The Republic of South Bombay

This confidential letter landed on our news-desk two days ago. Though there was no letterhead, we believe that it came from someone close to the “Powers that Be”, who run are country. It was addressed to a gentleman from Colaba, who shall remain anonymous for everyone’s sake.
“Dear Mr. ____.
The letter that we received on 20th March 2009 was the 26th letter from you on this subject, in the last two years. We haven’t replied to you because for quite some time, we’ve all believed that you’ve been sending these letters only to lighten up our lunch hours. However after you’ve started attaching signatures from prominent citizens in support of your cause, we now think that you are truly serious about the matters raised in your letters.
Before things go out of hand and you get into trouble, we would like to tell you what the ground realities are.
1. No. Mumbai cannot end at Worli.
2. No. We can’t rename South Mumbai as the Republic of South Bombay.
3. No. We cannot issue visas for travel beyond Worli in both directions.
4. No. Just because Pedder Road is going to be one way for 30 days, we cannot temporarily redraw the boundary of South Mumbai to end at Kemp’s Corner. You actually managed to get 10,000 signatures for…this?
5. Just for your information. Charkop is not Charminar’s sister in Hyderabad and Dahisar is not a superior form of yoghurt.
6. A small geography lesson. South Mumbai also includes all areas to the east of Raja Ram Mohan Roy Rd, including Khetwadi, Bhuleshwar, Bhendi Bazaar and Mazgaon. That these areas don’t jell with “South Mumbai’s state-of-mind” is irrelevant. The world is not a Billy Joel song.
7. No. Alibag’s beachfront and the sea between the Gateway of India and Alibag are not part of South Mumbai.
8. No. Khandala cannot be South Mumbai’s winter capital.
9. No. Bandra, including Pali Hill cannot be a satellite state like Pakistan and Bangladesh were at one time. It does not matter if you have 5000 signatures from Pali Hill residents.
10. No. Just because you want the Dhirubhai Ambani school to be part of South Mumbai, you cannot open the Republic of South Bombay’s consulate in its premises.
11. No. 1900s will never reopen. Nor will Studio 29. Rang Bhavan however might have a chance one day.
12. No. Navynagar cannot be converted into South Mumbai’s very own International Airport.
13. No. Members of Willingdon Gymkhana and CCI who live beyond Worli cannot be summarily removed.
14. No. Rugby cannot become South Mumbai’s national sport.
15. No. Just because Freddie Mercury was born in Colaba, “Bohemian Rhapsody” cannot become South Mumbai’s Anthem.
One of our secretaries in the office, who sometimes has thoughts along similar lines, but from the perspective of a certain state in Eastern India has asked you to think about this. The population of people from the Land of Darkness is quite substantial in South Mumbai, though these cooks, chauffeurs and menservants are probably invisible to you. If they were to elect the Great Socialist as your Prime Minister (and he would probably have a landslide win), you can be rest assured that the Republic of South Bombay will go from a Maximum City to a Land of Darkness faster than you can finish Mr. Suketu Mehta’s opus. No wonder it was Mr. Adiga who won the Booker.
Hope this takes care of all your queries and issues.
With regards
An Anonymous Well-Wisher”

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