So, Stoppgappi asked Ravan, “Who is this wizard who is helping the Japanese?” Ravan replied in a grave tone, “That wizard is Starttgappi…your father!”
If Gappi had raved and ranted on this revelation, Diana would not have been concerned about him at all, but the fact that he took this news with an unnatural coolness made her realize how precariously balanced his mental and emotional state was at that point. So she told Ravan, “Can we have a few minutes for discussing this amongst ourselves O Great One?” And when Ravan replied in the affirmative, she took Gappi to the next room and asked him, “Are you OK Stoppu Baba?”
Gappi replied, “Of course I am OK, what is the big deal, sons have been going against their pathbhrasht fathers in mythology and epic fantasy for eons now, I will just be the latest addition to that illustrious list.” Diana tried to draw him out further, and asked, “I didn’t even know that you had a father Baba…” Gappi replied sardonically and scathingly, “There are only two people in the known world who have been born through an immaculate conception, JC and AS. I am definitely not the third one in this extremely short list.”
Diana replied in a puzzled tone, “JC I know of, and we obviously can’t use his full name if we want to avoid a battery of lawsuits for ‘hurting religious sentiments’, but who is AS? At this, Gappi replied mockingly, “Next you will tell me that you don’t know what PSPO is!” And before she digressed with a deep discussion on PSPO, he enlightened her, “AS stands for Anakin Skywalker of course. Now can we please get to the Mudda-The Issue at hand?”
Diana replied, “OK Stoppu Baba, why don’t you start by telling me all about your father, and why you have never once spoken about him, even though you know all about my 12 daayan sisters.” And then Gappi finally told the story of his troubled relationship with his father to Diana in detail. (Narrator’s Note: Gappi’s back story is too long and too complex to be included as a part of THIS story, and deserves a separate identity of its own, which it shall definitely get, sooner than later, God promise, cross my heart and hope to die.)
But before they could even think of formulating any strategy to counter Gappi’s father, there was a loud explosion in the hall outside, and the house rattled to its core. Gappi quickly whipped out his wand, and they rushed out into the hall, where the scene was slightly different from what it was when they had left.
The sofas kept on both the sides for the henchmen of Ravan had been ripped out, the gold on the walls and the pillars had been peeled off like cheap plaster, Ravan’s throne had a different occupant, a 5 feet tall Japanese, whose body was covered with sinister looking tattoos, while the Demon King himself was tied up in a magical rope, which was looking suspiciously similar to Hanuman’s tale….I mean tail. And the other end of the tail-rope was in the hands of a middle-aged, greying wizard, with pointy ears just like those of Stoppgappi.
As I said, the scene was only slightly different.
“Welcome my dear son, welcome,” said Starttgappi, “I have been waiting for this day for a really long time.” Gappi replied petulantly, “This day as in? Thursday?” Starttgappi started laughing at this retort, and replied, “Some things will never change…for everything else, there’s a MasterCard!” Gappi replied, “You are right dad, some things will never change, like your pathetic sense of humour.”
Things were spiralling downhill too quickly for Diana’s comfort, so she butted in, “Can we please postpone this Bharat-milaap to slightly later, or take it offline? The flow of the story is breaking, you know, which might result in a reduced Time Spent per reader for this story. Who will be responsible for that? You guys do realize na that the narrator is investing his khoon-paseena on writing this blog?”
And surprisingly, the previously belligerent father-son duo was looking suitably chastised now. So Diana turned her attention to the Japanese and said, “Mr. Sony Mony I presume?” The Yakuza godfather got up, bowed respectfully, and replied, “At your service ma’am.”
Diana was surprised at this display of gentlemanly behaviour from a gangster, and said, “Can you please tell me why have you usurped the throne of this respectable outlaw here, and why have you tied him up like this?” Sony Mony replied, “It’s purely business ma’am, nothing personal. He is running a business that I want a piece of, and he is refusing to give me that piece, so I am taking it for myself.”
Gappi intervened at this point, “But what business could be worth taking panga with the Demon King himself?” Sony Mony replied, “The protection business of course, it has never been more lucrative.” Gappi was still confused, and asked, “But who is worth protecting anyways in the nasty North?”
At this, not just Sony Mony, but even Ravan started looking incredulously towards Gappi and both said simultaneously, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” Sony Mony continued, “We are not talking about stupid humans or good-for-nothing demons, we are talking the real deal here…THE COW PROTECTION BUSINESS!”
Gappi and Diana were shocked on hearing this. Diana broke the silence first, “Are you telling me that this big business that everyone is going crazy and fighting-to-the-death about is related to cows? We thought it would be something suitably sinister, like smuggling, or drugs or money-laundering, or terrorism.” Ravan started laughing at this, and said, “That USED TO BE our family business, but on your way here, did you happen to see the sheer number of cow-sheds and cows living in this region?”
Gappi sikodhoed his nose and replied sarcastically, “I didn’t see them, but certainly smelled them.” Sony Mony seemed to take offence at this, and warned Gappi, “Don’t be facetious, you young upstart, protecting cows is such big business in India now that I shutdown my global ops, shifted all my senior, junior and intern Ninjas to Nallasopara, and made a bid for Ravan’s throne. But we were always defeated by his magic, so we hired a wizard to safeguard us against Ravan.”
And suddenly, Gappi’s father Starttgappi piped in, “But what you didn’t tell me was that you were using my considerable wizarding prowess for such a mundane reason. You had told me that you were fighting for your mother’s life and honour.” Sony Mony countered, “So how did I mislead you Starttgappi-San? Cow is indeed our mother, and our clan will fight to protect it.”
And suddenly, just like that, Ravan’s tail-rope disappeared, and Starttgappi said, “Some of my happiest memories of life at our Wizarding School are related to Beef Burgers at WaCow, our friendly neighbourhood pub. So I cannot possibly support anything which involves stopping future generations from experiencing those juicy, succulent patties from heaven. I QUIT!”
And you can pretty well guess how the ‘fight’ (if we can call it that) unfolded once Starttgappi’s protection disappeared, so I will not trouble you with the gory details (actually, the details are not gory at all, since it is a family-inclusive story, Sony Mony and his Ninjas (Senior, Junior and Interns) were now ‘Na ghar ke na ghaat ke’, and so they came to Andheri and opened an Electronics Store. The name of the store-SAYONARA of course, what were YOU thinking? It’s a different matter that with ‘Goodbye’ as the name, potential customers just kept going away from the store, and not a single one ever came in. The black-robed Ninjas, with their katanas and their shuriken displayed prominently, standing both outside the store and working as salesmen inside, could also be a reason for the lack of customers, but one cannot be sure)
Now Starttgappi warned Ravan, “If you do not want me to come after you next, please get out of this evil, immoral business right now, and get into a harmless business like drugs or terrorism.” And you know what, Ravan was so scared of the magic tail through which Gappi’s dad had imprisoned him, that he immediately asked his bahu Shipra to cook beef burgers for everyone, and started a new business from that evening itself- that of Aadhar Cards!
Finally, father and son came face-to-face, and Starttgappi said, “I know you have many questions for me, my son, but I’m afraid they’ll have to wait for another day and another time, as the narrator has just informed me that he has already gone way over his word limit for this story. So our epic confrontation will happen…magar break ke baad!” With these words, he twirled like Shaktiman, and disappeared into another dimension, and Gappi and Diana just stood there with their mouths agape, because Gappi couldn’t move even an inch using magic, forget going to another dimension.
Now Gappi and Diana finished off their beef burgers with tea, and took their leave from Shipra and Ravan. They came out, and it was then that Gappi addressed the humongous elephant in the room, “We met the legendary Ravan, the Japanese Yakuza, the greatest wizard of our times, changed the business models of outlaws in the Nasty North….magar itni door waapas jaane ke liye auto kahaan milega?”