by Bachi Karkaria
‘British Mata ki jai’ has been the cry du jour, and even Anupam didn’t Kher to protest. But here’s a secret. The Colaba cats have smelt a rat. Some Bombabes have been baring their Very Berry claws in a Queenie-sized snarl over the importance being given to the Delhi leg of the WillKat visit. What did the TOI report mean by saying that the capital hosted a ‘more discreet evening tête-à-tête’ compared to the brassy Bollywood show we laid on. Helloh! You balle-balle Dilliwalles are fine ones to talk!!
Most of all, it’s us Parsis who have been frothing like our famous ‘doodh na puff’. Why should Prince William even have gone to Delhi? Isn’t ‘apri Mumbai’ the one and only city of his great grandfather, ‘apro George’? Wasn’t our Gateway of India built to commemorate where he landed with Queen Mary in 1911. Upstart India Gate has nothing to do with royalty.
Does Delhi have a Unesco heritage site originally dedicated to Prince Willsu’s great great bapaiji? It may have been renamed after Chhatrapati Shivaji, but we Parsis will continue to call it Victoria Terminus till our dying-out day. We are not so ungrateful to forget that the Raj was our golden age. My Grampa still bows to the framed photos of Apro George and Apri Rani which hang right next to our prophet’s in his Cusrow Baug flat. Bet maar, Bapsu, not even the old Delhi Brown Sahebs must still be honouring apro Willsu’s ancestors.
My Mom, like her mum, is a member of Princess Mary Victoria Gymkhana built as a ‘small clubhouse for Bombay’s single and working ladies’ in 1905, on land granted by apra Pherozeshah Mehta, who was Municipal Commissioner. Yes, he protested against Indians being barred from the Byculla Club, but when he helped set up one for Parsis Like Us, he named it after Lord Ripon. Does Dilli have anything to match its famous Wednesday dhansak? Pity WillKat couldn’t get to eat it.
At least they ‘fulfilled the dream’ of the 93-year-old ‘No 1 Fan of British Royalty’. Boman’s father hadn’t named his Irani cafe ‘Britannia’ in 1923 because he liked mass-produced biscuits! But, thank-god, old Boman used his bheja and didn’t go on about his surname when WillKat met him. It’s ‘Kohinoor’.
Alec Smart said: “Who is summer’s juiciest actor? Om-ras Puri.”