Here Comes the VIP-Chaddi Brigade


Here Comes the VIP-Chaddi Brigade

Illustration: Namaah


monsoon is here and a quick getaway is on your mind. I can sense it. Petrichor and verdant hills beckon you out of the vertiginous urban sprawl of Mumbai. You begin to dream of open roads, great music, and magnificent waterfalls.

Unknown to your harried city mind, however, below these magnificent waterfalls lurks a subspecies of Homo sapiens. The Homo sapiens Sando. And it’s imperative you know him before you venture out. This subspecies is defined by its distinct affinity to bodies of water during the monsoon, where the males usually congregate to put on displays of unabashed belligerence and faux bravado.

The males are usually an average of five-feet tall. They have distinctly colourful markings and show a proclivity toward covering their genitalia with underwear bearing the words Jockey, Lux, or VIP. They make up for poor visual acuity by adopting aids such as reflective sunglasses that they also wear underwater. Behavioural scientists are still trying to understand this – the top theory is that it helps them catch their prey underwater and scope out potential mates above.

They also have their very own method of communication, but seem to have adopted modern technologies and devices like the cellular phone and DSLR. These are used to record their feats of physical and mental prowess, which usually include standing under a waterfall while using sign language to convey messages. These hand gestures are closer to gang signs than codified sign language (ASL).

The social structure of this subspecies is a well-defined one. There’s usually a leader, the alpha male, first of his kind, the head of this pack, and the bearer of packs of Manikchand, wearer of gold, and caller of shots.

If ever there was a list of reasons to donate your eyes before death, this one’s right at the top.

One such specimen, let’s call him Jockey Lux, was observed during a recent field trip posing under a waterfall at Kondana Caves at Karjat, while the rest of his tribe documented his exploits on their cellphones and cameras. The interactions of Homo sapiens Sando with regular Homo sapiens – scores of whom were present at the caves to take in the sights, bask in nature’s glory, and litter the area with plastic knick knacks – were meticulously observed, as the former proceeded to carry out their elaborate mating rituals.

Jockey Lux, teetered close to the edge of the falls, while flashing the “V” and the other sign that looks like “\m/” even though no heavy metal music was playing in the background. His minions drank beer and DSP Black out of plastic cups, while eating packs of Haldiram’s Lemon Bhel and Lehar Bhujia, which seem to be their staple diet along with Manikchand. (In fact, my advice to amateur naturalists wishing to observe Homo sapiens Sando in their natural habitat is to follow the trail of gutkha packets.)

Anyway, coming back to Jockey Lux. Like other members of his species, the thought of mainstream swimwear has never struck him. He wore his brownish underpants, precariously perched under his hairy belly with élan, and continued his antics in the hope of attracting a potential mate. The rest of his pack called out potential targets that he could try and woo with his moves.

Naturally, Jockey Lux was shit outta luck. Giving up, he dived in straight only to emerge from the water in an even sexier avatar. Remember, Ursula Andress or Halle Berry emerging from the sea, looking gorgeous as hell? Now replace the sea with a waterfall, the sexy Berry/Andress with a hairy male, and the skimpy swimwear with cotton underwear that has, by now, chosen to cling to the body of the wearer, revealing every curve and bulge. If ever there was a list of reasons to donate your eyes before death, this one’s right at the top.

Sometimes, members of Homo sapiens Sando, also congregate under the waterfall with their chosen mate and female family members. During such times, every other male, whether belonging to the subspecies or not, is viewed as a potential threat – to be put down with extreme prejudice lest his eyes stray onto the covered countenance of the female.

All in all, the Home sapiens Sando is a species you don’t want to meet, no matter how magnificent that waterfall. Do your best to avoid him in his natural habitat. The good thing about the Homo sapiens Sando is that he emerges only during the rainy season, choosing to live incognito as one of us Homo sapiens during the dry months.

So unpack those bags and give weekend trips a break until September. As a wise woman once said, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.”