Meherbai’s Mandli Plans A Cruise

On a lovely afternoon, Meherbai’s Mandli met for a Club Lunch. Meherbai and her group of girls (all over 75) thought of going on a cruise “atleast once before we die,” as Freny Fatakri put it. “We’ll all have to work on our Kanjoos and lazy husbands and talk them into it,” said Naju Malai-No-Khaju. 

Said Meherbai, “Lets’ decide where to go! Everybody lend me your ears.”

Abbhan Aban: “I never lend anything – they may never come back-and my ears? Never. How can I wear earrings then, for the rest of my life?”

“That’s another phrase, silly” everyone shouted.

Piroja, the professor interjected: “It’s not a phrase. It’s from Shakespeare’s
Julius Caesar.”

Abbhan Aban:  “I don’t care for Shakespeare or Ballard-Pier. But I love Caesar’s salad.”

Zenobia: Khamosh Aban!! 

Jabri Jaloo: Wah Wah Zenob!! You shout Khamosh even better than Shatrughan Sinha!


Just then, the boys (all over 80) walked in after finishing their drinks at the Bar. The girls ordered some beer with golden crispy prawns, fish-fingers, honey chicken, chilli crab-sticks and tandoori baby-lobsters to feed the boys aney matidao ney khavari pivari ney khush-mood ma laav-va. The boys were thrilled! Soli Sample: Our wives are in such a good mood today! Fussing all over us and for a change saying kind, loving words instead of scolding us. Lucky! No jhaptofying today!

Sammy Six-pack: I am suspicious. Looks too good to be true. They are feeding us like they feed a goat before sending it for Halal on Bakri-Eid.  I warn you guys! They are making Bakras out of us!


Jabri Jaloo  : How can anyone make a bakra out of a donkey? 

Everyone pretended not to hear that because their focus was on the big picture – the Cruise!


Meherbai broke the ice, “Hey guys, lets’ all go on a cruise. We’ll see exotic places, play board games, swim, eat delicious delicacies…”

Slim Sanaya: Yeah! And put on weight.

Fali the Fatso: Tu toh just keep quiet! You are thin like a stick. You don’t even have curves like a woman and after you Botoxed your lips, you look like a fish with those thick lips and horse-teeth of yours.


Fali hated Sanaya because she called him jaaryo and always gave him unsolicited advice on slimming.


Chikni Chaadan: Are you two going to fight like this on the cruise and spoil everyone’s fun?

Sanaya: Either Fali goes on the cruise or I go!

Everyone chorused: Fali-Jolly-Jingo anyday because he has an ever ready stock of jokes whereas Sanaya sulks and fights.

Kersi Kaju Katli: What will be the cost of the cruise ?

Meherbai: Couple na char-panch lakh to thai jasee karan-ke apre to lambi-cruise laisoo.


When Kersi heard the cost, he felt giddySuddenly, fer-chakkar avi gaya. Someone fanned him while his wife held him steady. Jabri Jaloo attempted to revive him by splashing water all over his face.

Khasroo Sughrao! Ram-Baan Ilaj Chey (Make him sniff a footwear. It’s the perfect cure!) Najoo’s fat husband who looked like a tub of lard tried to take off his Bata Ka Joota, got off-balanced and fell on his face, breaking his two front teeth.


Najoo was very upset and started shouting like a fisher-woman: Meherbai, keep your Sufiyani cruise to yourself. Count me and my husband out. This avvar Cruise is jinxed. Just talking about it caused two of my darling’s teeth to fall off. Marerey! By the time we return from the cruise, he’ll be a toothless-tiger or rather, a Bokho-Bakro !


Najoo and her hubby left, saying to each other: We have eaten dabavi-dabavi-ney so now let’s scoot-off like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi before further damage is done. 


Sanaya: Meherbai, please count my hubby and me out of your silly cruise. I want to remain slim and trim as I am and the cruise will spoil it all.


Naju Malai nu Khaju:  Now we are  only three couples, een-min-aney-sarey-teen! Never mind, we will still have fun on our Mediterranean cruise.

Dolly: What Mediterranean? I thought we are going to South Africa.

Dolly’s Dola: Nahin-Ba ! We should go only to Norway, Sweden and part of North Pole ni cruise!

Abbhan Aban: North Pole? Who do you think you are? Meher MoosOnly that brave-heart can go to the North Pole while you and I go to Nalasopara or Nerul!


Now only three couples were left, one of them Meherbai and Merwanji.

Dolly: Meherbai, let’s decide finally. Where shall we go?

Dolla: Home sweet Home. I’m sleepy. It’s past my 1 to 4 siesta time.

Dolly and Dolla  left the table.

Aban: If it’s just the four of us, we won’t have fun. Only two couples! Maaf karo Meherbai, we’ll plan a nice cruise next time with the whole Mandli. What’s the point in going ekkal-dokkal? Count us out!


Meherbai’s face fell to the ground and seeing the disappointment in his wife’s eyes, Meherwanji, the ever-loving hubby said, “Meher, my kaleja, fefsa, gall-bladder, don’t worry. We two will go on a cruise if it’s the last thing we do. It’s so sad that we Parsis can’t agree on anything and have zero tolerance even in planning something good like a cruise. One thing is for sure! We won’t get extinct due to any external factors. We’ll fight among ourselves and perish. We have to develop respect for another’s views and cultivate harmony and compassion!


On this philosophical note, Meherbai and Meherwanji left for their travel agent, Cox and Kings.


Ruby Lilaowala

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