*Ding dong* *doorbell rings*

The doorbell rang constantly as if someone on the door was in hurry. I put my cup of tea aside, folded the newspaper hurriedly and like any other typical hubby shouted “Anuja, please open the door. But there was no answer from her side. The bell kept ringing like the hell has collapsed. I literally ran towards the door, opened it & shouted who the hell are…”

But when the door opened, I was astonished. Three lady officers in Khaki uniform were there. The senior one showed her I-Card & said “We are from CBI, we have search warrant against you.”

May we come in”, senior officer asked me politely and she entered in with her colleagues without waiting for my answer. I was dumb struck to see all of them. Wait don’t judge me. I was shocked because surprisingly everyone resembled to my family members.

The senior one introduced herself “Hello sir, I am Mrs. Khanuja Khandwala, my colleagues Ms. Nashta Farsanwala & Ms. Gattu Ganthiawala” I was awestruck because they resembled my wife and daughters. How on earth can this kind of co-incidence occur that their names also rhymed with my people? Also, frankly my mouth was watering (stop judging, people!!!!) Because they have unusual names that reminded me of my favorite food.

Mrs. Khandwala was a tall, fair woman, her colleagues also looked like my fairies, my daughters, but they were in their early twenties. Little did I know what was going to hit me. When they set on chairs Mrs. Khandwala took out her pen, pad & started shooting questions:

CBI: Name?

ME:  Dr. Shirish Kashikar 

CBI: Profession?

ME: Academician

CBI: Age?

ME: 49

CBI: Height? 

I tried to protest “But what it has to do…”

CBI: “Please don’t interrupt Sir, your height” She retorted. 

ME: Five feet ten inches

CBI: Weight?

ME: Eighty-six kilos

Mrs. Khandwala turned towards Ms. Nashta & asked her to note this point specially.

CBI: Waist?

ME: “I have no idea Ma’am, but what all these things…”

CBI: “Sir, please co-operate with us. Nashta, get your measure tape & check his waist”. Ms. Nashta came forward & measured my waist. “it’s 38 Ma’am”

CBI: “Hmmm that’s really disproportionate, doctor sahib. We have a strong case here” Mrs. Khandwala said.

 ME: “But Ma’am why you are doing all these things & why are you asking such funny questions? what have I done?”

CBI: “Dr. Kashikar, calm down, we will answer your all questions, but let us finish our business first” she assured me.

ME: “Ok go ahead, Ma’am” 

CBI: “Do you have any unhealthy habit like smoking, drinking etc?”

ME: “No Ma’am, I only consume tea thrice a day, well sometimes a hard drink.”

CBI: “hard drink? In Gujarat? That is another serious matter, Mr. Kashikar” snapped Mrs. Khandwala & asked Ms. Nashta to note this point with special remarks. 

ME: “Excuse me, Ma’am, I said a hard drink metaphorically, but for me a soft drink is also hard to digest, I have acidity problem. I am sorry but that is outrageous of you to think of me without knowing facts.

CBI: “Oh that’s ok, what about B.P.?

ME: “Ma’am that is outrageous.  I am for one shocked and disgusted with CBI. I also can raise the question on CBI due to current happenings of CBI. I am a reputed journalist.

CBI: “Mr. Kashikar, don’t try to be over smart, I am talking about your blood pressure & nothing else, so answer me properly”

ME: “Oh that’s 130/90”

CBI: “Oh, you already have it, be careful, any medicine?”

I told her about my medicine dose. 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Khandwala ordered her juniors to search my kitchen to prepare the list of things kept in it. I tried to resist but she stopped me & waved a paper which she mentioned as a search warrant. As her juniors started searching kitchen, she started her round of shooters again.

CBI: “What do you do to lose your weight & reduce your waist?”

ME: “Well, almost nothing, my wife insists me to do a regular morning walk, pranayama, but after a full day’s stressful job I can’t wake up before 7.30 in the morning.” 

CBI: “We call this type of accused lazy bones, Mr. Kashikar”

ME: “Accused? for what?” Now I almost lost my temper and my journalistic instincts kicked in. I smelled something fishy in here.

CBI: “Well we have got the information from our reliable sources that you have collected disproportionate, illegal assets, so we will search every nook & corner of your house & find out the root cause” explained Mrs. Khandwala.

As she was talking to me suddenly Ms. Gattu appeared in the drawing room with some eatables in her hands as the Inspector Daya Shetty in her eyes, she said: “Ma’am, look what we have found in this extensive search, Ms. Nashta is preparing ‘muddamaal list”.

In a few minutes, Ms. Nashta came to drawing room & handed over the list of ‘muddamaal’ they found in my kitchen. She also displayed some of those items on the dining table. Mrs. Khandwala looked at it & murmured something in Ms. Gattu’s ears. She handed the list to me to check the accuracy of what they have captured as ‘muddamaal’ the list was

Groundnut oil four tins of 15 kg each 

Desi Ghee five tins of 5 kg each

Kaju, Badam, Kishmish & other dry fruits – 1 kg each

Besan laddu – 750 grams

Kaju katli – 1.500 kg

Rajkot ka peda – 2 kg

Bhavnagri ganthiya – 1 kg

Gordhan ki chatni – 250 grams & some other eatable, high calorie items….

There was a special note at the end “no green vegetables & pulses found in refrigerator”, 

CBI: “Hmmm doctor sahib I must arrest you now, our tip was perfect,” Mrs. Khandwala said.

I was shocked to hear this. I pleaded “Why do you want to arrest me? Just because, you found these things in my kitchen?  This laddu, ped & sweets? That’s my crime? Am I doing any anti-national activity in keeping these harmless things in my kitchen? Is it a crime to have 38 inches waist & 86 kg weight? That’s body-shaming Ma’am”

CBI: “Yes” Mrs. Khandwala dropped the bombshell. “Yes, according to the law of “family health” (she emphasized on the word “family health”) it is not only necessary but mandatory for the people of your age to be 9 feet away from such health risky eatables Mr. Kashikar. As per our new ‘family health law’, the government has decided to curb the menace of overweight & related physical problems. We are officers of this special squad. I am sorry but I have to arrest you” She explained everything in detail.

ME:Wait Ma’am, you said you are from CBI, but since when CBI has started all this type of ‘family raids’ I asked her curiously, at last, I am a journalist. I will be arrested with dignity if I was to be. Warriors go down with PRIDE

 “Well we are from the CBI, i.e. Calorie & Bariatric Information department, she smiled mysteriously & suddenly my body started shaking violently. I lost my temper.

ME: “All these torturous questioning for this?? Are you ……………

Ms. Gattu started shouting in a childlike voice “Babui, please wake up, I am getting late for the school, chalo mujhe taiyaar kardo.” My eyes opened & I found myself on the bed. I hugged Anusha, my younger one.

I checked through the drawing room & I saw ‘muddamaal’ collected & displayed by Mrs. Khanuja (my wife) on my dining table.


Dr. Shirish Kashikar

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