Flash What Yo Mama Gave You!

Bombay learnt an interesting lesson this week, i.e. a flash mob does not involve a bunch of angry web designers wreaking havoc through rollover ads. Nope, a flash mob is completely different. It’s a group of people that gathers at a predetermined place, does something bizarre, and leaves in a jiffy. For example, Parliament.

When done right, a flash mob is art, it is randomness and most importantly, it’s a great way to get Youtube hits without being a cat that plays the piano while doing the Hitler salute.

The Mumbai flash mob, performed at CST last Sunday, was all this and more. Two hundred everyday citizens, between the ages of 4 and 60, broke out into a choreographed dance at CST, after which Anil Kapoor scared the hell out of white people by going all Ram Lakhan at the Golden Globes… hang on, I may be a bit confused here.

No, the flashmobbers danced to ‘Rang De Basanti’ (which is Punjabi for ‘Suck on this, you Kolaveri freaks’) much to the surprise of commuters whose idea of local train music so far had been confined to bhajan groups that could make God turn atheist.

Now at this point, let me clarify that I’m not one of those overly happy people. Not while I’m sober anyway. You know the kind I’m talking about – those upbeat dingbats who claim to be high on life, vomiting sunshine and rainbows every time they open their mouths and generally going about their day as if they’d just woken with Sharad Pawar’s bank balance.

Having said that, when I watched the flash mob video, I couldn’t help but grin like those very idiots. Seriously, just look at the people in it. What’s the one thing that you notice? Yep, that’s right – some of the dancers are hotties. No wait, I mean they’re happy. Even if it’s just for five minutes, everybody at the station is happy – the dancers, the commuters, the pickpockets – everybody.

Let’s be honest here. If there’s one thing that Mumbai needs (apart from flyovers, wide roads, a metro network, more AC buses, a drainage system that was designed for more than just four Englishmen and their pets, and politicians who have more brains than the aforementioned pets) it is random bouts of happiness like these.

It takes a special kind of Mumbaikar to look at VT and think, “I want to get 200 of my friends and dance in front of the toilets here.” I applaud that Mumbaikar, Shonan Kothari, and also request her to pass whatever she’s smoking. Of course, as far as stations go, VT was the perfect venue. It has character and history and is an iconic Mumbai location, unlike, say, Dadar which is a station built entirely out of rotting vegetables glued together with sweat.

The video reminded me of the last time I saw Mumbaikars erupt with unabashed joy. This was right after the World Cup victory. The sky was a riot of colours, with people singing, dancing, laughing, getting smashed, making out with strangers – it was like a Punju wedding on steroids. But since we can’t fix, I mean, win a World Cup every time, I’ll take these little substitutes instead.

Of course, not everyone shares my enthusiasm. There are many who’ve been cribbing about the quality, nature and purpose of the flash mob (this was after they managed to spare time from their busy schedule of kicking puppies) Ok no, if you’re one of those people, I wish you could lighten up. If not, may Kolaveri play in your head till your brain explodes.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 4th Dec 2011)

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20 responses to “Flash What Yo Mama Gave You!

  1. Hahahahahahaha!! Brilliant!

  2. HEY DON’T DISS DADAR OKAY??

  3. Loved the flash mob! loved ur article!

  4. Hilarious dude…
    Please update about ur stand up events. would love to watch it.

  5. S-Max, this one is real good, my man! You can always tell good crap from an indifferent one by the way you feel when it ends!!

    To your tribe, cheers!

  6. Amazingly brilliant…I broke into a laughing fit at the Parliament .. took me 5 mins to resume reading..
    Simply awesome…
    Won’t be amazed to see you go places man..

  7. You know, when I first heard about the flash mob, I was told it was to honour the people who died at CST on 26/11. I thought that was horribly inappropriate and fairly irrelevant. But one look at that video and I’ve changed my tune faster than Simon Cowell’s opinion on the Little Old Lady Who Could Sing.

  8. “.. unlike, say, Dadar which is a station built entirely out of rotting vegetables glued together with sweat.” → BRILLIANT !

  9. Hilarious! These 3 references were too good:-
    “You know the kind I’m talking about – those upbeat dingbats who claim to be high on life, vomiting sunshine and rainbows every time they open their mouths and generally going about their day as if they’d just woken with Sharad Pawar’s bank balance.”
    “the pickpockets – everybody”
    “It takes a special kind of Mumbaikar to look at VT and think, “I want to get 200 of my friends and dance in front of the toilets here.”

  10. i like your view, but i like KOLAVERI too. And the best part of your write up is “bhajan groups that could make God turn atheist”, I was searching for such a comment on these bhajan mandlees. NICE!!!.

  11. BHajjans that can make Gods turn Atheist 🙂 No Idea what are u sually high on.. but awesome way to relating two totally opposite concepts 🙂 and ya great article 🙂

  12. This has to be the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

  13. “Of course, not everyone shares my enthusiasm. There are many who’ve been cribbing about the quality, nature and purpose of the flash mob. Ok no, if you’re one of those people, I wish you could lighten up. If not, may Kolaveri play in your head till your brain explodes.”

    Yeah I am one of those people who do not share your enthusiasm about this particular mob. On the other hand thin flash mobs are a wonderful work of art. Unlike you I am generally happy about life. Mind you, I kick people who kick puppies. I was having a brilliant evening until I saw this video. It made me cry literally. Wonder if you would still have the gall to write this if one of your loved ones or if you yourself saw the amount of bloodshed on 26/11 at CST. It was truly nothing to dance about. Wonder if the mob tried to raise funds for the families hit by this tragedy… Nah, no news of it… They said we did not want to make money out of this although lot of businesses offered. Hmmm what about talking about security lapses still prevalent… tried that my media friend?
    Don’t mean to be rude, but least you can do is not be indifferent. Yes, enjoy a flash mob, but don’t take the tragedy so lightly and treat it as something long gone and trivial. Think about the possibilities of it all happening again. It could! I appreciate art and this was abstract art.. nothing more… could have been done another day, another time… some people even commented about how we can show the terrorists through the youtube video about the spirit of Mumbai. Well, yeah probably they sit in front of the comp, eat popcorn and laugh heartily. They may even point as to how silly we are about reminiscing such an event without taking care of the lapses that caused it. My friend balance your view and be objective, weigh all odds about this event and let’s see you conclusion.
    PS: Almost thought 26/11/2008 was going to be the day I die at VT… Hence, the strong conviction! Oh yes, and also, love Kolaveri Di, brain still in one piece. PEACE!!!

  14. lovely article! “vomiting rainbows?!” – killer!
    I hope you’re writing an article right now on Delhi’s attempt at a flash mob.
    Can’t wait.

  15. Hahahhahah!! Aashish! I heart all your articles, your niche, It’s simply amazing, maybe you could write something to young aspirants who want to write like you do, like me, and a few other xavierites too who wouldn’t acknowledge it anyway.
    And kolaveri is epicness btw ! 😛

  16. I came here while searching for “maximus stupidus” – a writer whose columns I terribly missed after I stopped reading J.A.M as I didn’t like the mag’s new look and content distribution. Keep up the good work Ashish. You have a great way with words. 🙂

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