Thursday, October 23, 2014

Diwali 2014

HAPPY DIWALI: Barfis for all from Jagmohan Papneja
Lord Ram and his retinue return to Ayodhya today. It takes them every year 20 days to travel the distance from Sri Lanka after making mincemeat of the demon king, Ravan on Vijaya Dashami day. Such is the belief. And it is in celebration of Ram’s homecoming that strings of lamps and firecrackers are lit on Diwali.
Today is also the day when the benign Goddess Durga (Parvati, if you like) assumes a fierce form and appears as Goddess Kali – hair open and blow-dried, with a garland of skulls around her neck and a belt of dismembered human limbs around her waist – red tongue hanging out and brandishing an unsheathed sword dripping with blood. Such is the belief.
Bihari Milwani
And it is to invoke her blessings that many are also celebrating Kali Puja today.
At the Garden though, our celebrations were contained to distribution of sweets, thanks entirely to Jagmohan Papneja. Were it not for him, our Diwali would have gone dry. He had brought the barfis not only for us, but for every single person in the Garden – such is his large-heartedness and more importantly, the spirit of festive cheer that he so thoughtfully ushered in early morning.
After this surprise treat, the Diwali celebrations slated for tomorrow have been rendered redundant. And Monthi Serrao will not be dipping into the Club’s funds (ref yesterday’s post) for the moment. But this decision was taken for good reason and was appreciated by all present. We now have to find a better reason to spend the Club’s money!
Meanwhile, in keeping with the current exodus of members, Bihari Milwani today took off for Bournemouth, U.K. to meet his grandson. He sends his Diwali greetings and says he’d be back on November 10. Let us also wish him a Happy Diwali as well as a safe and enjoyable trip.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reason to Spend

Monthi takes a dig at Angad Singh
Monthi Serrao was a happy lady today. As treasurer of the Club, she had always been hard-pressed at explaining what she’d do with all the cash collected from members by way of subscriptions. Finally, this morning, she was given a good reason to spend some of that money: DIWALI.
In the past, Diwali sweets (as indeed all treats in the Club) have been bought from contributions, jointly or individually – the idea being not to disturb the corpus with our bank. Over time, we were faced with a rather piquant situation of making only deposits and not withdrawing any cash. Not that we were sitting on a fortune, but still, questions were raised on whether we would ever get to spend the money in our lifetime.
In fact, the other day, when Angad Singh was inducted as member (ref post of October 17), his first question was whether the Club had any plans in place for spending the money.
Fehmida Khan: Lots of Charbi'
“Yes, we spend it on parties,” Monthi replied.
“But in the past six months, I have not seen any party,” he countered. Srichand Arora promptly told him that if he had second thoughts, he need not join the Club. “We cannot compel anyone to pay subscription,” he explained. “You may think it over.”
Monthi got the opportunity to bring this up (nay in light vein) with Angad Singh today when the Diwali plans were announced. Jagmohan Papneja offered to pick up the luddoos from Tewari Sweets in Juhu tomorrow evening, in time for the festive treat on October 24 morning.
Meanwhile, outside the Garden gate, a couple of overfed females set up shop to instill the fear of death in people – unless they signed up with a certain Just 4U Nutrition Center. It was a joke. But still, a big crowd had gathered and everyone was made to hold a device (supposedly, a ‘body fat analyzer’) that produced instant readings on body fat, visceral fat, sub-cutaneous fat, etc. Not a single person turned out normal. And they were all routinely directed to report to an address opposite Kokilaben Hospital if they wanted to be alive.
Fact is the Garden has become a fertile catchment area for dubious entrepreneurs preying upon the health concerns of gullible senior citizens.
Jagmohan Papneja:
Ms Monthi Serrao was forthcoming in informing us that we have been depositing the club subscription in the bank but there is no withdrawal for a long time. She fears that if the status quo remains, our account may be classified as dormant. She was happy to withdraw a small amount for celebrating Diwali which will reactivate our account. On the occasion of Diwali, this is wishing you all a very happy, prosperous and safe celebration. May the festival bring happiness and success to all members and readers. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Hot Ladies”

The ladies are on their own trip... individually 
That Santosh Tyagi is capable of wicked wisecracks is a well-known fact. But whoever knew that she is also capable of unleashing her unique brand of humour with a perfect sense of timing? So this morning when she was to suddenly describe the ladies of the Club (not excluding herself) as “hot”, the effect was simply jaw dropping.
It all began with Mallika Kagzi straying away from her self-assigned position in the circle (among the ladies) to exercise in the midst of the men. Not that it mattered to anybody. But after some time, when she returned to her original position, a few eyebrows went up.
Ruksana Khan
Mallika’s reply was that it was “too cold out there” where the men stood!
Probably she meant that the area was too shaded or perhaps, the grass out there was still wet with dew. But Santosh did not wait for her to clarify. “Yes, yes… come back, we are hot ladies!” she retorted aloud, taking Mallika completely by surprise. Only someone as witty and with a terrific presence of mind could make with such a provocative remark -- that too, when her father is ailing and mentally, she is already in Delhi (ref yesterday’s post). Quite clearly, she did not want others to be affected by her personal distress and anxiety.
For better or for worse, the import of that remark was drowned in uproarious laughter -- even as the men looked sheepishly at one another, suitably embarrassed – barring of course, Shekhawat. He took it upon himself to prove that men are no cold fish and on a whim, insisted that he be flanked by females on either side while the exercises wore on. In the absence of Razia Khan, he began entreating Ruksana Khan and when she departed complaining of sore feet, he targeted Fehmida Khan. She gladly agreed to stand in, but from tomorrow.
That should suit Shekhawat fine because from tomorrow, Ruksana will be away at Surat. She joins the off-season exodus (ref yesterday’s post) and like most others, isn’t sure when she would be back.
Jagmohan Papneja:
The happiest people don't always have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. This is true for our club members -- more so for Santosh-ji.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Unseasonal Exodus

Arora lends moral support to Santosh Tyagi
Geeta is the last to sign up for the Darjeeling tour
Every year, the Club witnesses an exodus of members on two occasions: once, when schools and colleges are shut for the summer vacation in May-June; and the second time, just before Dussehra, during the Navratri festivities. This year though, hardly anybody went out of town on either occasion. But soon after Dussehra, Shekhawat made a trip to Rajasthan and was followed by Razia Khan, presently in Pune.
Now it is Santosh Tyagi’s turn to pack her bags. This morning she informed the Club that her father had been hospitalized in Delhi with a serious heart condition and the earliest she could get herself a ticket is for a midnight flight on Thursday, October 23. She said that at age 94, her father has been in the pink of health with no complaints on BP, diabetes or any age-related problem seniors suffer from. Yesterday she was informed that he had contracted lung congestion and before long, had to be hospitalized. It turned out to be a heart stroke with 90 per cent blockage.
Today, during the exercises, she called her brother in Delhi for an update and was relieved to learn that her dad was doing well. “He is not only alert and responding to treatment, but is cracking jokes with the nurses attending on him,” Santosh told us with a faint smile. On behalf of the Club, Srichand Arora assured her that we were all at her beck and call, if and when we could be of any assistance to her.
In keeping with the unseasonal exodus, Arora himself would be leaving – this time for Singapore, to celebrate Diwali with his son. He usually goes there every year on Ganesh Chaturthi, but this year he was unable to do so. So he is making up for it by spending a fortnight there now. He takes a late-night flight today and will be back on November 3. We wish him and his wife, Kiran a safe and happy celebration.
Srichand Arora:
Jab Salman Bodyguard Bun Sakta Hai, Pappu Pass Ho Sakta Hai, Munni Badnam Ho Sakti Hai, Sheela Jawan Ho Sakti Hai, Pyaaz 80 rupees kilo Ho Sakta Hai, Saniya Pakistan Mey Shadi Kar Sakti Hai, Character Dheela Ho Sakta Hai, 7 Khoon Maaf Ho Sakte Hai, Mallika Jalebi Bai Ho Sakti Hai, 12 Mahine Me 12 Tarike Se Pyaar Ho Sakta Hai... Toh Phir Main Doh Din Pehle Diwali Wish Nahi Kar Sakta Kya? Wish You a Happy Diwali!
Jagmohan Papneja:
* Arora-ji, you can do anything and everything. We know you'd do so when you bring a box of Diwali sweets on your return. Thanks for your greetings. I warmly reciprocate and wish a very Happy Diwali for you and your family.
* All those who have gone out of Mumbai, hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip. We are eagerly waiting for you in the Garden with greed and to carry out an extra laugh.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 1440

Pic of the Week
Jagmohan Papneja:
Voting is an expression of our commitment to democracy. We ought to exercise this fundamental right.