Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gloom Descends

A.P.J.Abdul Kalam
A pall of gloom descended on the Garden this morning as members mourned the passing away of former president A.P.J.Abdul Kalam yesterday. He was addressing students of the Indian Institute of Management at Shillong last evening when he succumbed to a cardiac arrest. He was 83.
“He was active till his last breath,” noted Jagmohan Papneja while breaking the news during the exercises. “What a truly outstanding personality!”
Members mourn President Kalam's demise, observing a two-minute silence

Many like Gupta and Shekhawat were out of the loop as they were engrossed with their daily TV soap in the evening when the end came. As realization dawned, some suggested suspending the laughter round today, but soon decided against it. The former president was said to left ‘instructions’ that there should be no national holiday declared and that work should go on as usual upon his death.
“He was such a great man,” remarked Khatoon Baig, a retired school teacher. “He did not distinguish between rich and poor, high and low, small and big. All were equal in his eyes.”
Santosh Tyagi narrated how her son, Manoj was so crestfallen last evening that he sat holding on to the national award (for films) he had received from the hands of the president a few years back. “It was as though he had lost someone of his own,” she said.
The group dispersed after observing a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for the departed soul.
Bihari Milwani:
When a child enters the world, it cries and the world laughs. Now that APJ is happy to be in God's lap, the world cries!

Monday, July 27, 2015


All-round applause for Srichand Arora's five grandkids
Proud is the parent every time a child moves up the ladder of life. And privileged are those who are there to celebrate the success of their grandkids at every step. For beyond a point, most of us would much rather live in the reflected glory of our progeny.
Srichand Arora is doing that right now. Today, in the Garden, he announced that his five grand-children, who cleared their 12th standard exams with flying colours, have found their calling with professional courses in some of India’s most prestigious institutions.
Arora celebrates with luddo-pede
Shreya is training to be an architect, Rovin has taken to engineering, Yash wants to be a medical practitioner, Dhvani is a budding chartered accountant and Shivani is doing her hotel management.
These ‘five jewels’ (or pancharatna if you like) have secured admission in colleges against stiff competition, Arora informed.
Nahid Siddiqui also celebrates
In celebration of their success, he distributed luddoo-pedas with tea soon after the exercises and entreated everyone for their good wishes. “All I ask of you are your blessings for these kids,” he said with folded hands.
Arora had another reason to rejoice, though he did not mention it. His efforts at enforcing discipline for the exercises seem to be paying off at last.
Happy Birthday Razia Khan
Not only did we have a reasonably high attendance today, but more importantly, most members reported on time. Even the congenital late latifs came well within the grace period of 15 minutes.
But then, it can always be argued that they had already ‘smelt’ the eats on offer, as is usually the case. For apart from Arora’s treat, there was Nahid Siddiqui today celebrating her birthday (though belatedly) with biscuits and chocolates. It has been ages since she was last seen in the Garden for the exercises.
It was Razia Khan’s birthday also. It seems she has become home-bound after her daughter-in-law left on a visit to Kolkata. Nevertheless, the customary ‘fourth laugh’ was raised for Razia (in absentia) and we wished her many happy returns of the day. We look forward to her return, earlier the better.

Kiran Prakash:
Congratulations Arora-ji on the achievements of your grand children. Nothing can give us more happiness than seeing our children and grand children doing well in their lives. And to you Razia-ji, a very happy birthday and many happy returns of the day. I wish you you a long, healthy and happy life.
Srichand Arora:
Happy Birthday, dear Razia-ji. We at BIG LAAF really miss you. Hope to see you soon.
Arora-ji, five children in one year i.e. 1998! Was it planning or you got them in Sale before the end of 20th century?
Srichand Arora:
My dear friend, I don't know who you are but I think you have missed a few words in the blog write-up. The achievement is of my GRAND CHILDREN.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

DAY 1708

Pic of the Week
This is called commitment. --Bihari Milwani

Lovely photo! --Dilip Babani

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Eid Party - III

Banoo Apa praises Zarina's culinary skills
Zarina personally attends to guests
It may rain or it may not; but it surely is raining Eid parties at the Garden this year. Mallika Kagzi was the first to host one on the very day of Eid-ul-Fitr (ref post of July 18). Four days later, Fehmida Khan followed suit (ref post of July 22). Today, it was Zarina Khan’s turn.
It was a lavish spread – a variety of scrumptious crispies and fries, accompanied by fresh-from-the-oven pao, to be washed down with a glass of absolutely divine sheer korma. Zarina could as well have picked up most of the stuff from the market as many of us do.
Shekhawat celebrates his
son's success with a TV soap,
Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai! 
But she stayed up all night (“I did not sleep a wink,” she informed) to prepare them and the labour of her love was evident in every item served.
Yusuf Rassiwala was so taken in by the lip-smacking sheer korma that he kept guiding all and sundry to take repeated refills. Fehmida was seen struggling to fill two glasses (on the request of her friends) only to find the glasses repeatedly disappearing by the time she was done. In the end she gave up. “What to do?” she complained. “I had taken out four glasses this time and when I was filling the fourth, a fat man came from the Garden, finished off the other three glasses and walked away!”
Another man (also a non-member) dropped by to selectively pick a few crispies, stuffed his mouth in front of everybody, and continued with his walk round the Garden. “How could I stop him?” said Swati Punjabi, who was helping with the distribution of food. “I don’t even know him.” But she was more than obliging towards members requesting repeat helpings and of course, those who wanted to carry some extra stuff home.
Being a week-end and with many new and rarely-seen faces showing up, the China Hut had a wonderful festive buzz about it. That it did not rain so ferociously today also added to the free-wheeling, fun-filled atmosphere.
Bihari Milwani:
Zarina ka jadoo chal gaya, Arora-ji ka gussa dhal gaya!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Disciplinary Action

Like a hassled school master out to discipline unruly students, Srichand Arora today made a fervent appeal to members to be in time for the exercises at 7:00 a.m. every day. “At the most a 15-minute relaxation can be granted,” he said.
Banoo Apa complains to Arora of people demanding double share
"Beyond that, no late-coming will be tolerated."
Without naming names, he explained that every morning when we start the exercises, there are no more than four or five members present. The rest are all late-comers who come trickling in casually and on a day when there are eatables on offer, attendance suddenly shoots up to double. “I have not understood how you people smell the food in advance,” he remarked.
Indeed, as Yusuf Rassiwala was celebrating his birthday today (ref yesterday’s post) attendance shot up to 35-plus this morning – something unusual in peak monsoon. Moreover, Monthi Serrao had also brought chocolates to celebrate her grandson, Tian’s birthday yesterday. “If you are looking out for free food, better go to a gurudwara for the langar,” Arora advised. “We come here to exercise and we should be serious about it. This is for our good.”
Bihari Milwani came up with an extraordinary solution to ensure 100 per cent punctuality and attendance.
Yusuf Rassiwala celebrates with choco bars
“Since food is the main attraction, better distribute the food before the exercises start,” he suggested. “And then shut the Garden gate so that nobody runs away,” Bhaswati Bose pitched in amid rousing laughter.
However, Arora said that he was more inclined towards shaming the late-comers by ignoring them. “Don’t serve them anything,” he suggested. “That is the best punishment. They will learn their lesson and be punctual in future.”
He went on to explain that he was compelled to take such a tough stand after what happened to Shekhawat the day-before yesterday (see post): “It can happen to anybody. Shekhawat made arrangements for a certain number of people, I don’t know how many. But on that day, there was more than twice the number and some were even coming in minutes before closing time on the pretext to exercise. Imagine what an embarrassing situation that put him in. He selectively gave away whatever he had, went home, prepared more packages and then sent his driver to the homes of those who he missed out. Is this fair? You have insulted the man!”
The impact of this sermon will be known when Zarina Khan has her Eid celebration tomorrow.
Srichand Arora:
* I once again appeal to my member friends to please be in time for the exercises as this is for your own benefit. Celebration of birthdays (or any other occasion) is only to share our happiness. All of us can afford the foodies. So this should be kept secondary. Our priority is to exercise. Meri haath jod kar aap sub se vinati hai please exercise par dhyan dijiye jo aapki sehat ke liye hai. DHANYAWAD.
* Belated Happy Birthday to our Tian darling. Many happy returns dear. God bless you.
Bihari Milwani:
President Sir, we come for the laughing exercises only. Party is only a by-product which happens even during Ramzaan. The solution lies in exercising your constitutional powers and banning the eats other than biscuits, chocolates and tea. This will help working members to reach office in time.
It is a Big Laaf, Laaf Laaf. Why is Arora-ji getting angry?
Bhaswati Bose:
Rain, rain, go away /I shall come on time everyday... /But don't take those goodies away/ And please give my calendar some day.