Meherbai’s Mandli Does Chai Pe Charcha

Meherbai hosted a ‘Chai-n-pakoras’ afternoon at her house.

Keks: I’m very sad because I lost thousands of rupees while doing an online net-payment.

Meherwanji: Net payments are for youngsters, not for people over 80 like us. I prefer ‘good old cash’ because my Rs. 100 note can’t be hacked. If I’m robbed, I lose only 100 or 500 rupees from my wallet and not the entire bank account. My crispy notes don’t need batteries and they never go ‘out of range’. 

Keks: I agree Mehella, but my stupid wife comes up with such modern ideas and I’m too scared of her to oppose. Yesterday, when I was driving down Marine Drive, a policeman stopped my car saying, “You can’t talk on the phone while driving.” I replied that it was my wife on the phone and I was just listening. You can’t fine me for just listening. He let me off saying he had great sympathy for married Bawajis.

Romantic Rumi: I took my girl-friend to Chiplun, which is half-way to Goa. When I put my hand on her knee, she blushed and said, ” You can go further,” so I drove all the way to Goa with my hand on her knee.

Rangeelo Ratan: I took Abhan Aban to a restaurant. The waiter said, “Sir, I have stewed-liver, bheja-fry, masala-kidney, roasted tongue and fried chicken drumstick-legs.” Aban shouted back at him, “We don’t want to know your health problems. Just bring us the menu.” On top of that, she told me, “Let’s go to an Irani restaurant” and instead of the menu, she started reading the instructions, which were as follows: ‘No spitting, no bargaining, no change, no telephone, no newspaper, no combing hair, no leg on chair, no fighting, no sitting long, no outside food and no credit.’

The Mandli: Then what happened?

Rangeelo Ratan: They have everything on the menu except food!

Bomi Bun-Pao: Talking of food, I love the good old Lagan Nu Patru and I never say no to a single invitation because it gives you a choice of drinks served – Rum, Scotch, Vodka and our Parsi peg – isn’t that what RSVP stands for?

Alamai Anaconda: Yes, of course! But only in Parsi functions. In a Gujju weddings, RSVP stands for ‘Rotli, Shaak, Vaal and Paav’. In a Goan wedding, it stands for ‘Roast Beef, Sorpotel, Vindaloo –Paav’ and in a South Indian wedding it stands for ‘Rasam, Sambar, Vada, Payasam’!

Meherwanji: Meherbai, my jaan, what intelligent friends we have!

Meherbai: Be grateful that we have friends. Several people over 80 have no friends to talk to and they become house-bound, then bed-ridden and live in loneliness, which is the worst disease in the world. Do Shukrana to Khodaiji that our house is filled with optimistic friends who always see the glass as half-full.

Polly Pipyu: Absolutely, Meherbai! A positive person will always see the glass of water as half-full. A negative person sees it as half-empty and a clever person like me adds a huge Parsi peg of whiskey with four ice-cubes to it and says, ‘Cheers!’ So, bring out the Scotch, Meherwanji!

Meherbai: Oh hello! Today it’s a chai and pakora party and its just 5 in the evening. Next time, I’ll call everyone for Scotch and finger-foods!

Viloo Vegetarian: I don’t eat fingers. Only vegetarian food. Kek’s wife has been promising us for ages that the next Mandli-party will be at her house!

Keks: Oh no! Arrey baap re!  Don’t talk of kharcha. Whose father’s Diwali is it? Just now, we are going through karka-karki! 

Alamai Eienstein: Keks, you and your wife attend every party you are invited to and even take home left-overs, but you’ll never invite anyone!

Shernaz (Keki’s Wife): Ok guys, next week, tea and biscuit party at my flat! Meherbai, will you bring nice Poona Shrewsberry Hazelnut biscuits for all of us? Please bring one kilo extra for me to store in my kitchen-bottle because my Keks loves biscuits so much, he even eats up the next door neighbour’s dog-biscuits which is why their dog Macho growls at Keks every time he sees him!

Meherbai: Done! Anything else you want me to bring?

Shernaz: Not fair to burden only one person. All of you bring your own tea bags, sugar-cubes and powder-milk. My generous husband and I shall provide hot water for all of you at no extra cost and no GST! You can also bring cakes and sandwiches!

The Mandli: Thanks for your generosity but that’s one party we would like to avoid.

Shernaz: Why, what happened? The whole Mandli always accepts Meherbai’s invites but you never come to my party when I invite you all.

Banoo Batak: That’s because your reputation precedes you. On Kek’s last birthday, you invited us all for dinner and when the bill arrived, you both disappeared into thin air. Like a vanishing-cream! So, thanks but no thanks!

On this note, the Mandli said Ta-Ta, Bye-Bye, Koti-Kissi and parted with “take-care”.

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