Dear CM Fadnavis, Mumbai Needs This More than the River Anthem


Dear CM Fadnavis, Mumbai Needs This More than the River Anthem

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza


Shri Devendra Bhau Fadnavis,

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra

After perusing your latest proposal to clean the rivers of Mumbai, we have come to the conclusion that your department is capable of coming up with a very owsome, catchy song. Your wife has a lovely voice, much better than Baba Sehgal’s, and your acting, sir, shows signs of early Johnny Lever. Unfortunately, we are sorry to inform you, that you might need to consider firing the set guy.

While I’m sure your brief to him was quite clear, he seems to have forgotten that this was a video about Mumbai. In my humble submission, this song is not adequately representative of our beautiful cosmopolitan city where null ka pani is hard to come by, but our famed spirit can be found by the bucketload.

For instance, why are there no shots of men falling off the local train and into the Mithi river between Bandra and Mahim? Why is there a noticeable lack of women washing their clothes with Vim bars in the frame? Unsure if this was intentional and we would really appreciate your response on the same.

So I hope you don’t mind us taking exception to the video, considering that a little bit of our money went into that whole production. If we may, this is where we think your taxpayers’ money would be more appropriately used this year.

Another Shivaji Statue

Only the other day, an American tourist landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal, and commented, “I love this city, but it needs more Shivaji statues.” We agree with this sentiment, tbh. Despite telling our tourist that there were plans to install the world’s tallest statue in the middle of the Arabian Sea, they seemed inconsolable. Some of us are going to live all our lives in Mumbai, living in the vicinity of only two Shivaji statues in Shivaji Park, shuttling between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. This is not acceptable, sir.

The Builder-Politician Nexus

One set of people who always seem to be raising their prices, are the builders of Mumbai. They must really be going through serious financial troubles. We voted for you so that Raheja builder could buy his son another Aston Martin, and we won’t stand for this embarrassment. Help fund Kanakia’s next project – converting Dharavi into Kanakia Colombia. Please take away more forest land so that Oberoi isn’t inconvenienced the next time around.

More Road Digging

I hope your team finds the time to speak to ordinary Mumbaikars. I think I speak for all residents of this beautiful city when I say that not enough roads are dug up in this city. Bolstered by what observers are calling the “Sealink effect”, many of these upstart roads have begun to think that it’s absolutely alright to have no potholes on them. But a dug-up road is the surest sign of prosperity, plus the only way to ensure our children stay off the internet for a few hours. Take all my money already.

Smaller, Slower Local Trains

Over the years we have grown accustomed to having men pressed up against us when we travel. It’s the same logic behind putting a family of eight on a scooter or an entire college classroom in an SUV. Think of it as a giant, moist human blanket. We want you to ensure that our trains are smaller and slower: We are concerned that the seats in a train compartment might be open enough to be exposed to sunlight, killing off the termite ecosystem that we have worked so hard to build.

I Hate That Tree

This one is more a personal complaint, but as a taxpayer, I feel compelled to mention that there are too many trees between me and the baniya directly opposite my house. This is not to be confused with the baniya under my house, who, I’m happy to report, is sufficiently deforested. The tree is inconvenient since it takes up almost as much parking space as my three Innovas. Please ensure it is removed along with the poor person who lives under it.

We trust that you will reply to all these points with the same haste and enthusiasm with which our rickshawallas drive on the potholed highways in the monsoon, while dodging biker buntais. Also can you please make a song for my cousin, her birthday is coming soon.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Concerned citizen