The ‘over-80, young’ members of Meherbai’s Mandli needed any excuse to have get together, so this week, they celebrated the success of Chandrayaan-3. Even the food was theme-based, like pizzas and parathas (shape of the moon) plus crescent momos, karanjis and mava-bhujias (shape of half-moon) topped by bunpao-maska filled with jam and cheese (full-moon).
Patriotic Pestonji: Three cheers to our country for the safe-landing of Chandrayaan-3. Now, after USA, Russia and China, we are the fourth nation in the world to land a vehicle on the moon. Even advanced European countries cannot boast of this achievement!
Keki Kanjoos: We spent Rs. 615 crores sending Chandrayaan to the moon – this is only the cost of the rocket and its pay-load. The salaries of hundreds of scientists and other support staff over years of development hasn’t been taken into account. Couldn’t the same amount have been used for the welfare of our poverty-stricken people, or for housing and education? Besides, what’s all this hoo-haa-shoo-shaa for? What will we bring back from the moon? Pathra? Rocks? Moon-rocks?!
Aspi Astronaut: Your question shows the complete poverty of your mind! You are intellectually challenged! Arrey Kekibhai, we couldn’t have made progress in knowledge, space, science and technology without spending money on research and development through the years! Keep your kanjoosai to yourself!
Keki’s Wife: I’m so fed up of Keki’s kanjoosai! Do you know that he hasn’t bought a single new garment for the last 10 years and wears his old clothes until they fall off his body? His T-shirts are full of holes!
Keki: They are called air-conditioned T-shirts.
Freny Fatakri: We can actually see your blue underwear through your pants since they are torn to shreds. You are an outrage to public decency!
Keki Kanjoos: It’s the latest fashion to wear torn pants. All Bollywood actresses and society ladies are wearing them. Besides, haven’t you ever heard of the Japanese theory of Wabi-sabi? This Japla philosophy celebrates the impermanence of life by appreciating things that are torn, broken, old or otherwise imperfect. Tomorrow, if I turn very old or if I break my leg, will you throw me out of the Mandli? I love being kanjoos! And I still feel that the gaari-bharoo of Rs. 615 crores was a waste of good money.
Cowsie Calculator: What are you saying Keka? If you compare statistics, you will come to the conclusion that it is cheaper to go to the moon by rocket than by our kaali-peeli taxi or by Ola or Uber!
The Mandli: How? How? Please explain!
Cowsi Calculator: You see, the moon is millions of kilometres away from earth and the rocket cost of Rs. 615 crores cannot be more than 3 to 4 rupee per kilometer! This is definitely less than the kaali-peeli rate of rupees 28 for the first kilometer!
Minoo Makori: The other day, I asked a kaali-peeli how much would he charge to go to the moon and he replied rupees 12 crores – which seemed exhorbitant. On questioning why, he explained that moon pe se bhada nahin milega – khaali aana padega!
Ratanbai Racing-car: But Minoo bawa, why do you want to go to the moon in the first place?
Minoo Makori: To have a long holiday and change my surname from ‘Minbattiwala’ to ‘Moonwala’.
Lovejibhai Lambo: Moonwala or Unwala – what’s the difference? We all know you since childhood as Minoo Makori – ghadial ni takori!
Banoo Batak: My ganga’s son was also talking about joining ISRO!
Gullible Goolamai: Really? How creditable!
Banoo Batak: His class teacher told him: “Tum IS-RO mein baitho,” meaning, sit in this row. But the poor devil thought that the teacher wants him to join ISRO and his mother was over the moon!
Gullible Goolmai: Marerey! I was wondering, how could a little loafer-boy join ISRO!
Sorab Sali-Boti: I wanted to purchase loafers, so I went to a shoe-shop and asked the sales-person to show me a pair of loafers. He promptly brought two of his fellow sales-persons, saying, “Here are a pair of loafers who hardly do any work in the shop!”
Musical Manchershaw: So many Bollywood film songs are based on the moon, starting with Suraiya’s ‘Tu Mera Chand, Mein Teri Chandani’ or ‘Chanda mama Door-Ke or O Chand Jahaan Voh Jaye’ sung by Meena Kumari and the famous Pakeeza number, ‘Chalo Dildar Chalo, Chand Ke Paar Chalo’. There’s also Dev Anand’s ‘Dheerey-Dheerey Chal Chand Gagan Mein’ or the Anari-song ‘Voh Chand Khila, Voh Taarey Hasey’ or Shammi Kapoor’s ‘Yeh Chand-sa Roshan Chehra’ and ‘Mainey Poochha Chand-se’!
Abbhan Aban: Also the song ‘Tum Aaye Dino Ke Baad, Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla!’
Vikaji Vaghmaru: Hum aaye dino ke baad because I had gone to Goa with my friends. Did you look at the moon and miss me, Aban-my-jaan? You are so clever, smart and intelligent.
Meherbai: Clever enough to reject you, Vikaji!
Vicaji: For my Aban, I can go and get the moon and the stars – Chand-tara laavi aapas! Please my Abu-Jaan, sing another song based on the moon only for me!
Aban (sings): One-way ticket, One-way ticket to the moon!
Coomi Kaajwali: Yes, Vika-bawa, why don’t you take a one-way ticket to the moon? In fact, you should have taken a lift in the Chandrayaan-3, sat in it and gone to the moon!
Vikaji: Havey javaa deo Coomi-mai, since 10 years you have been taking money from me to see a prospective bride over choi and batasa, but I am still a katacho-kumaro bachelor!
Coomi: What can I do if the prospective brides are more interested in the batasas than in you? All these over-40 Nakhravali ‘girls’, choi-batasa khai-pee ne chaali-jayej! Is it my fault?
Aspi Astronaut: All said and done, we Parsis are very happy that India’s mission to the moon landed as softly as the Yazdani-Bun-Maska. It was a butter-soft landing and even the AMUL advert said: Moon-Mitha-Karo! In fact, if Earth becomes overcrowded and polluted, we Parsis should seriously think about settling on the Moon!
Coomi Kaajwali: And do what?
Aimai Eienstein: What we are best at doing – fight with each other while Pesi-piano plays Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ and Fali – Fiddler-on-the-roof sings Khoya Khoya Chand. On this note the Mandli parted with the usual kissi-kotis, tata and bye-byes.