Flash mob, noun
A flash mob is a group of strangers who organize themselves, using electronic media such as cell phones or the Internet, to gather together in a public place, behave in a pre-determined (and often silly) manner for a pre-determined amount of time, and then quickly disperse.

Cast of characters:
R – journalist, drunk, in the process of getting stoned
J – artist and illustrator, drunk, in the process of getting stoned
An – haven’t the faintest what he does, drunk and stoned
A – playwright, apparently nervous about being in the process of getting stoned
M – birthday boy who brought his own cake, in the process of getting stoned and drunk
L – journalist, getting drunk and stoned
Me – note-taker, not drunk or stoned

Last night, or this morning, depending on how pedantic you want to be, a group of friends and some strangers organised themselves using cell phones to gather in a private space. In the course of about an hour or so, while creating an impressive Venn diagram with two circulating joints (clockwise and anti-clockwise, if you please), a genius idea was hit upon. Just for the record, I was merely the passer of said joints so there’s no chance I hallucinated any of the conversation below.

R: We can meet on Thursday. We could go swimming like today.

J: I almost drowned.

R: That’s true.

J: I have no lung capacity.

R: That’s because you were chain-smoking for 10 minutes before you got in the pool.

A: That’s an Olympic event they should introduce – the fastest 100m swim after chain-smoking for 10 minutes.

(Giggles from all present parties)

J: What do they call those things, you know, where people just show up, in hordes?

R: Flash mobs.

An: Flash moms?

R: Mobs.

An: Loike modders?

R: No, not moms. Mobs. Flash mobs. Like a crowd.

An: Oh.

L: Mob. Not mobs. Singular. One mob.

J: They just gather. Like they had a huge flash mob rave at Victoria. It was totally silent.

L: A silent rave?

J: Yeah. Everyone had their iPods on and they were dancing madly.

L: Where’s the joint?

An: Which one do you want?

A: It looks like I’ve got both.

J: Someone should do that here. A swimming flash mob!

R: Everyone chain smokes for 10 minutes and then jumps into the pool?

J: Yes! I’ll sponsor the event at Juhu gymkhana.

R: No, I want it at the CCI.

J: Ok. (turning to L) Will you help organise it?

L: I’ll send all my friends, in droves. Where’s the joint?

J: Can you swim?

L: No.

J: That’s perfect!

A: There’s a great event for L. It’s either the gold medal or death.

M: Flash mobs are illegal here. They tried it in Worli. A whole bunch of people showed up and opened up their umbrellas.


J: Then? What did they do?

M: That was it. They opened their umbrellas. The police came there and broke it up.

L: Why?

M: They said it was potentially violent.

J: We could still do it with swimming.

So if you do read in the newspapers about a flash mob diving into a pool in Mumbai….

5 thoughts on “Hob-mobbing


    i want that as a short film. and the last scene has to be the flash mob diving into the pool. leaving poolside a burning cigarette each. which then get picked up by police officers.

    you know, with a joint i would be quite as bad as you guys. 🙂

  2. You are clearly a dangerously sober woman.

    You forgot the part where as part of a PR stunt L [who can’t swim], would also chain smoke and drown half way through the pool [like at the deep end].

    At some point the lifeguard would dive in to save him. We’d get good publicity.

    Apparently groups of people opening umbrellas is not allowed by the police.
    It could be risky.

  3. Oh god yes… I knew I was forgetting things (second-hand pot inhalation, I tell you…). The chain-smoking, buff lifeguard who’d be gasping for breath while trying to resuscitate L. It’s so fitting that on L’s way back home, his auto-wallah thought he wanted to linger around the transexual lovelies of Linking Road.

  4. This is all so loopy & delightful. I love the idea of flash mobs. I wish someone would invite me to be in one.
    I first saw one on tv in CSI Miami. It wasn’t so much fun as it included a corpse.
    Umbrellas are only good for poking people out of your way in a crowd. Almost as good as hatpins.


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