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Here is what my dream soul mate would sound like,
He may or may not be tall, dark and handsome;
While handling Life’s harsh slings and arrows,
I merely expect the young prune to be agile and lissome.

A blighter like Gussie Fink Nottle would surely not do,
A newt fancier and a teetotaler is bound to leave me cold;
A chappie like Freddie Threepwood would also put me off,
Someone like Spode I would stoutly detest, truth be told.

A lack of interest on my part in flowers, pumpkins and sows,
Rules out any dalliance with the ninth Earl of Emsworth;
A rugged and handsome Esmond Haddock may make the cut,
But his domineering aunts would vitiate matrimonial mirth.

Having a whack at any bloke’s millions is not my idea of fun,
An abundance of the milk of human kindness would do;
His frequent visits to an all-men’s club would be fine,
Enabling the embers of romance to act longer like a glue.

I would not expect him to open doors for me,
Nor hold any chair I may decide to use;
Such notions of chivalry are already outdated,
I can open jam cans myself and even mend a fuse.

He should pay heed to the needs of our times,
Believe in meaningful notions of chivalry instead;
Be a loving, loyal and devoted soul mate,
Helping with such household chores as making a bed.

Like Bingo Little, baby sitting should be his forte,
Not sulking when I invite over a friend of mine;
Ensuring that never do I miss my afternoon cup of tea,
Cosying up to me near the fireplace over a glass of wine.

As to tackling life’s myriad problems and challenges,
May he be like Jeeves, armed with superior intelligence;
Handling visiting aunts and distant cousins with aplomb,
Displaying a feudal spirit, resolving issues with elegance.

Let him be a dasher along the lines of someone like Psmith,
Handling life with perseverance, alacrity and grace;
Spreading love while riding the pale parabolas of joy,
Neutralizing mischief mongers without losing his own face.

Someone like Ashe Marson could also qualify,
Dishing out whodunits lapped up by the masses;
Open to adventurous escapades involving scarabs,
Handling his bosses well, conducting fitness classes.

Hitching my lot to someone like Galahad could be considered,
His gallantry is legendary, so is his wit and charm;
Oh, life would be real fun being with a person like him,
Things would be easier while I hold on to his arm.

I would not even mind a good pal like Bertie as a soul mate,
Whose heart would forever remain coated with gold;
Wrapping him around my dainty fingers would be easy,
Nice to have someone around whose intellect I could mould.

To have shades of all these coves in a single chap
Would be well-nigh difficult, truly an overwhelming task;
May be someone amongst you would refer a suitable blighter,
So I don’t have to walk down the aisle with a smiling mask.

Let the chappie at least be a true fan of P G Wodehouse,
So the progeny is assured of a great sense of humour;
Basking in the sunlit brilliance of the Master’s works,
Going through life with its chins up, wearing a blissful armour.

 

(Notes:

  1. This post is inspired by
    https://honoriaplum.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/wodehouse-desirable-men
  2. Related posts: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/a-plummy-wish-for-a-bride-to-be, https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/the-need-to-look-for-plummy-soul-mates
  3. Illustration courtesy www)
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ashokbhatia

Movies reflect what is happening in the society. In some cases, like literature, they also hint at what could be in store for us in the days to come. They not only influence what happens in the society, but also take a harsh look at its ills – including their own! There are a number of spoofs, created by some of our best known dream merchants, which reveal the level of maturity the film industry has attained.

Somehow, movies examine only some segments of the society; that too, mostly along predictable lines. Politicians, cops, industrialists and others are mostly depicted in a stereotyped manner. Business and management have so far not merited much attention from our film makers.

If business has been captured, it has mostly been depicted to be ruthless. Catering to mass appeal, the film makers have propounded the belief that big money is invariably bad. The fact…

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ashokbhatia

The delicately nurtured amongst us occasionally bemoan the way they have been treated by the Master Wordsmith of our times – P GPGW JeevesInTheOffing Wodehouse. Admittedly, his narratives are replete with somewhat jaundiced references to the fairer sex. We could readily jump to the conclusion that his works have been written only for an exclusive boys’ club.

Consider these samples from ‘Jeeves in the Offing’:

Sample 1:

‘It just shows you what women are like. A frightful sex, Bertie. There ought to be a law. I hope to live to see the day when women are no longer allowed.’
‘That would rather put a stopper on keeping the human race going, wouldn’t it?’
‘Well, who wants to keep the human race going?’
‘I see what you mean. Yes, something in that, of course.’

Sample 2:

‘Why? You were crazy about the girl once.’
‘But no longer. The fever has…

View original post 2,115 more words

How do you solve a problem like Somaiya?

How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

How do you find the word that means Somaiya?

A nay-sayer! A yeller! An obstinate clown!

 

Many in the family adore her,

Her superior intelligence could put a Jeeves to shame;

The psychology of any individual is an open book to her,

In a game of chess a victory she can easily claim.

 

She is often held to be an angel and a child,

A gentle soul, an eve lamb and a darling;

She makes others laugh and keeps them bemused,

Her imagination is never wanting, always on a wing.

 

Aspiring to swim like a fish and dance like a diva,

She is justifiably proud of her long and flowing mane;

Doing school work on an iPad she detests,

Watching teeny serials and a smart phone addiction is her bane.

 

She may look as flighty as a feather,

But has great strength in her bones;

Many a medal has she won while playing football,

She loves gorging on pizzas and ice cream cones.

 

But many others around her are often left confused,

They have no clue as to where exactly they stand;

Unpredictable as weather, with repeated bouts of anger,

In many a peril they suspect the sleight of her hand.

 

Often, their toothbrushes, combs and shoes could go missing,

She is taken as a headache and a riddle waiting to be solved;

Unlike Kid Clementina, adding sherbet to inkpots is passé,

Changing the settings of other’s smart phones keeps her involved.

 

A fine specimen of the female of our species,

Bobby Wickham is the one she apes, though her hair is black;

Getting invited to parties and movies she relishes,

In unleashing goofy schemes she is neither wanting nor slack.

 

She hastens the spiritual evolution of those around her,

Thos would surely be envious of her track record;

A chin-up attitude is necessary to deal with her,

With those who take her acts lightly she strikes a chord.

 

She is the lord and master of all she surveys,

All around her are expected to do her bidding;

From Seabury she would like to learn the art,

Of making butter slides for erring parents, no kidding!

 

When it comes to giving others a supercilious gaze,

Treating them as dust beneath her bicycle wheels;

She could teach a thing or two to Oswald Glossop,

Making them either jump in lakes or take to their heels.

 

She is someone who could try others’ patience no end,

She always knows which side of her bread is buttered;

Her toys and dolls are invariably left in a state of disarray,

Her room, drawers and shelves are always cluttered.

 

Dressing up and leaving for school is a chore she dislikes,

Washing her face does not come easy, also combing her hair;

But she loves the company of her friends there,

She waltzes inside her school and even whistles on the stair.

 

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her,

Many a thing she ought to understand;

But how do you make her stay and listen to all you say,

How do you keep a wave upon the sand?

 

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Somaiya?

How do you hold the rays of moon in your hand?!

 

(Inspired by a song from the movie ‘The Sound of Music’)

ashokbhatia

CEOs and managers wanting to puncture the stress bubble these days have several options. Some can head to the nearest gym and burn away those blues. Some can simply switch off their technical gizmos and spend some quality time with their loved ones. Some can start learning yoga and meditation. Some can choose to put off the lights at home, put on some soothing music and relish their favourite tissue restorative, sans any distraction.

Others can pick up any work of P G Wodehouse or Terry Pratchett and recharge their batteries. Or, they can look up the delightful work of such eminent cartoonists as R K Laxman and Mario Miranda, both of whom have looked at managerial situations with the lens of sparkling wit and humour.

In Mario Miranda’s cartoons and illustrations, we come across the buxom but woolly headed secretary, Miss Fonseca. We also get to meet Mr. Godbole…

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Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, occupies a very prominent place in the minds of its citizens. Given the propensity of Bollywood producers and directors to cash in on events which touch the audience’s lives, one would presume that the festival would have had a major role to play in many of the flicks churned out by our dream merchants.

In quite a few story lines, Diwali does form the background of some events of major importance in the lives of the principal characters. The villain and his henchmen decide to massacre an entire family just when the latter happen to be celebrating the festival together. However, they willy-nilly leave behind a survivor who grows up with the single aim of identifying the villain and liquidating him even as the law enforcing authorities take their own sweet time to troop in.

But when one starts looking around for songs which are inspired by this magnificent festival, one is likely to be disappointed. These are few and far in between.

Here is a small collection which was recently brought to my attention by an elderly cousin who has a personal collection of movies and songs which could beat any museum professing to represent the best that Bollywood has to offer.

Aayi Diwali Deep Jala Ja: Pagdi (1948)

 

Deep Jale Ghar Ghar Mein: Lata: 1955

 

Deep Jalenge Deep Diwali Aayi: Paisa (1957)

Kaise Diwali Manayen Lala: Paigham (1959)

 

Mele Hein Chiragon Ke: Nazrana (1961)

 

And here is a famous song from the movie Guide (1965) where an entire stanza is devoted to Diwali.

 

Happy Diwali: Home Delivery (2005)

Perhaps, there are several reasons for Diwali songs being very few.

One could be that the joint family system has given way to unit families. Main protagonists in Bollywood movies have become more self-centred, pushing the broader family into the shadows. Over time, the importance attached to a family-focused festival like Diwali has gone down. We still get to see it, but merely as a backdrop to the small part of a song where the hero and the heroine are shaking their legs and limbs with much gusto.

Another could be the fact that Diwali was earlier considered a private family affair, with sweets getting distributed amongst neighbours after the traditional puja had been performed. But the current trend is that of a socializing event where those who could assist us in fulfilling our ambitions receive gifts much prior to the festival. In other words, if it was a single transaction between a family and the Goddess of Wealth in the past, it has now taken the shape of a multi-dimensional event of a transactional nature where one’s circle of influence plays a far more important role.

It is remarkable that Holi, the Festival of Colours, has found better attention from our film makers. Bollywood specializes in glorifying eve-teasing and this is one festival which provides ample scope for amorous advances to be showcased on the silver screen.

Here is wishing all of you a great Diwali!

(Note: Yours truly is grateful to the senior cousin who facilitated this post.)

ashokbhatia

Most of us love Bertram Wilberforce ‘Bertie’ Wooster. Unlike some goofy female characters who would not mind taking ‘a whack at the Wooster millions’, we do not love him for his money. We love him for his self-less attitude and simplicity.CodeOfTheWoosters

Some of us pity him for being ‘mentally negligible’. His tendency to keep getting into one soup or the other often makes us feel superior to him. Whenever he gets stuck, Jeeves rallies around. He keeps pulling him and his pals out of the kind of predicaments they keep facing from time to time. If ever Bertie’s pride gets hurt and he decides to untangle an issue all by himself, disaster lurks around the corner.

All through, Bertie’s actions are governed by The Code of the Woosters which is essentially about never letting a pal down. However, I do believe that there are several finer shades to it. Each…

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