Meherwanji loved his Saturday mornings when he would become faregat on his Bapavaji’s easy-chair and read Parsi Times, while his wife pampered him with tea and bataasas. On a recent Saturday, Meherbai read an article which said, ‘Go On A Date With Your Spouse To Keep The Spark Alive In Your Marriage’. Khallas! That was it! She took away the choi and bataasas as well as the Parsi Times, saying, “Uthi jao jaldi! Jack-in-the-box ni kani! Not like an also-Badshah!”
Meherwanji: Kai? Soo thayu? Aag lagi ke dharticum thayo?
Meherbai: Apra marriage no spark-plug jari-purano thai gayoj! Take me on a date right now!
Since Meherwanji was a little hard of hearing, he dashed to the kitchen and got Meherbai the bottle containing dry-fruits and started picking out the dates for her.
Meherbai: Su natak karoj?
Meherwanji: You wanted to eat dates, so I’m picking them out for you – mahri jaan!
Meherbai: Why don’t you listen properly? Call the plumber to clean your ears with his suction-pump if you can’t hear! Now don’t eat up the dates. Get ready. You are taking me on a date.
Poor Meherwanji was confused with the firing and brought her the calendar. “Ley. Ketli dates joiye? Select a few between one and thirty.”
Meherbai: Marerey! You have become totally unromantic and also hard of hearing. Now SAMJHO! Remember how before marriage you used to take me to Hanging Gardens and the Zoo and whisper sweet nothings into my ears? Like that, take me for a romantic outing.
Meherwanji: Shall we go to Colaba Bazar for vegetables? We have finished our stock in the house!
Meherbai: Take me shopping to High Street Phoenix-no-Palledium Mall. You can buy me cold coffee at the Coffee Shop of St. Regis Hotel. Then buy me some clothes, shoes, handbags, perfumes and cosmetics!
Meherwanji: In these days of karka-karki? I’ll go bankrupt! Bank interests have fallen, inflation is taller than our Sunamai Lamba and this woman wants to help Modiji’s fallen economy with her ‘shop-till-you drop’ mantra! Soon, I’ll have to stand with a katori at the Cusrow Baug gate!
Meherbai: Ovaryu tamara par thi! Ok – no shopping. Only roaming around the Mall like lovers, enjoying each other’s company while window-shopping!
Meherwanji: I don’t have money to shop for a window!
Meherbai: Arrey Baba! Window shopping doesn’t mean buying a window. It means only looking, no buying – just look and be happy !
Meherwanji na Jeev-ma-jeev ayo. He promptly dressed up in the blue shirt and pant which were Meherbai’s favourite. In turn, Meherbai wore Meherwanji’s favourite red blouse with jeggings and off they went in their chitty-chitty-bang-bang-jumping-jallopy car.
They entered the Mall and were disappointed to see very few people.
Meherbai: Look! Khali een-meen-ney-sare-teen lok chey!
Meherwanji: That’s because this is a Mall, not a ‘melavdo’. I’m waiting – go and visit your favourites – Global Desi, Zara, Dior, Aldo, Saphora and Michael Kane—-I mean Michael Kors. I’ll wait for you.
You see, like most husbands, Meherwanji hated shopping, but Meherbai always won, saying, “I won’t go to a single shop without you. Have I ever gone alone in the last 54 years? Otherwise, chalo, let’s go home.”
So, most reluctantly, with a sour-puss-castor-oil-pidhelo-face, he would go from shop to shop, where Meherbai would try dozens of shoes and after time-pass, would say, “I don’t like a single pair, put them all back.” Each time she did this, he’d scoot out of the shop pretending he was not with her!
They walked into every shop in the Mall and Meherwanji na-pug-ni-kari-thai-gai! He got fer-chakkar and almost collapsed on the escalator but Meherbai supported him from the back with her huge handbag so he wouldn’t fall backward, but he almost fell forward!
They marched into the Coffee Shop but when they saw the prices on the menu, Meherbai herself said, “Uthi jao! Chori na dhandha chey! Gher jainey choi peesu.” But they were feeling bad to walk-out, so Meherbai devised a plan – she told Meherwanji, “First you get up and pretend to go to the gents washroom and from there, you go out style-ma – I will do like-wise by pretending to go to the ladies’ room! She called it her Master-plan! Koi divas Einstein ne bi evo plan nahi aavey!”
Now, it so happened that while Meherbai was leaving, the waiter politely pointed out, “Ma’m! The ladies restroom is on the other side!”
“Good! Send your wife there,” said Meherbai, who was in a filthy mood!
Tragedy! When she went outside, Meherwanji was gul! Disappeared! Vanished!!
She panicked and shouted, “MEHLLA! MEHLLA!” Luckily, he heard Meherbai’s voice and he shouted back saying, “I am here, holding the lift for you, my kaleja! Now chalo, chalo, let’s go home!”
“Jarak bi nahin,” said Meherbai. “Not without a photo for my Facebook.” But there was no one in sight, so Meherbai decided to take a selfie telling her bitter-half, “Come close to me, put your hand on my shoulder, smile – look romantic – look happily married!”
“Any more instructions?”asked Meherwanji. “Yes! Go back – lean more… ajun lean back… still more… just a little more.” Ajun-ajun karta, Meherwanji uthlai gaya!! Luckily, he caught the floral decoration and was doing ‘jhoola’ on the third floor of the Mall. Suddenly, people appeared saying, “Look! Live decoration – how symbolic! Bawaji coming out of a decoration – very artistic!”
“BACHAO! BACHAO!!” screamed Meherbai and four sales-men rushed out of their shops and rescued Meherwanji who was badly shaken (but not stirred like the James Bond drink).
“Havey chalo!” he yelled. “No! Not without a photo for tomorrow’s Facebook!” insisted Meherbai! One of the sales-man was kind enough to take a number of pictures, of which she selected one (in which she looked nice, never mind Meherwanji!) and they returned home for choi and bataasas!