Meherbai’s Mandli Goes To A Coffee Shop!

The Mandli ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ (all over 80) met at a posh coffee shop to celebrate the festive spirit.

Meherbai: We grew up in an era when coffee-beans were roasted, put in a grinder and brewed to perfection.

Meherwanji: Yes dear. This was before the era of instant coffee, bolstered by milk and sugar.

Coomi Kaajwali: Forget coffee. Today, there’s instant marriage and instant divorce. You guys sit. I’ll go and order coffees for everyone.

Baji Bevdo: This morning, my friendly neighbourhood havaldar asked me, “How high are you today”? I corrected his English saying ashi nahi bolaicha –How are you today” bolaicha. Still, he repeated, “Baji-Saab, how high are you today?”

Coomi Kaajwali: Marerey, I am not ordering. They are asking if we want our coffees black, milky, latte, frappe, mocha, cappuccino or frappuccino. Coffee ma Chino? Has China now captured the world coffee market also?

Freny Fituri: Sit down Coomi aunty. I’ll go order our coffees. I have just returned from my sixth short-holiday trip this year and the change of weather has given me the flu so I’ll have a hot coffee and tell you all about my illnesses.

Meherbai: Frenymai, no one is interested in your imaginary illnesses because every month you take a short trip somewhereYou are never too sick to cancel a trip. You have just returned from a trip to London. Besides, we talk only about health in the Mandli and try not to bring sickness into our consciousness!!

Baji Bevdo: Outside the house, the police harasses me and at home my wife! Every night she goes from one bar to another!

Abhan Aban: Is she also a Bevdi like you?

Baji Bevdo: Nahi re! Searching for me!

Anahita Andoos: Bajiba, your front tooth is missing!!

Baji Bevdo: Haa mai. My wife’s chapati was hard as a rock.

Anahita Andoos: You should have refused to eat it!

Baji Bevdo: That’s exactly what I did and lost my front tooth!

Freny Fituri: I give up. I can’t do this. It’s like a game of MENSA or Kaun Banega Carorepati. That little chap behind the counter is asking me if I want black or milky, with or without sugar! Regular or skim milk? Dollop of cream? Hazelnut flavour, hot or cold? Dark or light? Small, medium or large? I feel this is the Spanish Inquisition!

Anahita Andoos: You must be positive – it only shows the salesperson’s commitment to his job!

Coomi Kaajwali: Why are you taking his side? Take Freny’s side!

Adi Adagro: How unchivalrous to send a lady to place 16 different orders. I’ll request Dr. Aspi Aspro to write everyone’s order and then, I shall read it out loudly like Arnab Goswami at the counter. I am good at giving orders although at home, my wife is better than me when she orders me – wash the dishes, open the door, heat the food, clean the fridge, make tea, go to the bazar, take me for lunch and shopping.

The Mandli: Soo thayoo? You are back like a bad coin within a minute. You forgot the list or what?

Adi Adagro: I have the list with me but I couldn’t read a single word due to Aspi Bawa’s hand-writing. A typical doctor’s writing. I am sure neither his patients nor their chemists can make out head or tail of his prescriptions. No wonder – if you consult Dr. Aspi, tamey ek doze ma Parsi General Hospital pugi jao and the next doze sends you straight to Doongarwadi!

Dr. Aspi Aspro: I strongly object. You insulted me! You defamed me! Hoon tamara per case karas. See you in court!

Adi Adagro: What is this case karas every time we meet? You sound like aapra Parsi Trustees! See you at the Badminton Court tomorrow morning instead. Learn to be a sport!!

Meherbai: Boys, boys, calm down! We have come here to enjoy coffees with the festive spirit and not your kaklaat!

Banoo Batak: Keep your kaklaat at home. I wonder how your wives tolerate you!

Kanjoos Keki: (Reading the Menu) Oh Mahra Baap! I feel dizzy just reading the menu. Rs. 350/- plus two types of taxes for a cup of coffee! Soo dhar aavij? I am not paying such an obscene amount for one measly coffee. Let’s all go to Kamat for Madrasi filter kaapi.

The Mandli: Yes! Yes! We all support Kanjoos Keki for once! Rs. 350 plus two types of taxes is simply too much. We don’t understand this expensive coffee culture!

Anahita Andoos: Mahra Australia ma toh what beautiful and spacious coffee shops we have! Coffee is so romantic! Most great romances have started over a cup of coffee!

Romantic Rutty: And most broken hearts have been healed by coffee! Maybe coffee has genders. Expresso sounds Macho like a man while Cappuccino sounds feminine like a woman. It’s like Blue versus Pink!

The Mandli: Let’s all go to Kamat for kaapi! 

All 16 boys and girls head for Kamat, which was closed since the owner had gone to Chennai to visit his family!

The Mandli: Let’s have choi instead at Kayani’s of Dhobi Talao. So, they finally descended there and enjoyed choi with khari and bun-maska to their heart’s content – mind you, at a fraction of the price of fancy coffee!

Keki’s Wife:  Keks, Keks! Jaldi-jaldi, take out your plastic box and pack up some khari biscuits for tomorrow’s breakfast. Now, the secret of Keki’s happy married life can be summed up in just two words: “Yes Dear.” So he packed up the left-over Kharis like a well-trained husband.

Anahita Andoos: While the choi was satisfying for a change, I would still say that if you are looking for a drink that says everything there is to say about age, sex, gender, identity, social status, office-life or national-characteristics, it’s coffee!! By the way, Mr. Keks, your turn to treat us never comes!

Keki Kanjoos: Mandli, next week, my treat. All of you come over to my house for coffees and conversations. Banoo Batak, you bring sugar for everyone. Anahita, bring your Australian instant coffee-powder, Baji – bring Parsi Dairy milk and I’ll supply fresh water from the tap.

Meherwanji: How generous! Parsi thy name is charity!! This is like Gustadji Gotla, eating mangoes and doing charity of the gotlas!!

On this note, the Mandli broke-up with Ta-Ta, Bye-Bye, Kissi-koti and Merry Xmas!!



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