Samit Basu took up our time travel assignment to Mumbai, 2115; he came back more amused than amazed.
The monsoon is here. And fresh controversy has erupted in the trendy residential suburb of Rialto, Greater Malad. An altercation broke out at a battery-recharge facility on the second undersea Pali-Rialto tunnel between the police and angry residents who claim that the BMC’s plan to adjust their atmo-bubble’s climate conditions to match Venice’s was unfair, as the former tourist hotspot has recently sunk beneath the sea owing to alleged global warming.
The plan to submerge the neighbourhood is popular among the rest of Mumbai’s residents, as its 24-hour electricity supply and private army have caused resentment in the adjoining slums. But Rialto’s well-heeled homeowners plan to fight this through online petitions and through the courts, which should resolve the matter by the year 2308. Until then, the residents will have to buy gill adjustments. Heartthrob Rocky Kapoor, who recently acquired a plush penthouse on Bridge Towers, Rialto, says he’s not worried as his new Bugatti private submarine will ensure he gets to Mehboob Studios on time.
Speaking of heartthrobs, Dabangg 43.5B came out this weekend, and has already crossed the Rs 1,000-crore mark in direct-to-eye download pre-orders. It’s all in a day’s work for the immortal Salman. It’s 60 years since the megastar was embalmed and placed in a special robotic harness. In an interesting aside, his ravishing co-star, Silky Shanti, 20, is a direct descendant of one of his 1990s heroines. “He really has a golden heart,” trilled the doe-eyed debutante. The heart in question, of course, isn’t really gold but a plastic-fibre-optic alloy specially made by the Being Human Again Science Institute in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
In politics, we all cheered when Saraswati PhD stood for elections and became the city’s first bovine MLA. But now, the party she founded is in disarray, as brothers Balram and Baldev, the alpha bulls of Kurla and Kandivli respectively, cannot agree on which of them is to succeed their mother as the Herd Leader of the Go-Mata Party.
Balram, who captured much of the vote bank two years ago when the Automatic Death Penalty for Beef-Eating Law was passed, seems to be the obvious choice. But flamboyant industrialist, Baldev, founder of the world’s largest cow urine café chain and paparazzi favourite, has deeper links to the human elite.
We just hope the city doesn’t erupt in violence again, as the horrors of 2102’s highway stampede are fresh in our memories. We attempted to contact both brothers, but Balram’s aides told us his bovine-human translator chip had been attacked by Chinese cyber-hackers, and he can now only moo in an obscure south Chinese dialect.
Nanotech billionaire-turned-pop idol GigaGanesha is back from a successful world tour. We met him at his Colaba Ruins mansion, and while we aren’t allowed to show you the amazing results of his path-breaking surgery yet, rest assured, we’ll be the first to bring them to you in our upcoming direct-to-eye bonanza, pre-orders now available at 3% discount on our home-page.
Gigaji’s over his disappointment about the fact that his next album, The Mighty Tusk, can’t be released in his home city on the same day as the rest of the world, owing to the government order that all the songs must also be in Marathi. Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to the release of Gigaji’s latest autobiography, Blowing My Own Trumpet.
In cricket, as our boys in blue prepare for the upcoming World One-Ball Cup at the Tendulkar Megadrome, we hear there’s tension in the camp. While, India’s decision to reject 2113’s global UN resolution on equal rights and pay for women met with uniform approval across all 63 states, January’s addendum that women should be allowed to participate in mixed-gender sports has become popular.
Australian captain and leg spinner Samantha Gryffindor’s recent documentary on the subject, while banned in India, of course, might have something to do with this. India will field an all-male team, but the BCCI’s decision to not allow women from other countries to compete has led to some unrest. “It was bad enough when we had to allow robots to play,” grumbles captain Reebok Chaudhry’s official representative, “but this is just political correctness gone wild.”
(Illustrations: Harsho Mohan Chattoraj)