Meherbai loved Goa in the rains, so every year, she, along with ten other senior-citizen couples, took a trip to Goa, to experience the rains there, calling it her annual ‘happiness-pilgrimage’ with friends!
This year was no different except that the rain-Gods decided to descend upon Mumbai causing a deluge for two days. All the couples kept their phone-lines busy, frantically asking each other “javasey ke nai? Avti kaley plane jasey ke nai? Bags unpack karye soo?”
They exchanged horror-stories with each other, each time seeing images of a sinking Mumbai on various TV Channels. Merwanji had a brilliantine-idio! He asked Meherbai to phone everyone that they should start praying to Teshtar-Tir-Yazad! Meherbai was furious. She advised her bitter half to keep his half-baked, home-made religious knowledge to himself saying, “Tir Yazad is in charge of sending rains, not stopping them just because you and I are going to Goa. You invoke Tir Yazad when there’s NO RAIN, not when there’s a deluge!!”
“How do you know?”
“Because, unlike you, I read Noshir Dadrawala’s religious column sin Parsi Times! All you do is read the ‘paidast’ page, saying let’s see, kon kon ni wicket pari gayi!”
Everyone must have prayed sincerely, because just the evening before the d-day, the rains stopped, the Air-lines resumed their flights and things were back to normal! Twenty-two happy Parsis gathered at Mumbai’s airport, checked-in and ran for their morning caffeine fix of chai-coffee plus Kentucky chicken, dosas, idlis, subways, frankies, cakes, puffs etc., all at the ‘Airport daylight-robbery’ prices.
The flight was smooth with butter-soft landing. They were transported to their five-star resort with everyone rushing to the dining hall for lunch after 2-3 cocktails. It was a lavish buffet and to cut a long story short, all eleven couples snoozed after a heavy lunch and woke-up for the complementary tea, sandwiches and samosas. This was the daily given – rush for breakfast, lunch, noon tea and dinner with drinks (Chhato-Pani) and cocktails throughout the day at the bar!
Meherbai and her hubby of 51 years enjoyed their meditation and long walks on the beach every evening. At night, after dinner, there was housie, Goan singing and dancing, Karaoke, and magic show. Nancy, the fancy (so-called because of her fancy clothes with matching accessories) danced the most and was the belle of the ball. Fashion-conscious Freny-Fatakri changed her clothes five times a day -latest fashions with matching shoes, hand-bag, earrings, scarf etc. Every one commented, “Paanch geh ma paanch vakhat wardrobe badlej!” There was one couple who was aloof and far from the crowds, happy just being by themselves, nicknamed ‘love-birds’.
The lunch at Bogmalo Beach started with the whole jing-bang starting out to a snack-shack at Bogmalo in hired cars for prawn curry-rice saying, “Goa jai ne Goan kolmi na curry-chaval nai khaiyye toh paap lagey, aney chinvad na pool par thi u-turn mari ney paachoo avvoo parey!”
Everyone ordered medium-sized prawn curry-rice with chilled beers. The ‘maako’ owner was a crook and charged everyone for King-size prawns which were priced three-times the rate, without even informing the group. A delegation of 4 or 5 ladies went up to the ‘maako’ and gave him the firing of his life. He got so scared, he said, “Don’t pay nutting (nothing), men! Eat ‘everyting’ free.” But as Parsis are fair, the ladies paid for their food.
Lunch over, it was siesta time. In the evening, they boarded a special bus and the prawn-full Parsi group headed to Madgaon market for shopping. The ladies bought kaju-nuts of every variety in sight, like we don’t get kajus in Mumbai. The husbands bought wines, mostly Port Wine in large quantities saying it is at least 30% cheaper than in Mumbai.
After three hectic days of fun, frolic, eating, drinking and dancing, the group returned to the Dabolim Airport in a bus, playing ‘Antakshri’ until it came out of everyone’s ears. At the airport, more shopping (bairas have no other kaam-dhandha or what?)
On arriving back home in Aamchi Mumbai, the group suddenly realised that it drizzled only once while they were in Goa. How can they call it “Goa in the rains”? They all decided to maro one more trip to Goa before the monsoon of 2017 ends. AS this article goes to the press, 22 tickets for Goa have already been booked!