min 4). They make their way to Chowpatti beach, where with great glee THEY DROWN GANESH! Thousands of Ganeshs are drowned, but they don’t seem to mind. They just ensure success in criminal ventures of the Mafia and lesser criminals for a further year. Sarbjeet, you are too cynical. Of course Ganesh rides a mouse. That is because the mouse is a docile creature and can be easily controlled. That is why Ganesh is the only God allowed in Mumbai traffic. Shiva with his bull has had his driving license withdrawn for causing major pile-ups, while Vishnu with Garuda, the bird, has had both his drivers AND his private pilot’s license withdrawn. Ganesh is also gentle and not headstrong like the other Gods. He has small eyes to examine everything minutely. He has large ears to listen to all the world’s woes. He has a big stomach because he keeps all the bad things inside and only speaks the good things. He has a big nose so he knows what anyone is cooking, and more importantly, where all the garbage dumps and shit houses are.
I bet you don’t have such wonderful creatures in Ilford, do you?