Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yearly Break

It’s that time of the year to shut shop and unwind. 
For the next 12 days we will not be around and the blog shall stay suspended for this period. 
But do stay on. 
Hope to catch you when we return on July 8, 2015.

--Blog Monster

Kiran Prakash:
Enjoy your yearly break. Forget blog... But no doubt, we will miss the blog.
Siba Prasad Maitra:
Wish Blog Monster a happy and enjoyable break. Bon Voyage.
Harish Wadhwa:
Nice pic of Blog Monster (and Monstress) enjoying the sea. Have a great time buddy. The well-toned, hourglass figures are showing. Maintain it.
Dilip Babani:
Have a nice time!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Simply Priceless!

Shekhawat receives gift from Monthi Serrao
Monthi Serrao wore her Club cap, but forgot it was Wednesday. Instead of wearing green, she turned up in a beautiful white embroidered top. Only when she was greeted “Happy Saturday!” did Monthi realize her folly. She had left home wearing white, believing it was Saturday today.
Monthi was to however, more than make up for the lapse. For after the exercises, she fished out a large cardboard box (still unopened) containing puja samagri
Ved Prakash Grover distributes Shirdi prasad
an exquisitely carved square platform with lovely little pots and bowls, including a kalash with intricate meenakari work, all in polished Makrana marble. It was simply priceless!
“This is for your wife,” she said, gifting the artifact to Shekhawat. “I have no use for this.
Kiran and Srichand Arora in Manali
I got it as a return gift from a family friend and I immediately thought of your wife. It was her birthday last Sunday and we could not even wish her. Please accept this as my birthday gift to her. I am sure she will value this.”
Shekhawat was overwhelmed. For the first time in the morning, he was at a loss of words. Till then, he had been behaving like a loose cannon, hitting off at all directions – pulling up Fehmida Khan for not exercising and walking out on him, picking on Siba Prasad Maitra for being ‘absent for a week’ (whereas it was only for a day, yesterday), advising Nahid Khan to reduce her tummy (“It is going forward too much”) and so on. Monthi’s gift grounded him for the rest of the morning and he shut his mouth thereafter.
Meanwhile, here’s a surprise from Srichand Arora. Last week, he had been away on vacation at Manali and now he has sent this photograph (alongside) against the snow-capped reaches of the popular hill station. Incidentally, the trip was to celebrate the birthday of his wife Kiran. We thank the Aroras for sharing this beautiful picture with us.
Renu Babani:
What a beautiful thought, Monthi. Priceless. Definitely left Mr Shekhawat speechless, which is ever so rare. So now everyone knows how to keep him silent, even if for a while. God bless him because no matter what, he is good at heart.
Bihari Milwani:
Now we know why the lion roars fiercely. He is not successful in hunting for gifts every day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pressing Compulsions

Some of the 'bravehearts' this morning
It took more than dumb courage to stir out-of-doors today morning. Torrential rain accompanied by strong winds lashed the city non-stop, pulling down trees and turning streets into fast flowing rivers of garbage and muck. Even the newspaper boys and milkmen were not to be seen. And yet, there were eight members who turned up for the exercises this morning.
What brought them to the Garden in this foul weather?
There are at least five distinct theories to explain this kind of madness. The first and most obvious one is force of habit. As Santosh Tyagi, who turned up half an hour late today, put it: “I couldn’t stay back. I got up as usual and since 5:30 a.m. had been sitting quietly by the window, all dressed up, waiting for the rain to stop. The moment it subsided a bit, I ran out of the house.”
The second theory, as expressed by Sitaram Hivarkar is the fear of being upbraided. “Had I not come today, you people would have pulled me up. Otherwise, am I mad to come here in such bad weather?
Monthi Serrao presents receipt of Fixed Deposit in bank
Shekhawat and Arora have this horrible habit of reprimanding people who are absent. They do not realize that I have to walk down a long way and it isn’t easy for me in the rains.”
Shekhawat has a peculiar explanation for turning up every day. “Tell me, what should I do sitting idle early morning at home?” he muses. “As it is, at my age, I don’t get sleep and am awake all night…” Arora voices the predicament of many, rather humorously: "Even if one does not want to leave home early morning, the family would throw me out. After that where else does one go, but to the Garden?”
Mohar Singh propounds yet another theory. “I was told you get 11 rupees every day for going to exercise in the Garden,” he says, recalling his childhood when he used to be given pocket money every day to attend school. No school, no money. Substitute that Rs11 for the treats and tea in the Garden and the picture becomes clear.
In all this, nobody talks of the benefits of exercising every day.
Bihari Milwani:
Let it rain or storm, be hot or cold, be Ramzaan or Eid... let there be parties or a dry day, we will continue to laugh and that is why we call ourselves as BIG LAAF.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Manali in Mumbai

Srichand Arora (sitting) narrates his Manali odyssey
Srichand Arora today returned from a week-long vacation, bringing with him the weather of Manali, sans the snow. Miraculously it had stopped raining for the first time since Thursday. Apart from the drop in temperature, a gentle breeze blew across the Garden, adding to the morning chill. After all the heat and humidity of summer, followed by the torrential downpour and deluge of last week, this was paradise on earth today.
Arora also brought back happy stories of his trip that extended right up to Rohtang Pass.
Mohankanwar Shekhawat
He has still not got over the inexpensive food and duty-free booze available across Himachal Pradesh, but cribbed about the 14-hour road journey from Chandigarh to Mohali. On the whole though, it was an ‘enjoyable vacation’ – something he had always wanted to gift his wife, Kiran on her birthday (June 18).
Shekhawat’s wife, Mohankanwar’s birthday was yesterday -- a Sunday. And so, there was no celebration, which was to put Shekhawat in an awkward spot.
Monthi Serrao's treat of jaggery sweets
Everyone expected a treat today and with Mohankanwar not even present, Shekhawat had a harrowing time trying to explain his way out. He said he had specially bought 50 packets of biscuits from the Defence Canteen – just that his wife was not keeping well today.
Karuna Waghmare
“We shall celebrate later, once members return from their Ramzaan fasting,” he assured.
Monthi Serrao was to then save the situation with a box of jaggery sweets her daughter had brought from a visit to Ahmedabad. Coincidentally, today was Monthi's wedding anniversary and she was soon to drift into nostalgia, recounting the untimely passing of her husband from a paralytic stroke. She spoke of having to take charge of his factory and bringing up three children till the elder son was old enough to shoulder some of her responsibilities.
Meanwhile, an otherwise quiet and observant Karuna Waghmare appeared quite agitated, questioning the very name of the club, Big Laaf. “This is wrong,” she said. “My grandson says laaf is spelt wrong.” Siba Prasad Maitra tried to assuage her feelings by extending his arms expansively and explaining that “laaf means laabh” (as in love), but she was not convinced. Only when she was told that whoever had coined the word is not very educated and must be forgiven did her face brighten a bit and she let out a contented laaf.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

DAY 1685

Pic(s) of the Week

THREE FACES, ONE MAN... all clicked within days