Meherbai hosted a simple theme-based Valentine’s Day lunch at her house. The Mandli was served heart-shaped pakoras as starters (with beer), heart-shaped pizzas and a huge, heart-shaped cake followed by heart-shaped chocolates. Everything was relished by the Mandli and as usual…, Keki’s Khadhri wife reminded her husband, “Keks! Go ask Meherbai if we can take home the left-overs!”
Keks: Why should I ask every time? Mahra position ma puncture, aney abroo ma gaabroo pari jasey!
Kek’s wife: What position and abroo are you talking about? Since the day you became a gher-jamai, you have been living off my money!
Meherbai overheard the conversation and slipped a huge packet of goodies to Keks for which he thanked her. That done, they all settled in Meherbai’s library to discuss their first love!
Meherwanji: Isn’t it surprising how we seldom marry our first crush? Mine was Shernaz, our neighbour. But since she was painfully-thin, my mother rejected her, calling her sukki-boomli and adding that she looks so weak that she’ll die in her first delivery and I’d have to raise the child!!
Sheroo Sharp-shooter: My first love was Pedro D’Cunha, my piano -teacher. But our budding love-affair was made Foos-Faas by my family since my Pedro was a parjaat!!
Adi Adagro: I was in love with a gorgeous girl with film-star looks but she was a kum-akli-saparchand, so I dropped her and married my intellectual Hoshiar-Homai.
Hoshiar-Homai: Pesi Papau was my crush in school but whenever we went on a date, his Hausun-Jhausun family would come along, especially his Jaari-Paderi mom who always did festa-fajeta and sat between us, so romance na bhajia tarai gaya!
Amy Atom Bomb: In school, Vaanki-doki-na Vikaji was my crush. He used to come home to give me tuitions. I called him Chavitro Vandro because his hands moved up and down my back like an Octopus! But he was 16 years older than me, so I opted for my next-door neighbour – Rustom who was 10 years younger than me.
Abbhan Aban: Oh wow! Like Priyanka Chopra married that Bavaji-No-Boocho Nick Jonas! Speaking for myself, my first crush was on my Marathi teacher, Mr. Wagh. He is married now and very scared of his wife.
The Mandli: Why? Why?
Aban: Because when she married, she was (Miss) WHAGMARE!!
Alamai Eienstein: These days, most marriages are unhappy and a mere compromise. It’s called: ‘Khasra Khai Ne Khar-Khar Hasey, Aney Tamacha Mari Ne Gaal Laal Karey!’ Unhappily married but Gher Na Ghela Aney Baahar Na Dahya!!
Shapur, the Shaayar:
Hamari Pehli Mohabbat Victoria Garden Mein Hui Thi.
My Dolly Ding-Dong was feeding the monkeys,
One sing (peanut) at a time. One sing mujh par
giri aur mera dil dhadakney laga.
Abbhan Aban: Uskey pehle kya aapka dil bandh tha?
Shapur: I mean naacheez ka dil zor zor se dhadka!
Anahita Andoos: Palpitation hua? Heart attack aaya?
Shapur: Ladies, ladies, my heart was going boompitty-boom. We met daily and she fed half the peanuts to monkeys and half to me. I proposed marriage, pleading an answer only in Shaairi-form and then we stopped meeting.
The Mandli: What was her answer?
Koomi Kaajwali: The Nation wants to know!!
Alamai Eienstein: Koomi, are you Arnab Goswani or what? The Nation wants to know!
Shapur Shaayar: Her answer was:
Aam Gaye, Anar Gaye,
Kacchey Limboo Reh Gaye,
Sacchey Ashiq Mar Gaye,
Aur Uloo Ke Patthey Reh Gaye!!
Then she called me, “Ullu (owl), melo-ghelo, bettho-bekar, vegret, meloo and Mad-house no Mehmaan!” It broke my heart, so I went home and sang sad songs from old Bollywood movies. The neighbours complained to the landlord that they couldn’t sleep at night. Cawasji Kasari told me to my face to stop singing in my faatela dhol jevo avaaj! So, I composed this Shairi:
Kuch Is Tarah Maine Ishq Asaan Kar Lia,
Kisi Se Maafi Maangi, Kisi Ko Maaf Kar Diya!!
Rusi Rockstar: Hey, you shameless plagiarist, these are my generation’s popular songs, Bawa adam na jamana na!!
Shapur Shayar: Even Freny didn’t get married!! It’s 50 years now since our hot, insane, passionate romance started in Victoria Garden Zoo, outside the monkey-cage.
Zamana Guzar Gaya,
Garam Chai Jaisa Ishq,
Cold Coffee Ki Tarah,
Thanda Ho Gaya!!
Noshir Naustraudamus: You must forget everything and move on in life.
Shapur: I had already forgotten and moved on until yesterday, when I came face to face with her in Colaba Bazar and saw that she was wearing a spondylitis collar, looking like a cow with all the weight she put on over 50 years. I’ll tell my story in a Shairee.
Abbhan Aban: Varsaad, Varsaad.
Anahita: It’s Irshaad, Aban!
Aaj Voh Purani Mohabbat
Achaanak Mili Bazar Mein,
Uske Galey Mein
Spondylitis Ka Collar Tha
Aur Mere Dil Mein Stent!!
The Mandli: Phir kya hua?
Na Uski Gardan Hili,
Na Mera Dil Dhadka!!
Meherwanji: Romance no ‘THE END’ thai gayo!!
On this note, the Mandli parted with the usual kisi-koti-ta-ta-bye-bye and Meherbai telling everyone, ‘Hasta Ramta Sidaavo!!’
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