Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Back from Kiwiland

Welcome back, Siba Prasad Maitra
Siba Prasad Maitra is back from New Zealand. He had been on a 10-day business trip that took him on a whirlwind tour of Auckland, Mt Maunganui and Queenstown (among other places). Time did not however, permit him a visit to the national capital, Wellington.
That Maitra was being missed in the Garden all these days was evident the moment he showed up this morning. Abruptly the exercises were suspended and everybody broke into a round of applause welcoming him back – something unprecedented in the Club. He had actually informed some people on WhatsApp yesterday of having
Mallika Kagzi
touched base in Mumbai and that had raised expectations all around.
Not finding him at the start of the exercises (because of the rains), frantic calls were made to his residence – some ladies even plotting to send him back to New Zealand should he have forgotten to get us chocolates from the trip!
Maitra did not disappoint. He brought Whittaker’s popular cocoa bars along with loads of photos on his new iPhone and charming anecdotes that would probably take a month now to narrate. A gifted raconteur, he is capable of transporting his audience
Soothing hot tea from Mallika Kagzi
to the “heaven on earth” (trust him to say jahannam in Hindi) he had been to – the picture postcard beauty of clear water lakes, verdant stretches of greenery, the crystal blue skies, even the depths of ‘mines’ from where dark medicinal sub-soil is extracted... in short, the natural splendour New Zealand is known for. Even cloud shots taken by him from the aircraft looked heavenly.
Significantly, Mallika Kagzi made a surprise appearance (while on roza) mainly to celebrate her marriage anniversary with us today. On a wet, drippy morning, nothing could have been more welcome than the special, piping hot tea she had brought along. But in the end, it was the jolly, sharp-witted and charismatic Maitra who carried the morning.
For the record, Maitra is founder director of Geluk Pharma, a company set up late last year in Mahim for marketing some extraordinary cosmeceutical and skin care products. It was in connection with sourcing and familiarising himself with the stuff in much of its raw form that he had made this trip to New Zealand.
We wish him the very best in his enterprise.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Come to Stay

The rains have come to stay. After forcing us to remain cloistered in the China Hut for days, the weather improved a bit this morning and we were able to break loose for a breath of fresh air in the open. It was a brief reprieve though, just long enough to wrap up our exercises.
Busy eating and relishing Swati Punjabi's dal dokli
Kiran Prakash
And as the sky opened, we performed the exceptional act of paying obeisance to the cloud-capped sun god, umbrellas held high, lest we get drenched.
In this dark and uncertain atmosphere, Karuna Waghmare provided the sparks, particularly after spotting Kiran Prakash seated on a bench during the exercises. Fact is, he hasn’t quite recovered from a virulent tummy attack that had kept him away from the Garden for almost a week. Rather than sympathise with him, she took a dig for his being seated: “What, you had to come to the Garden because your wife turned you out of the house?”
Shekhawat was his usual frisky self, trying restlessly to evade the breast-beating number during the tai-chi round, only to get trapped with it. But the high point of the morning was Swati Punjabi’s sumptuous treat of dal-dokli – a popular dish in Marwari/ Gujarati homes. Swati need not have bothered though – more so, as there was no occasion to celebrate – and we had told her so. But she insisted and in true Pavlovian style, we succumbed to the temptation.
The oddest part is that Swati needs to be coaxed to partake in the eats she serves us so generously every other day. Says something about people who enjoy pleasing others while depriving themselves.
Tripti Punjabi:
My mother is always generous and loves cooking for everyone. It is so delightful to see everyone loving her food. She needs no reasons to cook for anyone. I am so happy to see her enjoying with her friends!
Bihari Milwani:
In the absence of our president Ms Mallika, we had Mr Kiran Prakash as chairman and that is why he was sitting on the chair.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

DAY 1995

Pic of the Week

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Monsoon Arrives

Too wet to fly?
After many false starts, monsoon has struck with a bang. Torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightning lashed Mumbai through the night and in the early hours of the morning. But by daybreak, when we landed in the Garden, it had all subsided and we were greeted by the spectacular sight of more than a hundred pigeons roosting peacefully in the green lawns. Apparently they were too wet or sleepy (or both) to take flight so early in the morning.
We let them be and contained ourselves to the China Hut during the exercises, lest it started to rain again. The fear of getting drenched by another downpour dissuaded many from turning up today, much to Shekhawat’s consternation. It was his wife, Mohan Kanwar’s birthday. And for one who believes in numbers, the absence of regulars like Bijoy Gupta, Kanta Sharma, Ram Shankar Shukla and others was making him uneasy.
Those following this blog would know that Mohan Kanwar was hospitalised last week for a day and she still hasn’t recovered from a state of weakness and fatigue (see post of June 17).
Hubby wishes Birthday Girl
Yet she showed up today. Looking withdrawn, she was not her usual self, despite our best efforts to cheer her up and wish her many happy returns of the day.
Mr and Mrs Shekhawat posing for the birthday photo
Shekhawat chivalrously clapped and danced around her and was to later pose with her against a backdrop of red hibiscus for a photo-op. All that made a difference and brought a smile to her face. But she was much too stressed out and under the weather.
The only dampener on an otherwise dry morning was that the food packets ordered by Shekhawat did not turn up on time. It was a minor lapse, not something to be made an issue of. But we all need to be careful on placing orders with Vyanjan next -- more so, as this is the second occasion (after Kanta Sharma's birthday) to be let down by them.
Lt Col Angad Singh (from Mohali):
The arrival of monsoon with a bang resulted in empty benches and the presence of pigeons flocking on the ground. The birds and men have been together to enjoy nature. Wishing Mrs Shekhawat Happy Birthday and a healthy life.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

DAY 1993

Pic of the Week
Due to heavy rains, the Big Laaf train compartments are restricted to four! --Bihari Milwani