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As quiet flew the Arabian Sea, so quietly sat our lonesome lady on the railings of Mumbai’s Marine Drive that divided salty waters from the sultry ambience of the evening.

The Queen’s Necklace or Marine Drive is indeed a very interesting place in the sense that you get a lot of real-life stories that match the real-life ones, including that of our lonesome lady. People of Mumbai say Marine Drive is a jinxed place for the lovers. Is it so? Let us have a peep into it.

Many a decade ago, it was in the Marine Drive where four flopped Prem Kahanis or love stories of the Bollywood actors ended in a fiasco. None of them walked hand-in-hand till 90. They are dead but their Prem Kahanis (love stories) are alive.

Evening’s sparkling C-shaped 4.3 km long Queen’s Necklace, Prem-junction or lover’s place of the metropolis, has its own charms, chimes and chirps.

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Our lonesome lady, however, felt this is a jinxed place for match making. Her match made with a NRI here ended abruptly in Washington. A Moti-Naati-Gori (flabby-chubby-short –fair) woman snatched our lady’s hubby from her.

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Our lonesome lady’s ancestral mansion, she sold before settling permanently in Washington, lay only a few yards away from Krishna Mahal, the love nest of Dev Anand and Suraiya. Another filmy lovers whom we have seen in Shree 420 and Awara of the RK Studio, also met at Marine Drive for the first time. They are Raj Kapoor and Nargis.

Remember Dimple Kapadia opening the door to Rishi Kapoor with her hands dipped in Besan (gram flour) in block-buster Bobby? Who can forget that unforgettable scene? When Nargis opened the door of her house, few yards from Krishna Mahal, to first meet Raj Kapoor, her hands too were “geela” (wet) with “Atta” (wheat flour).

She was baking Roti: the bread. Dimple was making crispy-tasty fries. Yes. Bobby’s famous scene was almost same.

Raj wanted to marry Nargis but Prithvy Raj (Kapoor) refused. Suraiya planned to marry Dev (Anand). But her granny refused. Dev-Suraiya often met at Krishna Mahal. Almost adjacent was the house of Jaddan Bai, Nargis’s mummy. Raj-Nargis often walked in Marine Drive.

Our lonesome lady, born decades after the fiascos of Prem Kahanis of the four Bollywood actors, says Queen’s Necklace is a jinxed place for matchmaking as her Pyar ended within six years of its blooming.

Naina Patel bid bye-bye to Mumbai 12-years ago after marrying a NRI. Just six years later, she was divorced. Love stories of Naina and four filmy superstars flopped. But Nana-Naani’s Prem Kahani succeeded.

But our Nana-Naani, coming here every evening to watch how the Arabian Sea suddenly swallows the setting Mumbai-sky’s crimson-sun, disagree.


Naina, our lonesome lady, wants to chew the lady now living in Washington with her ex-hubby, no matter even if you call her a cannibal.

Our Nana’s Sasoor wanted to make a bar-b-cue of him. Naani’s father-in-law planned to make a Khichdi (hotchpotch) out of her and eat it up. If failed, he will go to Marine Line Railway Station, eat his own brain and put his neck in “patri” (railway track) to be mowed by a running local train.

Suraiya’s grandma often said “Main Use Kha Ja-ungi” (I will eat him). Her menu was Dev Anand. Prithvy Raj frequently told Raj he had a strong appetite for eating a human flesh. Poor Nargis.

Walking in evening light-lit Marine Drive, it is not uncommon to hear wife earnestly telling her hubby she wants a little change in her dinner. Poor man fears to encourage her. He knows her menu. Wife, however, expresses herself. Tonight, she would cook her mother-in-law and invite other wives of her housing complex at dinner.



Naina said everything was fine in Washington. She was very happy. Suddenly, “woh” (third person) dropped in between Pati and Patni (man and wife). That Moti-Naati-Gori “woh,” charmed her hubby. He hurriedly divorced Naina to quickly marry her.

Suddenly Naina started laughing. No. Nothing is wrong with her mind.

Naina’s laughter-matter was a heated debate on: What right History has to narrate Her Stories like those of Cleopatra’s or Jhansi Ki Rani Laxmi Bai? Were they He? It must be her-stories. Well, if it is Napoleon or Alexander, they can be history but for Queen Elizabeth, it must be “herstory”. A change in glossary is necessary. A group of college students were very hotly debating over the name-puzzle.

Women must refuse cocktails-invitations as the word is gender-biased. They can if it is changed as “hentails” and entered into the dictionary. If it is Oxford Dictionary, no women should consult it unless its name changed as “Cowford Dictionary”. Womenfolk should join the Oxford University only after its name changed as Cowford University.

The college students hotly debated about male-made mistakes in coining some words centuries ago that goes against female. They included No Man’s Land, Manhattan, Manner, Masterpiece and manure. Man, in these words, must be changed as women. Naturally, Masterpiece would become “Mistresspiece.” Divided into two camps of Boys and Girls, they were fighting wordy duels. By the demand of the girls, USA’s Manhattan should immediately be “Womanhattan.”


Suddenly, the students buried their arguments to welcome Nana-Naani. They caught their hands hands and made sitting arrangements for them. Then came their demand to listen 53-years old Prem Kahani…..may be for 100th times. Apparently, they are all known each-other too intimately.

Due to heavy public demand, Nana would narrate the Prem Kahani. Often Naani will correct Nana in facts and figures. Often they would quarrel about correctness of their facts. But these students know it all. Their quarrel does not surprise them.

Nana had a Hitler-like Baap (father) who threatened no non-vegetarian Bahu (bride) could come in his house. Naani had a Mussolini-like dictatorial Pitaji (father) who wanted only an army officer and non-vegetarian man as his only daughter’s hubby.

As Nana was running his father’s jewelry shop near Marine Drive, he was a civilian or non-military man and a pure vegetarian. How could he relish chicken-tandoori with his Sasoor?

When a 25 year old gold-merchant’s only son (our Nana) proposed to make 19 year old Rani (our Nani) his queen, her World War-II veteran father took out an old-rusted gun never in use since 1945. He, initially, wanted to wring his would be son-in-law’s neck, but changed his preference to shoot him with that old gun, “in fauzi-style……”

Rani confessed to her boyfriend that her father was a Hitler. He (Nana) too confessed Popatlal, his dad was a Mussolini. No, no, no…he is a combination of both Mussolini and Hitler put together.

Father of both Nani and Nana were quite known persons in the Queen’s Necklace in those days. They were pacified by their friends. Their killing instinct, cannibal-tendencies died. Ultimately, the matchmaking was done with much pomp and show many a decades ago.

No. The Queen’s Necklace is not jinxed for lovers. Nani says certainly match-making can be done here. Naina, however, says no. An emphatic no. Really, the Queen’s Necklace of Mumbai is studden with many a real-life stories…..a la reel-life

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