Monday, 26th June, 2017

Nat Geo finally gets it right: Mumbai certified smart

01, Sep 2014 By mentalbaba

If the lunar landscapes of Mumbai are anything to go by, Mumbaikars are pretty much used to being on the moon. Thanks to National Geographic, Mumbaikars are now, well, over the moon (Mental Baba finally understands why his grumpy English guru used to keep carping about them prepositions).

Can you imagine that Mental Baba once met a naysaying Mumbaikar who wished this great city had the moon’s gravity as well…so that him and his Swift Dzire could float above terra firma…err…luna firma? Naysayers, eat your hearts out. National Geographic has just given all of you the Babaji ka Thulu that you seriously deserve. This fabulous city is among the 50 smartest cities on the third rock.

On being pressed for information, National Geographic’s triumvirate of experts mentioned they had initially planned to consider Delhi. However, when they learnt of Arvind Kejriwal, they regretfully concluded that the city did not have a modicum of smartness. They quickly moved to consider Mumbai instead after hearing of its legacy in cutting-edge innovation from Ashok Chavan. Although they did not understand one word of what he had said (it was all related to real estate), the fact that Mumbai had shown the third finger to Kejriwal impressed the triumvirate mightily.

One of the products of such cutting-edge innovation – the cutting chai – just knocked the socks off Tom (who happened to chair the expert committee). Another expert, Harry, was drop-jawed by the Western Express Highway. He was seen scribbling this on Evernote: “Most technologically advanced city on the planet. Beat Elon Musk and Richard Branson to the punch. Why spend a small fortune on an experience that a fifty-rupee auto ride can give you? Hit the first crater and can see stars and planets in broad daylight. Beat that, you Space X suckers.” The third, Dick, was clean-bowled after visiting Ajit Pawar at Mantralaya. Where he came from (MIT), they did not have technology capable of filling up entire dams in a zippy…err…jiffy. He was especially curious to know if Pawar could fill up Upper Vaitarna sitting in Mantralaya itself or if he had to travel to Igatpuri in order to do that.  He was also rather pleased to know his namesake had been used to implement this revolutionary technology.

There’s not just something about Mary but something about Mumbai as well. Here, one doesn’t need to be born smart. The city just makes people smart (under terrorist attacks and overpriced alcohol among other things). So this accolade from National Geographic was long overdue. A resident of Wadala was so ecstatic at this announcement that he decided to take the ice bucket challenge on the roof of a local to Panvel. The title of the challenge was later changed to kick the bucket and has now gone viral.

Needless to say, most visitors are gob-smacked with views of Ghatkopar and Dharavi while landing into Mumbai. The swish T2 terminal completes the experience. If flaunting magnificence to inspire the proletariat is not smartness, what is? Actually, there is something – a thought-provoking  jingle on a popular Mumbai FM station. One which goes like this: man-dola-re-dola-re-dola-re-dola-re-Ebola-Ebola-Ebola.

In the meantime, the Berkeley-educated Prithviraj Chavan had also summed up the IQs of 20 million regular Mumbaikars in a bid to impress National Geographic. He was quite despondent with the initial results. His secretary then pointed out that he had forgotten to include Alia Bhatt. The collective IQ of the city immediately zoomed past a number that even Chuck Norris could not count.

Elsewhere, in a rare display of solidarity, both Raj Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray issued a joint statement condemning Ramlal (a Bihari taxi driver) for fleecing Tom and helping San Francisco sneak past Mumbai.