Meherbai’s Chai Pe Charcha

Two weeks ago Shirin Merchant wrote a beautiful article in Parsi Times called ‘15 Ways To Show Your Dog Your Love’. Meherbai got an ‘aha-moment’, an inspiration, a revelation, a Eureka and phoned her entire group of friends that the next ‘Chai pe Charcha’ will be on ‘A Few Ways To Show Your Husband Your Love.’

They met the following Wednesday at the Ripon Club for a Dhansak Buffet. By now everybody knows that Meherbai’s charchas are never about having tea but running from restaurant to restaurant and club to club for a feast where some profound topics are discussed.

Meherbai started, “OK ladies, each of you tell the others how you show your husband your love for him”.

Roshan’s reply, “I have been cooking lovely things for my vahlo because the way to my husband’s heart is through his stomach. Yummy for his tummy, love grows as the food flows!”
Sexy Siloo retorted, “No darling not through stomach alone! In 40 years, I have never said, ‘Not tonight darling’ to my Shapurji.”

Rati saved the delicate situation by saying, “For 42 years I have been making rotlis at home. My Rustom loves my bajra and jowar chapattis. We don’t eat white bread, its’ poison.”

“I don’t show my love through chapattis darlings. I am a Shairana, a poetess, like Sabaa in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. I compose Shairis (Urdu Poetry) for my Sorabji. Pesh Karoon?”  Asked Sheroo.

Irshad! Irshad! (commence) said everyone spellbound.

“Tapeli Per Tapeli,
Uspey Naachey Mor,
Sorabji Ekdum Honest,
Bijana Husbands Chor!”

Instead of saying ‘WAH! WAH!’, everyone got furious at this crap, especially Aloo who composed love-poems for her Daloo (Dorabji’s pet name) and vowed to show Sheroo what real Shairi is and then proceeded with her own gem:

“Jab Tak Rahega
Samosey Mein Aloo,
Mein Teri Rahoongi,
Oh Mere Daloo!”

To this poetic atrocity, there was a loud applause and WAH! WAH! Kys baat hai!  Aloo, Tu Toh Faiz Ahmed Faiz ki grand-daughter nikli!

“Arrey, Yeh toh kuchch bhi nahi hai!” said Dolly. “My poems will remind you of Amir Khushrow and Mirza Ghalib. Last time when my husband, Dolla confessed to his latest love-affair, I was so upset, that I composed this poem:

“Aam Gaye, Annar Gaye,
Kachchey Limboo Reh Gaye,
Faithful Husbands Mar Gaye,
Aur Ulloo Ke Patthey Reh Gaye!”

Another round of wah wahs, mostly for sympathy with Dolly! After this, the girls (all over 72) had chicken pattis, akuri-on-toast and all other starters as per Ripon’s menu, just to get started again.
Meherbai then took out the PT article from her imitation Burkin handbag, reading Shirin Merchant’s headings selectively.

“Take your dog out for a picnic’ she read out, plus let your dog enjoy the sun, surf and the beach for the sound of the waves, seagulls and ice cream.”

“So what’s new?” asked Chadan. “I take my hubby every evening to Chowpatty to hear the sound of bhelwalas, see the crows and eat Malai Kulfis!”

“Next Tip: Spend some quiet time with your dog.” Everyone agreed that after an argument or a quarrel, there was a lot of quiet time in the house as each spouse gave a ‘cold treatment’ to the other.

Next tip: Was to go for a drive. “Where?” Everyone asked. “Mumbai ni heavy traffic ma? Mumbai na smooth khubsurat rasta par? It will stress out the driver who is invariably the hubby. This is why some people in Parsi colonies have a car but drive it only once a month!”

Why keep a car if you don’t use it? ‘Just for show. To keep up with other neighbours! Lok su kehsey?? That you are so poor, you don’t have even one car? Never mind if you can’t afford the petrol to run it daily!’

“Marerey!”, replied Banoo, “My hubby takes me to lovely functions, parties, movies, clubs etc. in our Char-Chital-Wali-Gari.”

“Banoo, stop showing-off just because you have an Audi”, said one of the ladies.

‘Give a Massage’ was the next point in Shirin’s list. Katy told everyone how she massaged pure coconut oil daily on Kekobad’s empty head with the result that her husband had  Bharo-Bhar (lush) hair even at eighty-plus and they were kara-bhammar (jet black), thanks to the generous mixing of Cherry Blossom Boot-Polish with the coconut oil. Boot bi kara and Baal bi kara!

Next point: ‘Play with your pet’. Three ladies qualified for this one. They played: Ekka-Par-Char (cards), Taj-Khalloo-Pijan-Savak and Kakaria-Kumar-Taro-Ketlo-Bhar with their respective hubbies.

Next tip from Shirin:  ‘Arrange your furniture to create a maze or an obstacle course which your dog learns to negotiate in order to keep their bodies and mind sharp.’

“Omit this! Omit this!” cried the ladies in chorus. “Bichara apra husbands Dhamm Kariney Pari Jasey. If my dear Freddy breaks an arm or a leg doing this, instead of Freny Fatakri, people will call me Flory, short for Florence-Nightingale and I will have to nurse my poor Freddy like Meena Kumari in Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi.”

Last tip from Shirin: ‘Give your dog a job’. No discussion on this one as all the hubbies did all the house-chores while these ladies of leisure had fun. You see, these hubbies were well-trained and had years of practice.

The Dhansak buffet opened and the girls did a dhasaro for the table, toppling over the huge Kachumber-vessel.

“Kya karta memsaab lok? Line mein seedha khada ho jao!”

“Don’t teach us! We are not in the military and you are not an army-officer. Next kya, hum ko left-right karaoge kya?”

The waiter vanished (without applying vanishing cream). Khadhri Kety took two chicken drum-sticks, then another two and yet another two. Seeing this, the gentleman behind her said, “Mai, Khodaiji ek marghi ney be pug aapela chey – tamey tran margi na pug leso toh bijao su le?” This got Kety furious and she admonished the gentleman. “Tamey Tamarij plate ma najar rakho – you greedy gob – bijani plate na examine karo. Besides what’s the meaning of Buffet?  Joiye tetlu khav. Do you get it? You ignoramus, silly man!!”

“Kety behave” said Meherbai who was most embarassed. It was another matter that whenever Kety came with her husband Keku Khadro to this club, the food invariably ran short. The Dhansak was good and most ladies got-up to have a refill at least 3 to 4 times.  “Havey lagej ke bhonu khadu”, that too with the ruby-red raspberry, chilled to perfection. Like we used to do as kids, the ladies showed each other raspberry-marks left on their upper-lip. The group’s philosophy was ‘never let the child within you die (or grow up!)’ and hence Meherbai never cramped their style.

Meherbai believed in real Zoroastrianism – not praying for hours in an Agiary and then making others unhappy! Be child-like. Have fun in life and also make others happy. Meherbai recited the last Shairi of the day to remind the girls to stay harmless and not hurting anyone (which is the greatest religion in the world). She quoted Bulleshah’s sufi poem.

‘Beshak Mandir – Masjid Todo,
Bulleshah Yeh Kehta,
Par Pyar Bhara Dil Mat Todo,
Is Dil Mein Khuda Rehta.’

On this esoteric thought the ladies parted with Kissi-Koti (not the artificial muah-muah, air kissing of the Page-3 morons) and went back to show their love to their respective husbands because,
What Is Marriage Without Love?

It’s Like Soup Without Salt.

Whats’ Life without Love?

It’s One Big Zero!!

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