Saturday, June 23, 2018

Eid Party 2018

Eid Party with a difference -- over a round of antakshari
The floodgates of partying have indeed opened on us (ref post of June 20). After four major treats in as many days, we had
Banoo Apa arrives
fashionably late
our fifth big bash of the week today – the long-awaited and much talked-about Eid Party of the Club.
But it was more about the flooding in the Garden that we had to contend with this morning. In fact, the party was almost scrapped apprehending a low turnout because of the incessant rains since last night. The Club was equally divided over whether to carry on with the party or defer it till Monday. Ultimately
Shekhawat ready to
leave with his Eid box
a toss of the coin settled the matter and Arun Patil set out with Razia Khan to collect the food boxes from Jagruti, near Andheri Station.
Meanwhile, we shifted in and out of the China Hut while trying to dodge the rain. The exercises were conducted inside and since Arun was getting delayed, we spilled outside on the garden chairs for an impromptu session of antakshsari. Once
Celebration shifts inside the China Hut
it started raining, we were back inside the China Hut. This unintended game of hide and seek with the rain gods lent an added charm to the celebration this morning.
By then most of the members had somehow made it to the Garden -- including Pushpa Gupta, Karun Sharma, Naseem Khan and several others who had become scarce in the past few weeks. It was a happy gathering and an unusual event, given the inclement weather, but well embracing the spirit of Eid -- as the accompanying pictures would indicate. We left the Garden holding on to our food boxes, a happier lot.

Lt Col Angad Singh (retd):
We have to follow certain rules while in the Garden. But for these rules, we would have enjoyed the food together in a better manner than having to carry the boxes home.

Bihari Milwani:
It is good that we had the Eid party today. Monday is going to be a very rainy day.

Dilip Babani:
Very nice party given by Big Laaf. Everybody enjoyed antakshari also. Thank you Arun-bhai and Razia-ji and all the other members who helped in making the Eid party a memorable event.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Cutting the Flab

Yusuf Rassiwala addresses members of the Club after the exercises 
The Club today took a significant decision to reduce the composition of its managing committee from nine members to three while calling for immediate elections. These three members, would in effect, constitute the office bearers of Big Laaf.
Yusuf Rassiwalla also extended a warm invitation to all members for the Eid Party being hosted by the Club tomorrow. ‘It would give us great pleasure if everyone is present and nobody gets left out,’ he said.
The decision to cut the managing committee to size was spurred by certain hard facts which had made it untenable to sustain extra flab. It was explained that in a large club of say, 200 or 300 members, having nine people on the committee may make sense, but not in a club our size.
Moreover, to have almost one-third of the total membership drawn into a managing committee dilutes its importance and gives rise to needless ego clashes. A small, compact and cohesive committee will be much more effective -- not to mention, be constantly on notice as it can easily be replaced.
What’s more, the pool of eligible members for election gets expanded automatically. This is in keeping with the Big Laaf policy that once having served their term, members of a committee must make way for fresh blood.
For the record, the memorandum and bye-laws of the Club permit a minimum of three members and a maximum of nine on the committee – apart from the provision of co-opting two additional members. Yusuf R and Shekhawat remain the two Chairmen Emeritus of the Club.

Lt Col Angad Singh (retd):
A small Managing Committee is ideal for a Club like ours. It is good that its size has been pruned. Let's hope that the new committee will bring new zeal and energy among all members.

Bihari Milwani:
Wow! Now we can have more members for constituting a sub-committee for parties.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Yet Another Treat

Zarina Khan treats us to luddoos
Close on the heels of Bihari Milwani, Nahid Khan and Banoo Apa (see previous posts), it was Zarina Khan’s turn today to treat us to sweets. Her youngest son, based in Qatar, has become a father. And she becomes a grandmother seven times over.
Amid all the congratulatory hugs and back slapping, Zarina declared that her ‘cup of happiness’ was now full. When Siba Prasad Maitra jokingly advised her to ‘raise a football team’, she thanked the Almighty for being blessed with three sons and together with their families and children, she
Zarina Khan
has started feeling like a grand matriarch.
Kiran Prakash promptly composed a song to mark the occasion, ‘Happy dadi-amma to you’ – sung in tune
Shekhawat exchanges pleasantries with a new member
with the birthday song – with everyone joining in. Shekhawat too came up with a peppy number -- ‘Dadi-amma, dadi-amma maan jao!’
The celebration was a happy culmination to what began as a pesky morning with tiny ants all over the place and seemingly targeting only Nahid Khan during the exercises. Arun Patil would not believe that ants can be so selective in their approach and suggested that Nahid either shift her position or simply ignore the ants and carry on with the exercises.
Nahid stayed put in her place and kept protesting, even accusing Arun for being heartless while she was being subjected to intense pain. Shekhawat seized the opportunity and ticked off Arun for always talking out of turn. And Bijoy Gupta, not to be left behind, blamed Shekhawat squarely for letting loose an army of ants in the Garden, much to Nahid’s grief.
A vexatious situation was thus made light of -- even as many others could also feel ants climbing up their pants. We all know this to be an occupational hazard. Ants are bound to show up with the onset of monsoon and we have been dealing with them every year. Why should this year be any different?

Bihari Milwani:
Now that Zarina has seven grandchildren she can probably name them Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Lt Col Angad Singh (retd):
After a long dry spell which started with Ramzaan, it's celebration time now after Eid. Good to enjoy sweet parties, but do mind your bellies. Ants and other insects are harbingers of the rainy season. They will keep you company for some time. Enjoy these creatures of nature.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Party Time Again

Happy Birthday, NAHID KHAN 
Karuna Waghmare presents birthday calendar
It’s party time, once again at the Garden. The drought, which lasted over a month, got over yesterday when Bihari Milwani sprung a surprise treat on us (see post) soon after the exercises.
Today it was Nahid Khan’s turn. She too showered us with goodies – biscuits and Frooti tetra packs – to mark her birthday. What’s more, Banoo Apa’s son-in-law has just won a prestigious acting award. So she also celebrated in style – with refreshing Rooh Afza.
Handing out the goodies
Banoo Apa treats us to Rooh Afza
Nahid had come suitably decked for her big day – in midnight-blue salwar-kameez embellished with beautiful gold embroidery. She is a person of taste (who actually designs and tailors her outfits) even as her abiding image in the Club is that of a ruff-‘n’-tuff underworld don. In fact, it was in this no-nonsense avatar of ‘bhai-jaan’ (as many call her) that she has been featured on the cover of her birthday calendar.
There was of course, the ritual of singing the birthday song with everybody dancing and clapping around her. Earlier in the morning, we raised an extra ‘fourth laugh’ for Nahid – another time-honored ritual accompanying every birthday in the Club. In sum, it was a short and sweet celebration with loads of love, warmth and happiness.

Lt Col Angad Singh (retd):
True to the spirit of celebrations, Nahid Khan's birthday gave an impetus to enjoying goodies all over again. I wish Banoo Apa's son-in-law more awards in times to come. Keep celebrating and laughing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Blog Anniversary

Bihari Milwani (l) celebrates with Perks
Only Bihari Milwani could have done this. Who else on earth would have known, let alone remembered when this blog was launched and then, gone on to celebrate its anniversary? Not even the Blog Monster had the faintest idea that we had completed eight years to the day and ought to make a celebration of it today.
But then, it must also be said that Milwani has ceased to surprise.
Gupta informs of a viral video on Shekhawat   
It is almost a given now that if anybody should know anything about the Club, he is the one. What makes him even more unreal is how lightly he carries his knowledge, revealing only as much as required and that too, at appropriate times. Needless to say, what he utters is never contested.
So this morning, when he threw us a teaser, we were all on the backfoot. ‘We are to celebrate someone’s birthday today,’ he announced, holding open a box of Perk, the choco-wafer. ‘Any idea who this can be?’
Yusuf Rassiwala informs about Eid Party and the next AGM
Seeing the mass of blank faces, he became a little considerate. ‘Okay, I’ll give a hint. It is present among us. Another hint: It is eight years old…’
Indeed, the blog has completed eight years, having been launched on Saturday, June 19, 2010. The first post, Merry Men of Lokhandwala was a reproduction of a report that had appeared in My Times, a publication of The Times of India (see post) and served as a curtain raiser of what Big Laaf was all about, the kind of exercises we do, the other activities, movers and shakers, etc.
Little had we known then that this blog would become a rallying point around which the Club would grow and more importantly, bring members and their extended families together on a common platform to bond and interact on an almost daily basis. The Club, in fact, has acquired its name from the blog.
Today, we have notched a phenomenal 2,500-plus posts and nearly one million hits from all over the globe – a feat, few existing blogs can claim. Thank you Bihari Milwani, for telling us we have survived.

Bihari Milwani:
We are a FAMILY. We not only create reasons, but also invent events to laugh out loud and prove that we are rightly called BIG LAAF.

Bhaswati Bose:
Amazing, what a phenomenal memory Mr Milwani has. He is a super computer. It was also very nice of him to celebrate the occasion with choco-wafers.

Lt Col Angad Singh (retd):
Mr Milwani is a walking wikipedia. He knows all the important events of the Club and its members. He always surprises us and makes the event enjoyable. Three cheers to him. It is a happy occasion to know when the blog was inaugurated and see its growth. Good luck to the Club and its members. Keep laughing.