Meherbai’s Mandli had grown up on a staple diet of Hindi movies and Hindi film songs. They could sing any song from any era with great enthusiasm in their usual besura musicality. They had no gyaan of raag, soor or taal, but their love for music was unmatched! Meherbai Mangeshkar suggested a musical evening at her house and her ever-supportive husband of 54 years, seconded her, saying, “If music be the food of love – play on!”
Khadhri Farida: Marerey! How can music be food? Music na dabusa mari ney khavai ke? How silly! I won’t come if there’s no food!
Gooli-Got-Pit: You ignoramus female! Meherwanji was only quoting Shakespeare from Ballard Pier – bheja ma bhusoo chey soo?
Meherbai: Farida, my darling, I shall order the choicest Japanese food from ‘Origami’ restaurant at Powai plus an authentic Tiramisu with coffee-liquor from the President Hotel for us!
Farida Fuggo (baloon): Ok – then I’m coming and bringing my boy-friend Soli Sales-Tax too. Please don’t mind, Soli is a jabro khava-valo!
Themul Tarzan: Look who’s talking! The biggest khadhri herself! And what about Hormusji?
Farida: Ok – I’ll bring him too!
Themul: Hormusji ney consolation prize aapyu. I don’t like Soli because whenever he does a koti (embrace) to woman, his hands go up and down, from side to side like an octopus!
Chibavli Chadan: Maybe he was an octopus in his last life!
So finally, the musical evening started at Meherbai’s, with everyone gathered in her spacious hall. Soon, the door-bell rang. Farida ran to open the door shouting, Japanese food has come! She opened the door saying, “Mushi Mushi,” bending from her waistline (actually a waste-line) like the Japanese.
“Mushi Mushi nahi!” the Zomato delivery guy replied.
Farida (screaming): Meherbai! Tamota-walo aayoj!
Meherbai: Tomato nahi! Zomato! I’ll handle this, you go and relax.
Meherwanji (starting Antakshari): Besi Besi Ne Soo Kariye – Chalo Karo Kai Kam – Saroo Karo Gavanoo – Lainey Khodaiji Nu Naam!’
Farida: I know the answer to this riddle – its’ Dara Khodaiji who writes in Parsi Times!
Meherbai: It’s not a riddle, you akkal ni dushman! My Mehloo is starting the musical evening. Who will sing first?
Nergish Noorjahan: Me! Me! And she sang the song from the film ‘Dil Se’ – ‘Jiya Jale – Jaan Jale, Raat Bhar -Dhuan Chaley – Janu Na, Janu Na, Janu Na, Sakhiri’.
Abbhan Aban: Marerey! Her Jiya, Jaan, everything is burning! These are symptoms of high fever!!
Sorabji Saigal sang the number from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ with ‘Tadap-tadap Ke Is Dil Se Aah Nikalti Rahi…..”
Abbhan Aban: Oh Mai Re! Sorabji ney heart attack thayo teh gainey bolej!
Behroz-Bipasha Basu sand: ‘Bidi Jalayle Jigar Se Piya – Jigar Ma Laagi Aag Hai!’
Religious Rutty: We Parsis don’t smoke cigarettes – leave alone bidis!
Aspi Allrounder: Jigar Ma Aag means a case of severe acidity! Eno’s fruit-salt pivano!
Manek-Mohamad Rafi: Intensely looking at his wife, sang: ‘Tujhme Rab Dikhta Hai, Yara Main Kya Karoon?’
Rarto Rohan: This means Manek has got severe motias (cataract). He sees Rab (God) in his shetaan jevi bairi! Jaroor motia thayaaj!
Henpecked Hormusji sang the old Nagin song: ‘Mann Dole, Mera Taan Dole…’
Farida: My husband suffers from vertigo. Evan nu toh baddhooj dolej!
Jabri Jaloo: Any man married to Farida – dolto thai jaye – hence, Farida should sing ‘Dola Re Dola’ from Devdas!
Keki-Kishore Kumar: ‘Hai Re Hai, Neend Nahi Aaye…’
Soli Sales-Tax: Which film?
Keki KK: Forget film. I’m singing this song because I am suffering from insomnia.
Thrity Trim-taraak sang Ravina Tandon’s sexy song, ‘Tip Tip Barsa Pani, Pani Ney Aag Lagadi…’
Jalamai Jasoos: Which film?
Silloo Sexophone: No film. She’s telling us about her old forgetful husband who always leaves the tap open.
Homi-Hemant Kumar: Now I’ll sing a song from apra bawa adam no jamano…
When Tansen sang this song in Emperor Akbar’s court in the darkness of night, thousands of lamps lit up! When Homi sang ‘Diya Jalao, Dhobi Talao…’, the lights in Meherbai’s house suddenly went off! Meherbai brought in a lot of scented candles and lit them. As a result, the atmosphere became romantic, even as some members asked Homi, “Tu Tansen ni aulad che soo?”
Soli sang: ‘Batana Bhi Nahi Aata, Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata…’
Bomi-Burman: Which film?
Soli: God knows! I’m just telling you musically my financial condition!
Dhanjoo Dhol sang: ‘Dhobi Taro Dhol Bajey, Dhol Bajey, Dhol Bajey Dhol, Ke Dham Dham Baje Dhol…’, keeping timing with his fingers by playing on his dhol jevu paunch!
Rustomji-Rafi sang: ‘Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki, Na Jaane Tum Kab Aoge…’
Soona Sample: This reminds me of my brother Faredoon who sings this every time his wife runs away to her mother’s house!
Sammy Six-pack: I’m dying of hunger!
Meherbai: Ok-ok! I’m serving the food in a few minutes.
What Meherbai served in the next 30 minutes left the Mandli members speechless as they had never seen or tasted such delicious food. It was a fusion – blending delicious Parsi and Japanese cuisine! It consisted of Tamtamta Tiger Prawns Tempura, Pearl-Harbour ni Patrel, Surmai Sayonara, Yoko-Ono-Rice-Cakes, Samurai Samosas, Titori-Tepenyaki, Harakiri-Pulao, Suzuki Sekta-ni-Sing and Toyota Tendli!! Additionally, there was Sushi-per-eeda, Japla-Jinga-per-eeda; Edaa-Kawasaki style, Okinawa-Okra-per-eeda and Eeda-per-eeda!!
Clever PT readers know who ate the most? Bingo! Farida, the super-Khadhri. She also ate up a lot from poor Hormusji’s plate!
Aimai Einstein: Havey bas! Enough! Any more Japanese food and our eyes will become chinky too and we’ll all look like Choochi-aankh wala Japlas and Japlis!
On this note, the Mandli did Kisi-koti, Ta-ta, Bye-bye, God Bless You and left Meherbai’s house, singing, ‘Sayonara, Sayonara’, from the 1966 film – Love In Tokyo!