Monday, May 29, 2006

Moniker makeover. Just what Mumbai needs.

I’m surprised nobody had this brainwave so far. Especially those forward-looking, forward-thinking municipal corporators of Brihan Mumbai! After all, they need every photo op they can grab. So here it is – offered gratis. This means ‘free of charge’ – in case you’re allergic to phoren words, particularly those with Latin (i.e., Eye-talian) roots just like some people we love to hate. So let’s replace the old imperial (imperious?) sounding names of the stations of the Western Railway (suburban line). What Mumbai needs is dynamic new monikers mirroring the spirit of our glorious present and even more glorious future. In so far as Church Gate is the terminus – and it is a terminal condition of the Progressive Mumbaikar state of mind that there is only one personage deserving enough to lend his name to all termini, airports, possibly docks, the new name would naturally be CST (Paschim). Marine Lines will metamorphose into Dr C Moraes Chowk – that being the closest landmark. Charni Road will be rechristened SK Patil Udyan again after the nearest landmark. Or, if you’re not in a mood to overglorify old Congress honchos, let’s call it Maharshi Karve Marg after the friendly parallel road. The Indian sounding Nana Chowk will displace the ‘Angrezon ke jamane ke jailor’ Grant Sahib in the station currently named after the road named after him. Et cetera, et cetera and so forth – as The King of Siam (Oscar winner Yul Brynner) kept repeating to a simpering Anna (Deborah Kerr) in the 1956 CinemaScope movie I saw way, way back at the New Empire Cinema. By the way, this cinema hall happens to be near the original CST – the reincarnation of VT (Victoria Terminus). For enlightenment on moniker makeovers, amble over to (Would you rather meet ‘Demetria Guyness’, ‘Reginald Dwight’ and ‘Sofia Scicolone’ than ‘Demi Moore’, ‘Elton John’ and ‘Sophia Loren’?) Question: Should parents and family not consult spin doctors before handicapping offsprings with names that are born non-starters?

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