Meherbai’s Mandli Discusses Nursery Rhymes!

The Mandli was in a nostalgic mood and spent an entire evening discussing nursery rhymes and poems they had learnt at school.

Meherbai: I first went to a Gujarati medium school, so what comes to mind are poems like, ‘Aavrey Varsaad, Gebharyo Parsaad, Ooni Ooni Rotli Aney Karela Nu Shaak’.

Khadhro Keks: Meherbai, one day let’s have a karela and bajra party! We all enjoy your wonderful cooking!

Jabri Jaloo: Kek’s mind is always in food. Doesn’t he ever think of anything else? My favourite childhood poem was ‘Mogra Ni Maal, Mahri Mogra Ni Maal’. Anyone remembers it?

Sammy Six-pac: I do. But I prefer mine: ‘Mein ek biladi paali chey, Tey rangey bahu rupali chey, Doodh piye, Rotli khaye, Malai toh lup-lup chaati jaye!’

Mrs. Keks: Sounds like my husband! He also loves milk, rotli and malai. But he’s not a Bilari, he is a Bilaro.

Jabri Jaloo: Marerey! Don’t you guys think of anything other than food?

Abbhan Aban: We had Marathi as a subject, so I remember, ‘Yere yere pausa, Tula deto paisa, Paisa zala khota, Paus ala motha’!

Pilamai: Any poem on a parrot? I’m miserable since my Polly-popat flew away from his cage.

Aabhan Aban: Yes, Pilamai: ‘Popta, popta, boltos godh, Pun zalaas road, Kha na ga zara peru chi phod’!

Mrs. Keks: Oh! I love eating peru and guava ice-cream.

Jabri Jaloo:  Vari paachi khavani vaat! Does this couple eat to live or lives to eat?

Dr. Daji: They live to eat! Constantly dining out!

Meherbai: Let’s talk English nursery rhymes now. I liked Jack and Jill as a child, but now I feel horrified that two children, a boy and a girl were sent to fetch water from the well on top of a hill! A case of child abuse! The boy falls down and has a cranial fracture and the girl’s fate is equally tragic!!

Maherwanji: Oh yes! There are other cruel poems also! One is about a baby in a cradle, hung on a tree. The bough creaks and sways, eventually breaking and the baby crashes to the earth and dies.

Dinoo Derki: I know this one – Rock A Bye Baby!!

Covasji Casonova: While choosing which girlfriend to take to a dance, I always recite my favourite nursery rhyme: ‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe’, Catch a N**** by his toe’!

Polly Pipyu: You can’t say ‘N***’ – it’s racism!

Covasji: Sorry! I’ll recite Baa Baa Black Sheep, ok?

Polly Pipyu: Arrey Cowsie, you can’t even say Black in today’s world. Again racism!

Covasji: So, what can I do?

Polly: Go play Housie!!

Covasji: You mean Tambola? I already play that at my club with Freny Tamboli who is also known as Freny Fatakri.

Meherbai: I really don’t understand why English nursery rhymes carry so much violence and cruelty against children. They carry child-abuse, cruelty, scandals, sexual innuendo and an overdose of violence.

Lily-the-silly: Yes, I agree! There’s child-abuse by an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do, so she gave them soup and whipped them to bed! Now what sort of nursery rhyme is this?

Gustadji: I agree. The worst is the poem ‘Clementine’, her father’s darling, pretty like-a-fairy, wearing number nine shoes. She fell into a pond while her father watched his (sweet) Clementine drown and die! The poem ends: “So I kissed her little sister and forgot my Clementine!” What sort of father was he?

Fali Filmbuff: I can understand an overdose of violence in films like ‘Pathan’, ‘Jawan’ and ‘Animal’ which, in the first place, is made for mindless audiences but why so much cruelty in English nursery rhymes?

Coomi Kajwali: Exactly! Poor Hormusji Humpty-Dumpty fell down and doctors could not repair his fractured bones!

Mani Mindhi: Who asked Hormusji Humpty-Dumpty to go and sit on a wall?

Coomi Kajwali: Or, three blind mice. Come on! Blind mice!! How insensitive, unsavoury and cruel to say, “See how they run!”

Naju Malai-nu-Khaju: I prefer our childhood comic Gujarati rhymes to these! My favourite is ‘Soonamai laamba, Malya maney samba, Hoota bahu kaam-ma, Chaltata damaam-ma’!

Mrs. Keks: Or Papeta na Papri Saathe Kidha Lagan. My Keks loves papri-ma-papeto. Meherbai had made that for us once – pls do so again and we shall have a blast!

Jabri Jaloo: This is too much! I can’t take it!! This couple only talks of food. Sapna ma bi khavanu avtoo hosey!

Maherbai: Jaloo, enough. Now everybody come to the dining table and have the delicious snacks I have made today.

Mrs. Keks: Meherbai, I have brought my usual meli-gheli bajaar theli to carry home the left-overs.

Meherbai: Sure!


On this note, the Mandli rushed to the dining table. Did the Mandli eat to live or live to eat?? You tell me!

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