The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Funny-Side Up

You see, we’re all such a happy (sometimes gay) nation. At least, every time a politician gets up and yells, “Karen ‘gay’.., ya maren ‘gay’... Janata ki seva me jaan ki baazi lagayen‘gay’”, that’s all I’m forced to muse about!


Hey! What’s the score? Tell us, quick! “Well, Gambhir got 206. Laxman made 200.”

No! No! No! Silly. We’re asking about how many those mosquitoes got.

“Umm… Well… It’s 18 down in 18 days!” (Till Sunday evening, at least.)

Exit tiger. Enter Babu‘mosha’i — the new man-eater! Shocking! For you? Yes! For the ‘shorkaar’? Well, not quite! Why? Oh come on! Has anyone heard of a rhino getting malaria?

Ok, so let’s see. What all have we managed to get done in the recent past...

We’ve gone nuclear (though still not ‘clear’). We’ve managed to shoot off to the moon. Anand’s reigning over those 64 squares. Sachin’s gone past 12,000. Soumitra Chatterjee’s finally got a National Award. Ritu-da’s gone bald and beautiful. The Todis are running (they’ll lose weight fast). Russell Peters was in town. And we’re unaffected by the Assam blasts! Hoorah!



Despite all that, we’ve been bitten. Had Hrishida been alive, I’m certain he would have made Anand — Part II. Not in celebration of Anand’s moves, but for our age-old crisis: the Great Bengali Mosquito Circus! What a sight would that make: Khanna-Bachchan, back on the silver screen!

(Lights... camera... Anand — Part-II. Scene 1… Take 1… Action!)

THWACK! Ouch! (was that the clapstick? No, no, aaro ekta mosha maarlo Hrishida!)
Dr Bhaskar Banerjee: 18 din se tumhari bak bak sun raha hoon main... Baatein karo mujhse... Baatein karo mujhse...

Anand Saigal (in his Pushpa tone): BABU‘MOSHA’I… Babumoshai, zindagi ek rang manch hai aur hum sab is rang manch ki kathputliyan hain. Hum sabki dor machhar ke haath mein hai, yahan kab kise kaun sa machhar kaat khaayega, koi nahin bata sakta... Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Curious onlooker (pagla gaya hai ka?): Anand babu... ka hua hai aapko?

Anand: Arre, mujhe cancer hai re…
(Hrishida yells: “CUT! CUT!”)

Anand (apologetically): Oh sorry.. mujhe dengue hai re...!
(Cut it!)

The entire unit moves to the studio canteen. Hrishida enquires, “What’s for lunch?” The canteen boy rattles off, “Murgir deem, haansher deem, mosha’r deem…”

Minister says, “Arre baba... what can we do? We are regularly spraying bleaching powder. We are giving additional medical support. More doctors. More nurses. More ward boys. But we do not have adequate malaria clinics. Not our phault. Infrastructure is to blame. But at the same time, we shall not allow these ghastly mosquitoes to play chhini-mini with public’s life. The problem is, these creatures have become oversmart. They have already approached Insect Rights Commission. Now it is up to us to file public interest litigation against these man-eaters. So come one, come all... kindly ‘corporate’ with corporation. Heal the world... Make it a better place... For you and for me and the entire mosquito race. (As suggested by the popular child rights activist Michael Jackson.) This is conspiracy by opposition. Remembaaaar… We shall not tolerate. We shall definitely overcome. Long Live Human Being! Down with Mosquito Imperialism!”

Somewhere in the jungle, Nana growls, “Ek machhar aadmi ko hijra bana deta hai!” (Whoa! He didn’t say that line for nothing!)



Buck up, ‘shorkar’! We drove out the mighty Tatas; and now you mean to tell us, we can’t drive away mere mosquitoes?

Last week, a hawker in Gariahat was yelling, “Oh dada... ebaar bhai-phontaye nijer didi ke sharee noy, mosharee deen! Noile shaamner bochhor phonta dewar aagei didi phoote jabe!”

Health and hygiene is expensive, you see. It doesn’t come free with the Tricolour. And then where is the government going to get those cannons from? After all, haven’t they issued ‘shoot-at-sight’ orders against the babumoshais already? Or are those only reserved for the Rahul Raj(s) of the country?


Hey! Good idea! Let’s dial R for Raj and tell him these mosquitoes are north Indian! Bingo! Problem solved!

As of now, waiting for the Raj and the rain to come down in November. Didn’t Axl Rose promise you that many many mosquitoes ago? (Sob! Sob! Getting emotional!)
(Beep Beep) Excuse me, please...

1 message received...
(Open Inbox)

“Jibone jotoi dukkho pao, koshto pao,/Chokher jol beriye jete dao/ Aatke rekho na. Kaaron?/ Kaaron joma jolei toh Malaria’r mosha-ra deem pare!”

Till next Monday, from one mosquito to another: “Go, grab a bite..!”


• What’s a religious insect called?
Ans: ‘Mosque’-ito..!

• Ok.. Why are mosquitoes religious?
Ans: Because they ‘prey’ on you!

• What is the difference between a mosquito and a fly?
Ans: Try sewing buttons on a mosquito!

• Why did the mosquito go to the dentist?
Ans: To improve his bite!

• A mosquito got a job at a blood bank.. But he was sacked the very next day.. Why???
Ans: Because he was caught 'drinking' on duty.

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