Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Children’s Scare

Birthday bumps for Santosh Tyagi
Shekhawat has drawn a blank again with the picnic at Royal Hills (ref previous posts). Yesterday his ‘friendly’ resort manager cautioned him that 300 school children would lay siege on the place on February 20-21 and he better look for some other place or date if he had to go on a picnic this month.
"What am I supposed to do?” Shekhawat asked, convinced that his picnic plans were jinxed. “The first time they said that 60 Nigerians would be landing there. On the second attempt, they say a gang of 300 children would be taking over the place. Where are we to go now? We have become victims of the evil eye. Still, if you say, I will try once more for February 27, or else let us think of some other place.”
Monthi Serrao informed that her “church group” would be going on a picnic to Madh Island on February 20 and anybody so desirous is welcome to join.
Shekhawat reports on a mysterious children's gang 
Shekhawat opened the option to everybody but with nobody forthcoming, he abandoned the idea and concluded that he make one last bid on Royal Hills for February 27. Whether or not he succeeds, we shall know tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Angad Singh withdrew his participation since his tickets to Mohali are booked for next week.
The highlight of the day though, was the birthday bumps Santosh Tyagi received from friends and well-wishers this morning. She had just about distributed lozenges after the customary fourth laughter when suddenly, out of nowhere, half a dozen ladies grabbed her legs and arms and lifted her physically up and down, taking us by shock and surprise. This was the first time an elderly lady was being accorded the treatment by some equally not-so-young ladies. But Santosh took it sportingly and laughed deliriously like a child. She struggled to extricate herself, stood momentarily still to regain her balance and exhaled: “Phew, never before have I experienced this in my life!”
Once again, Many Happy Returns of the Day, Santosh-ji.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Nigerian Scare

Shekhawat informs of the Nigerian swoop at Royal Hills resort
A Nigerian invasion has put the fear of god in Shekhawat and summarily destroyed his plans for a picnic this weekend. The picnic at Royal Hills Resort was originally scheduled for Saturday, February 13, then shifted ‘on popular demand’ to February 14 (Valentine’s Day) and now, has been postponed indefinitely.
Lochha ho gaya,” Shekhawat mumbled to himself. “There’s been a goof-up. Can you believe it, 60 Nigerians at the resort this Sunday? They’d be all over the place, occupying the swimming pool, bathrooms, the toilet, the dining area… They’ll be everywhere, 60 of them, no less. We would be completely outnumbered.”
Clearly reeling under visions of 60 muscular, ebony-bodied men and women in various stages of undress, Shekhawat went on to recount his conversation with the friendly resort manager. “He asked me if we would be able to adjust with the Nigerian group.
Monthi suggests another picnic spot
I told him baap-re-baap, we have so many ladies-log with us. How can we adjust?”
So petrified was Shekhawat at the thought of encountering 60 burly Nigerians at one place that he unilaterally decided to go nowhere close to the resort on February 14.
Fehmida Khan
Monthi Serrao helpfully suggested an alternative picnic resort beyond Panvel for a lesser price, but somehow, that did not register in Shekhawat’s head.
Harbans Kaur suggested a repeat trip to Chhota Kashmir. Even that did not make sense. “Tell me where did so many Nigerians come from,” he asked. “I am told they all stay together in some colony, god knows where. (“Mira Road,” Kiran Prakash proffered.) Did they all have to land on our heads together, that too on the 14th itself?”
A prankster tried to scare Shekhawat all the more by informing about the deadly tse-tse fly (found in Africa) which induces sleeping sickness. His head now buzzing with 6,000 Nigerians, Shekhawat went on to scare Fehmida Khan: “You know, even if a mosquito bites one of those Nigerians and then bites you, you will be sleeping forever.”
“Very good,” retorted Fehmida, a known insomniac. “I want to go to the resort on Sunday. Don’t cancel the picnic.” But as things stand, Shekhawat will make one final attempt for the Royal Hills on February 20 (Saturday) – failing which, he will abandon the idea for good and return the advance money he has collected.
Lt Col Angad Singh (retd):
A picnic gives us the opportunity to be together for a longer time and enjoy the togetherness. This unique privilege has been denied, though momentarily. I will certainly miss the great occasion as my seats to Mohali are already booked. I regret missing the event.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Going Bonkers

Siba Prasad Maitra solemnly sermonises on love and courtship
Harbans Kaur (l) will not be going on the weekend picnic  
Nobody knows why Swati Punjabi addresses Siba Prasad Maitra as “Mr Mantra”. After employing all his persuasive skills (to the extent of spelling out each syllable of his name) he has succeeded in getting her to call him “Sibu Babu”. But that too is not okay with him. “Call me Siba,” he insists. “S.I.B.A. Simple.”
Likewise, Swati demands that Maitra be on first name terms with her. And Maitra, being the classic Bengali bhadralok by default, cannot get beyond addressing her as “Madam”. This makes Swati wild – obviously because it sounds matronly. It makes her feel old. “Like everybody else, why can’t he call me Swati?” she complains.
It would be hard to say whether all this is for effect or genuine slip of tongue. Maitra is known for his way with words – like the way he slipped in bhadwah (pimp) this morning when what he meant was badawah (to take things forward). He was discussing the ritual of courtship, holding forth on the merits of going one step at a time, rather than “jump into” an affair. “You should go dheere-dheere (slowly-slowly),” he explained.
Maitra’s audience today happened to be three notoriously impish women – Bhaswati Bose, Kajal Babani and Pushpa Gupta – with Kiran Prakash, Srichand Arora and Lt Col Angad Singh playing cheerleaders. They all wanted to know how any progress in love can be made “dheere-dheere” leaving Maitra hard-pressed in demonstrating with both hands why we should stop at hand-holding and not proceed beyond. "Haath tak, buss!" he said.
The subject came up when Maitra declared that on Valentine’s Day (next Sunday), he would be carrying three or four roses for presenting people of his choice. “Not for everybody, but selectively,” he clarified. When told that he was asking for trouble, his explanation was that he’d have a hospital bed already booked in advance – just in case.
“Do you know the definition of love?” he asked, suddenly sounding philosophical. “It is like cigarette. It starts with fire and ends in ashes!!!”

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Day 1895

Pic of the Week
That's how a big laugh illuminates the face!

Khup shundor! --Geeta Latte

They are two different ladies. --Anonymous

Santosh-ji is a very good actor. She should work for some TV serials.
--Bihari Milwani

Fantastic smile makes her glow. Santosh-ji, please laugh more often like this.
--Kiran Prakash

We certainly see a good actor in the 'Happy Laugh' of BIG LAAF.
--Lt Col Angad Singh (retd)

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Practical Advice

Kiran Prakash tries to cheer Santosh Tyagi with some sage adivice
Santosh Tyagi was visibly upset this morning. Her birthday falls next week on the 10th (Wednesday), but she cannot celebrate on that day (with us) due to certain personal reasons. She will have to choose a convenient date, perhaps towards the week-end. The worst part is that she cannot celebrate the way she wants.
“Is there no way I can distribute samosas and snacks the way we used to earlier?” she asked alluding to the recently-imposed ‘ban’ on food and beverages inside the Garden.
Santosh was actually voicing her resentment on an issue that remains unresolved and concerns all of us. The face she made and her look of helplessness, struck an empathetic chord in Kiran Prakash. A mild-mannered man, he summoned all the reserves of male bravado at his command and proffered a piece of advice unexpected of him. “Celebrate the way you wish to, Santosh-ji,” he said. “We shall relish the samosas and whatever else you give us.
Nahid Khan (c) treats us to gajak from Delhi
By the time the watchman notices and complains against us, we shall be finished with the eating and disappear!”
Somehow, that did not sound convincing enough to Santosh and her lady friends. They toyed with the idea of “smuggling in” pre-packed food boxes by hoodwinking the watchman and deliberated on the modus operandi of the operation.
“Don’t worry,” urged Mallika Kagzi. “Let alone the watchman, his father cannot catch us. Why his father, even his grandfather, great-grandfather and great-grand uncles put together will not be able to catch us. I could have shown you if it were to be my birthday.”
For these seniors to appear so scared of a young, harmless watchman at the Gate and to speak in such grim, conspiratorial tones by itself made for a hilarious scenario.
But Santosh was serious. She has the option of celebrating her birthday the way she pleases (without fear) at the picnic venue on the 13th (Saturday). Alternatively, she can schedule the celebration early next week, but chances are it would collide with Mumtaz Jahan’s birthday do. For obvious reasons, Santosh does not want to have it either way.
In the circumstances, Kiran Prakash’s advice sounds surprisingly sensible and eminently doable.
Bihari Milwani:
Why not celebrate the birthday at Juhu Beach? Santosh-ji will be reminded of the tasty food last time she had at Juhu Beach -- keema pav!
Lt Col Angad Singh (retd):
A simple affair has been made complicated. The solution offered calling for grandfather and others is not desirable. Let us do some commando action once in while!