Thursday, January 19, 2017


Shooting the breeze
In the aftermath of yesterday’s mega shindig (see post), we are noticing a strange but unmistakable consolidation of forces in the Garden. The usual suspects with divided loyalties are beginning to see through the lies they had been fed with for long and are now retracing their steps towards Big Laaf.
“The Reserve Bank of India order has come as a slap on their face,” said one. “Serves them right. Many congratulations to all of you!”
Others like Tara Chand Seth and Karuna Waghmare today demanded their share of laddoos since they missed the celebrations yesterday. Yusuf Rassiwala suggested we also send a box of sweets to Celebration Club for their being "so supportive towards us" during the past eight months. There were also cautionary noises about retaliatory moves by the “opposite party” (as Shekhawat puts it) in order to harass / demoralise us.
Karuna Waghmare gets til-gud laddoos
Shanti Singh brings til-gud laddoos
Some suggested circulating copies of the RBI order for the general information of members. But the idea was dropped later. “They won’t sit quiet now,” was the general warning. "We need to be vigilant."
Meanwhile, the overall sense of jubilation in the Club is fast being replaced by an insistence to loosen our purse strings – now that finances are no longer a matter of concern. Apart from the celebratory party scheduled, there are expenses for the Republic Day function coming up next week. Shekhawat, along with Mallika Kagzi and Arun Patil want a picnic also, even if it were to be at Juhu Beach (“but definitely not Versova Beach”). Incidentally, a contingent from the Club is leaving for a week-long tour of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer on February 5.
Dilip Babani came up with a brilliant idea. Instead of arbitrarily taking off on such recreational activities, it would be better if we put our heads together and chalk out in advance a calendar of events/ programmes to be undertaken by the Club in the course of one year. “Accordingly, we may allocate funds and make sure we stick to our budget for each event,” he explained.
This would require a meeting of the managing committee – earlier the better.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Moral Victory

Shekhawat jubilantly leads the train with 100 per cent participation
Members respond to the big news with tumultuous applause
Nobody had ever witnessed such a massive outburst of jubilation in the Club. The entire Garden watched in silence as we rejoiced, gamboled about and distributed laddoos. Hardly anybody got left out from this euphoric celebration. And the reactions were spontaneous and unanimous: Truth always prevails.
It was all planned. Shekhawat had announced long back that he would do “Balley Balley” the day our Club’s bank accounts were de-freezed. That moment of triumph came yesterday. Our stand in the dispute has been vindicated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and on its specific orders, we were allowed to operate our accounts and effect a transaction successfully.
Reaching this point has not been easy – all because of a dishonest ex-member playing dirty. Without getting into details (for now), we had to salvage the situation, counter every falsehood at all the appropriate forums and expose the liar. But for five members in the know, the entire operation
Luddoo for Vijay Bhai
Navin-bhai gets a bite
was kept secret for obvious reasons. And what we have achieved now is nothing short of a moral victory.
Shekhawat broke this news and with obvious pride led a ‘train’ (in the rail-gaadi round) with 100 per cent participation. Yusuf Rassiwala suggested we cut short our exercises because “nobody was in the mood” today. Mallika Kagzi went around the Garden feeding laddoos to all and sundry and explaining the reason. Before long, Razia Khan covered the China Hut area. Banoo Apa took care of the Club members and followed it with hot tea and biscuits outside the Gate. Members
Vasudev picks a laddoo
Laddoo treat for the entire Garden
were told that a “bigger celebration” is being planned, meant exclusively for them. At the same time, they were cautioned that we cannot afford to be complacent at present. We should expect some retaliation from the other end and must be prepared for it. In this regard, Yusuf R intends to give a pep talk some time soon.
Meanwhile, Lt Col (retd) Angad Singh had called from Mohali yesterday to inform us of a tragedy that has overtaken him and his family. He has a daughter settled in Bangalore. All of a sudden, her husband went into coma from which he could not recover.
Bereaved: Angad Singh
Unable to bear the shock, Angad Singh’s wife also
Banoo Apa hosts tea party
passed away within days.
Now he is all alone at home. “I don’t know what to do,” he said long-distance. “My son, who stays in Mumbai, has gone back. He wants me to join him there, but I cannot make up my mind, partly because of certain legal issues here. Besides, I do not know if I should join my daughter in Bangalore. She too is alone.”
Angad Singh is in his mid-eighties. This is no age to suffer so much – with no one of his own around.
Razia Khan:
Heartiest congratulations to all Big Laaf members, especially those who were involved in defreezing the account. This great news comes as a pleasant morning breeze. I would like to congratulate each one from the core of my heart. Thanks a billion. A really very, very good start in this New Year. Manzil ki justujoo mein hum ho gaye kaamyaab.
May God shower His blessings on Big Laaf always. Congrats ,Congrats, Congrats.
Baharen chaman mein apna rang jamaa gayi / Khushiyan simatkar hamare daaman mein aagayi.💐💐💐💐👍👍👍
Geeta Latte:
Dilip Babani:
Good things happen with good people and God is always with good people. Big Laaf is a very good family. All members are great, simple minded and loving. All members want to enjoy while doing exercise. The morning exercises with good mood is the best exercise.
Bihari Milwani:
Very shocked and sorry to learn about the tragedy with Col Angad Singh. I will still request him to be with us -- at least on 10th April, 2017 to celebrate his 83rd birthday. For the last so many years, he has denied us his blessings. In particular, I wish he be with us on 10th August 2017 when he will attain the landmark of 1000 months (i.e. 83 years and 4 months), a rare opportunity which a counted few get to achieve. Col Sa'ab, I humbly request you not to deny me the privilege to give you my greeting card on this auspicious occasion.
Bihari Milwani adds:
Our victory is a result of the sincere tapasya by Baba Kiran Prakash!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

‘Toy Handshake’

TOY HANDSHAKE: Karun Sharma is in the foreground facing camera
Innovation is the name of our game. Had it not been for this tendency to adapt and adopt, we would have remained where we were a decade ago. Big Laaf would not have evolved and grown into the Club it is today.
So this morning, when Karun Sharma suggested we play “a game of toy handshake” we jumped at the idea, little bothered about the spectacle we would be making of ourselves. We knew though that there had to be some method in this madness.
We obediently broke into pairs, held hands facing one another and after a few heave-hos threw our arms up in the air laughing hysterically.
Confused Karuna Waghmare
Karun explained that this exercise helps to “improve creativity”. Yusuf Rassiwala said that the laughter it evokes is “natural and spontaneous” unlike the forced outbursts we display as part of our normal routine.
Be that as it was, Karuna Waghmare also kept us in stitches on returning from her “Ganga-snaan pilgrimage” (ref post of January 9).
Shekhawat (l) distributes til-gud laddoos
The funny part was that she had no clue as to where she had been to.
She had left telling us that she was off to Allahabad to take a holy dip in the Triveni Sangam.
But today she described the place as dirty, very congested with narrow lanes, decrepit buildings, dead bodies burning by the river banks, and so on.
Now, this sounded more like Benares. “In this biting cold, we hired a boat and visited 49 ghats,” she affirmed, thereby confirming this could not be Allahabad.
When asked if she had unknowingly ended up in Benares by any chance, she nodded, looking utterly confused. Arun Patil asked
Nahid Khan (l) says it with toffees
Dilip Babani (r) brings Shirdi prasad
in Marathi if she was sure, her reply was that she “had to take the dip on Makar Sankranti day (last Saturday)” – this time leaving us baffled for words.
Earlier in the morning, there was Shekhawat celebrating Makar Sankranti with home-made til-gud laddoos – the soft, crunchy variety only his wife is capable of making. Separately, Dilip Babani celebrated his whistle stop visit to Shirdi on Sunday with revdi prasad from the Sai Baba shrine. If that was not all, Nahid Khan pitched in by distributing toffees and lozenges… simply for the heck of it. As they say, when it rains, it POURS.
Geeta Latte:
Bachhpan ki yaad aayi. Thank you so much Karun Uncle.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Big Blessing

Scramble for Siba Prasad Maitra's (r) nolen gurer sandesh
Whatever anyone may say about the prevailing cold weather conditions, the wind chill, darkness at dawn, etc., there is one major blessing of winter that cannot be overlooked. This is the only time of the year when you not only dress your best, but more importantly, get to sample a large variety of delicacies typically associated with the season.
A cursory glance at recent blog posts would reveal that since the onset of winter, we have been able to savor a whole lot of goodies we would ordinarily
Mumtaz Jahan with walnuts
not get to even see at any other time of the year. And so, today was no different.
Mumtaz Jahan came up with a bagful of walnuts from her recent trip to Jammu – something that keeps the body warm and charged in colder climes. Suresh Samel, the Garden's affable octogenarian ‘friend of Big Laaf’ distributed
Bosom pals Shekhawat and Gupta (file photo)
another winter specialty – til-gud laddu to celebrate Makar Sankranti (that was the day-before yesterday).
The best however, was to come from Siba Prasad Maitranolen gurer sandesh. This again is a seasonal specialty, prepared from the freshly tapped sap of date palm and cottage cheese fudge (for lack of a better word). You don’t get it anywhere in Mumbai – at least, not the quality which Maitra had brought us this morning from a recent visit to Kolkata.
Meanwhile, here’s some good news about Shekhawat. He had been running high fever with acute chest congestion and body cramps last week-end and had absented himself for two days. It was nice to see him back today, fit and fine. But his bosom buddy, Bijoy Gupta, who had been inquiring about him all along, has now disappeared. Now it is Shekhawat’s turn to be missing him.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

DAY 2136

Pic of the Week
Guru gives blessings on Guru Purnima day, which is on 9th July 2017. No advance booking please. --Bihari Milwani