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Pluminion

When fans of P G Wodehouse met up recently in Delhi, the collective cup of mirth simply flowed over. Here is a juicy report from Soumya Mukherjee which is bound to tickle your funny bone: via Pluminion.

Here is a recap of the last meeting which yours truly was fortunate enough to attend in flesh and blood.

 

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Travel is highly educational, said Jeeves. That is how it turned out to be when plans to visit New Delhi, some 2,200 kilometres away from where yours truly normally pollutes the environs, fructified.

An innocuous post on the Fans of P G Wodehouse page on Facebook led to some fans of the Master in the National Capital Region (NCR) deciding to meet up on 11.11.2017.

Eggs, Beans and Scones

The infamous Delhi smog singularly failed to dampen the spirits and many ardent fans of Plum in NCR landed up at the gig so very graciously hosted by a young man in spats, a management professional who happens to be based in Canada but was visiting his family in India.

Lord Emsworth, the grandfather of the young man, presided over the boisterous proceedings. An eminent bureaucrat in his hey days, he happens to be a devoted Plum fan. He turned out to be quite far from being woolly headed, and ensured that all the guests who had descended on his castle felt absolutely comfortable and at home.

Lady Mildred Mant, the daughter of Lord Emsworth, proved to be a genial host. Her attention to detail and the standard of hospitality on display might have prompted Jeeves to undergo a refresher course under her in the art and science of entertaining guests.

The theme of the gig was ‘Eggs, Beans and Scones’, since Lord Emsworth and the family found that the local bakeries were clueless as to what Crumpets stood for.

A leaner version of Beach, the butler, kept shimmering in and out, providing nourishment to all and sundry.

The Proceedings

Stiffy Byng showed up, somewhat annoyed at not being able to detect any chance of launching one of her goofy schemes. In the absence of any policemen in the vicinity, and missing the Harold Pinker of her life, she decided to go in for a safer option – that of bringing a quiet and dignified charm to the gig.

Bertie Wooster popped up, with Cousin Wilmot in tow. He brought in a black forest cake, with a portrait of the Master adorning its top. The portrait ensured a restricted calorie intake for all present. Only a small strip at the bottom of the cake, comprising Plum’s signatures, was eventually consumed. The rest was gobbled up by potential fans in families elsewhere who made polite enquiries regarding the identity of the person before shoving in large helpings down the hatch.

Aunt Dahlia marched in and proved to be a charming companion. Having been a Governor of several educational outfits in the league of Market Snodsbury Grammar School, she displayed exemplary restraint and did not address any one of those present as blots on the landscape or as worms.

The huge parcel which she brought in was presumed by those present to be having copies of the latest editions of Milady’s Boudoir. Instead, it was found to contain several Bertie-Jeeves mugs, which caused much merriment. All were eagerly lapped up.

Joan Valentine, the coordinator of the group, trooped in precisely at 11.11 AM, so the meeting could get off to a flying start. A rendition of The Yeoman’s Wedding Song was promptly located and played out, declaring the proceedings open.

Gladys Biggs turned up, accompanied by an impostor who turned out to be Clarence Mulliner. Technology having advanced, he did not need to squeeze bulbs and shoot photographs. While others got busy with much back-slapping and what-ho-ing, he quietly went about creating a visual record of the boisterous proceedings.

Gladys unveiled a delectable collection of some exquisite hand-painted sketches themed around the works and characters of Plum. It transpired that the same had been done by her niece, Gwladys Pendlebury, who had burnt the midnight oil to dish out the entire collection. She had done so at Hyderabad at a very short notice, and had couriered the entire set to Delhi, where her aunt and family had lost no time in getting these framed. Understandably, there was much excitement generated. All those present lost no time to grab one each.

Mr Mulliner too dropped in and regaled all those present with some stories of Bollywood producers and directors. A frequent traveller between Delhi and Mumbai, he proved to be a repository of Wodehousean wisdom.

Ashe Marson materialized, wearing a Wodehousean golf cap, looking bronzed and fit. His demeanour and bearing demonstrated the power of Larsen exercises, coupled with brisk walks, cold baths and a strict diet regimen. An established author, he often gave the impression as if his grey cells were busy working out the next adventure of the famous detective Gridley Quayle.

(L to R: Young man, Lady Mildred Mant, Aunt Dahlia, Mr Mulliner, Lord Emsworth, a balding Bertie Wooster, Joan Valentine, Gladys Biggs, Stiffy Byng, Ashe Marson, Cousin Wilmot; Clarence Mulliner is lurking behind the camera)

Florence Craye walked in, essentially to check as to what the excitement was all about and how the meeting was proceeding. Luckily, she did not appear to have any intentions of raising the intellectual level of those present.

Honoria Glossop joined the NCR Plummies over Skype briefly from UK, adding to the sparkle. Despite these being early hours in the Queen’s country, that too on a Saturday, she took the initiative of chatting with all those present.

Spawning Wodehousitis

Other than Plum’s works and characters, Spinoza and other literary figures also came up for discussion. Some openly shuddered at the challenge of exposing the coming generations to the unique pleasures of Plumsville.

It was felt that many amongst us have inherited the germs of Wodehousitis from our previous generations. The group wondered if prompt efforts can be made through proper channels to identify suitable Plummy soul-mates for those who are not averse to taking a saunter down the aisle in the near future. Such an initiative would ensure a steady spread of Wodehousitis in the times to come.

At such meets, continents and countries disappear. So do races, castes, creeds, gender, professions and income inequalities. Only the affliction known as Wodehousitis retains its relevance.

Those who are turning green with envy need not fret. They would do well to brace up for the next gig, planned at the same venue, on Saturday, February 17, 2018.

(Note: The allusion to characters of P G Wodehouse here is purely arbitrary and subjective and is not intended to offend any of those who spared the time to join in and make this encounter a memory to cherish for a long time. Permission to use photographs is gratefully acknowledged.)

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/another-drones-club-meeting-at-asker-in-norway

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/a-drones-club-meeting-in-amsterdam)

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ashokbhatia

c1 (25)You can be forgiven if you think we, the people of India, have let you down,
We have deeply ingrained prejudices upon which many of us do frown;
Like an ostrich, or like the three monkeys of the Father of our Nation,
We refuse to hear, see or speak evil, or to examine our value fixation.

Our society needs to stop mistreating and tormenting those of your kind,
Killing the likes of you in the womb, denying them a healthy body and mind;
Treating them like mere toys, made to fulfill the males’ lustful impulses,
Prisoners to their patriarchical mindset, ignoring your appeals and curses.

Some of us would like to know why at all you went out on that fateful day,
Why did you have to flag a bus full of maniacs while finding your way?
Were you not being stupid when you dressed the way you did that…

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