Meherbai’s Mandli Meet Over Chai And Bhajias

Meherwanji was sitting quietly on his easy-chair on Saturday morning, reading Parsi Times. Meherbai felt neglected…

Meherbai: I wish I were Parsi Times!

Meherwanji: Why?

Meherbai: Then, you could hold me lovingly with both hands every Saturday morning.

Meherwanji: Ok – but keep in mind that I don’t read the same Parsi Times every Saturday! It’s a brand new one every week!

Meherbai: Don’t crack such koila jokes. 

(Meherwanji laughed loudly, apologising)

Meherbai: Shakespeare from Ballard Pier said laughing at your own mistakes can lengthen your life.

Meherwanji: But laughing at your wife’s mistakes shortens your life… tenu soo?

Meherbai: I went to an astrologer yesterday who told my cousin, Rustom Romeo, “There’s a lot of wealth under your house! You are sitting on a fortune but, it won’t be of any use to you. “

MeherwanjiPerfectly said. Just below Rustom’s flat is a major branch of the State Bank Of India. They must be having crores of Rupees, but it won’t be of any use to him. 

(To cheer up Meherbai, Meherwanji got up from his easy-chair and lifted her round the room with a smile.)

Meherbai: Did you read something romantic in Parsi Times?

Meherwanji: I just read a quote that “We must carry our burden and sorrows with a smile.”

Meherbai: Vari pacho Koilo Joke? Anyway, which season is this?

Meherwanji: Monsoon!

Meherbai: That’s the season to have piping-hot choi and bhajias with friends!

Meherwanji: Our gymkhana has opened after the lockdown. Let’s party with our Mandli!

So, Meherbai phoned the Mandli members and being Parsis, no one said, “No” What’s more, on the day, everyone came before time! Aloo and Jaloo, the obnoxious sisters, came last and lamented, “Meherbai, I wish our mother had got us married at the right time. We feel so jealous when we see happily married couples like you!!”

Meherbai: Arrey dikra, there’s a Hindi proverb – “Shaadi, ek lakdey ka ladoo, Jo khaey voh pachtaye, Jo na khaey voh bhi pachtaye!”

Aloo & Jaloo: Please find two nice boys for us!! We want to marry!

Meherwanji: This is your time for motia-batrisi – not marriage. Besides, not all marriages are happy!

Aloo & Jaloo: What’s the secret of your happy marriage?

Meherwanji: Well, it can be summed up in two words – ‘YES DEAR!’

Firdos Fituri: The secret of my marriage is – Keep quiet when your wife is talking and don’t talk when she’s silent. Also let her sleep till 9 a.m. (for my own peace of mind) and keep opening doors for doodhwala, paowala and kachrawala… and also do all the house-work.

Dominating Dorabji: Are you a husband or a house-boy?

Firdos Fituri: Both!! Like two-in-one. Like marry one and get one free!

 The choi and bhajiyas arrived and Aban asked for more sugar saying, “Sugar is the only English word where ‘S’ is pronounced as ‘sh’. Meherbai shut her up saying, “Are you sure??”

Hilla High-Fi: I eat only with fork and spoon – even bhajiyas because it’s more hygienic.

Banoo Batak: Since nobody can use my hand to eat, my hand is more hygienic than any fork and spoon.

Baji Bachelor: Wah Wah! Banoobai – soo tamari sense of hygiene chey! 

Soli Sales-Tax:(Whispering to Baji) What hygiene? She has never heard of a deodorant. Her arm pits smell to high Heavens!!

Banoo Batak: Baji Bawa, why are you still a bachelor? Never thought of marriage? You’re still an eligible ‘boy’ at 75!

Baji: As the saying goes, I found the wrong girl at the right time and the right girl at the wrong time!!

Banoo started fluttering her eyelashes at Baji trying to feed him the bhajiya saying

Banoo Batak: Bajiba, mahrey haathey khao! 

Baji saw danger here, like a bull seeing red so he got up and sat four chairs away, saying, “Thanks, but no thanks! Mahra haath chey!”

Khadhri Ketayun: Banoobai, give it to me. (She promptly popped the bhajiya in her economy-sized mouth. Unfortunately, it was a green chilli-bhajiya!)

Khadhri Ketayun: Meherbai, call the fire brigade!! My mouth is on fire!

Hormusji: Don’t call the fire-brigade. Let her eat the chilly bhajiya. She is a strong woman. Vadharey strong thasey!!

Bomi Bevdo: Hormusji, we are all senior citizens with all sorts of health problems, but we are all khanar-peenar and farner-harner, so God Bless our Mandli! But I was just thinking, Homlaji, at our age, if God gives us a choice between Parkinson’s and Alzheimers, which one would you opt for?

Hormusji: Definitely Parkinson’s! Because it is better to spill half a peg of Scotch than to forget where you kept the bottle!!

Meherbai: Stop saying such avvar (inauspicious) things Bomi! You know we don’t talk of sickness, illness, diseases, doctors or medicines in our Mandli. Why mention such things and bring them into our consciousness? Be happy, make others happy and talk only happy things!!

And soon everyone polished off plates full of bhajiyas and gallons of choi! The bill was astronomical. Meherbai, in her generosity, had said it was a ‘treat’ from her and her husband. The result?? When the bill finally arrived, Meherwanji na bhajiya tarai gaya!

Ruby Lilaowala
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