If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Jun 24, 2008

The Bugoo Bugoo Man

Bugoo bugoo bugoo. Followed by the sound of a cracking whip. Enough to get any five year old to finish his porridge for the next week. Other wise he was told, the Bugoo Bugoo man would take him away. And when you saw the Bugoo Bugoo man he was even scarier than he sounded. Bare chested, long haired, barefooted and painted. Painted with startling streaks of white and vermillion. Cracking his whip in the air. Snaking it back so that it cracked a millimitre over his shoulder. While the woman accompanying him drew out the terrifying bugoo bugoo noise from a drum. Sliding a stick over the taut drum skin. A miniature bugoo bugoo man accompanied him. Sometimes. His correct nomenclature would be bugoo bugoo boy. Also painted and bare-chested. A mini whip in hand. His job was to gather the money. That people gave them. For this sideshow in the break between BEST buses and auto rickshaws.
That’s what we Catholics thought. That the bugoo bugoo man was an end in himself. In his appearance and his performance. His jazz ballet jumps into mid air. But the Bugoo Bugoo man was the equivalent of Fr. Jerry. In the confessional. Where every Friday evening he would give us our penance and absolve all our sins. Including the way we looked at Miss Nigli, the science teacher. Even though we didn’t tell him that one. So you paid the bugoo bugoo man. If you were Hindu. And for all your sins he would whip himself. So that the punishment for your sins was borne by him. And you could go on looking at Miss Nigli.
The bugoo bugoo man still comes around. The woman with the drum too. The miniature bugoo bugoo man is gone. He probably figured that people were getting more virtuous or maybe they just didn’t care anymore. Or was the lure of that job as chowkidar too much.
It’s impossible to get a five year old to eat his porridge now. Choco flakes maybe. If you tell him the policeman will come and get him if he doesn’t. But a policeman cant't even touch the feet of the terrifying, God feared,Bugoo Bugoo man.


Anonymous said...

Hahaha yeah those guys were scary! How about the Channawala? He still comes around with his big sack to take away kids not having their porridge... :D

Alison said...

OMYGOSH!!! I've been telling my husband about the Bugoo Bugoo Man for years now, making the sounds and everything, but now I can show him your blog and he can read about this specimen (among allllll the others you've got listed!) in all his glory - THANKS!!!
Thanks also for all the memories you've brought back. I'm probably a generation younger than you are, so my blog http:liaisonwithalison.blogspot.com isn't a touch on what your memories of Bandra conjure up.
Looking foward to many, many more posts!