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   The other day, (June 28, 1998)

I had gone to see my friend, who lives on the 21st floor and who has the second largest collection of umbrellas in the world, after Ebrahim Currim & Sons (joona ane janita).

"You have come just in time, I was wondering who to present this custom made 'Stag' chaap umbrella to. You can have it," he said.

"Thank you very much," I said. "I hate getting wet in the rains."

"This is a special umbrella," he said. "When water falls on it, it emanates three types of French perfumes, depending on whether the rain is light, medium or heavy. You can collect the raindrops from the umbrella and bottle them, they become perfumes."

"Good," I said.

"On a dark night, when you open the umbrella, a light will come on. It is a powerful light, and if you open the umbrella at Wankhede Stadium, they can play night cricket there without the need of their own lights."

"Wonderful," I said.

"In the handle of the umbrella is a mobile phone, an FM radio and a mini bar, and in the top half of the umbrella's arm is a computer. You open the arm with a click and the computer springs out," my friend said.

"Great," I said.

"See this zip in the umbrella cloth. Unzip and inside you will find a collection of credit cards in your name. Use them freely, the bills will be sent to me, I have arranged that," he said.

"You are very generous," I said.

"Take this whistle," my friend said, handing me a small whistle. "In case you forget the umbrella somewhere, blow the whistle and the umbrella will come to you. In case it is stolen, a siren will go off at the nearest police station and the police will be informed. Just be careful about one thing."


"Don't lost the whistle," my friend said. "These spokes are meant for different things. Press this spoke and the colour of the umbrella's cloth will change; press this and it will become double its size, so that you may share the umbrella with your companion; press this and it will convert itself into a tent."

"Excellent," I said. "What's this little button?"

"Oh, that!" said my friend. "Press it and the MRF man will appear to give you the weather forecast. He is generally very reliable."

"You think of everything," I said.

"Is there anything else?"

"Yes, rub the handle with your right hand and it will start raining. There is no point in having an umbrella if it does not rain."

"Is there a guarantee with the umbrella?" I asked.

"Oh, yes, if anything goes wrong, take the umbrella to Ebrahim Currim & Sons, makers of 'Stag' umbrellas. If they cannot repair it, they will replace it with a raincoat."

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