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Posts Tagged ‘Humour’

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Such notions of chivalry are already outdated,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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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’)

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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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While dishing out the unique fare that P G Wodehouse specialized in, never would he have imagined the kind of spell it would cast upon the unsuspecting youth in a country like India which remained a colony of the British Empire for quite some time. The kind of whodunits which he unleashed on the gullible youth occasionally launched an array of goofy schemes and practical jokes. And if the setting for rolling out such schemes happened to be an educational institution, one can merely bemoan the fate of its Reverend Aubrey Upjohns and other illustrious lion-tamers who had no other option but to be at the receiving end.

Imagine an educational institution which is teeming with a bevy of intellectually inclined youth. It is not difficult to surmise just how busy the institute’s Wodehouse Society office bearers would be, whipping up one goofy scheme or the other at regular intervals.

Late night raids on cookie jars and smoking cigarettes in the shrubbery were surely considered passé by them. Instead, they specialized in organizing some practical jokes which would have an undercurrent of the kind of subtle humour Plum stoutly believed in. Apparently, this was one of the annual features of the activities of the P G Wodehouse Society located on the campus.

Here are some which were narrated to yours truly by a dignified senior Mr Mulliner, who happened to be a distinguished alumnus of the institution concerned. It was a chance meeting which came about while we were undertaking an otherwise listless bus ride in Chicago recently.

A musical charade

The names of two famous singers from neighbouring Pakistan, ostensibly on a visit to India, were touted to attract a large audience to the auditorium. Faculty members from even the nearby colleges showed up, accompanied by spouses ornately dressed for the great occasion.

Since there was a shortage of volunteers to dress up as Pakistani ‘ghazal’ singers, only three could manage the feat, though. Thus, a troupe comprising a single singer, what with a tabla player and a harmonium player in tow, got formed. Some strings got pulled and a decent car with a diplomatic number plate was organized. The trio arrived at the venue in true style and was cheered lustily by the crowd, agog at the prospect of listening to some soulful melodies.

Once the trio had been greeted with customary garlands, bouquets and shawls et al, the person believed to be the singer stood up and started an elaborate ‘alaap’. When he continued with his off-tune rendering for quite a length of time, the audience started getting a bit jittery. Some thought it was perhaps a Pakistani custom to belt out some random notes, just to kick-start the proceedings. Pretty soon, it transpired that both the instrumentalists were merely twiddling their thumbs and playing some notes furtively, somewhat out of sync with the singer.

The jamboree ended with the singer finally announcing that the performance was merely a charade. Wisdom dawned upon the audience that a practical joke had been perpetrated on the unsuspecting hoi polloi.

Cora Bollinger, had she been present, could have possibly saved the day by belting out a version of ‘Sonny Boy’. However, that was not to be.

The case of the missing dead body

At the stroke of midnight, a rumour was heard that a student had committed suicide by hanging himself from the roof of the college gymnasium. Negative news spreads virtually at the speed of light. In no time, a crowd gathered outside the gymnasium building. True enough; a dead body appeared to be swaying gently from the roof. The gymnasium door was bolted from inside. A soulful suicide note was also apparently found outside.

The warden got called in. He lost no time in waking up the Principal who trooped in after some time, much like the US marines arriving at the site of a natural disaster. But lo and behold, the body had done the vanishing trick by then, possibly taking a leaf out of one of the whodunits of Agatha Christie.

As the pseudo-suicide unleashed by the society members dawned upon those assembled, the warden obviously got an earful from the irate principal, who did not like the prospect of losing his beauty sleep on such frivolous, or even non-existent, grounds.

The nocturnal presence of a female

In the hostel rooms of what was then an exclusive territory of the so-called sterner sex, the presence of a member of the tribe of the delicately nurtured beyond certain hours was not permissible.

However, on one apparently innocent night, word went around that a soft and shiny leg perched on a table was clearly visible from the window of a particular room in the hostel, reminiscent of the 1960s Hollywood flick ‘The Graduate’. Tongues started wagging. Imagination had a free run.

When notified, the warden decided to investigate the matter without any delay. But his repeated knockings on the door of the room concerned produced rather discouraging responses from within. Entreaties to open the door were met with stony silences. Threats uttered while his clenched fists pounded on the door were met with stout refusals to oblige.

Enraged, the warden went across the back lawns, so as to be able to peek inside the concerned room through a back window. Unfortunately, status quo prevailed and satisfactory results were not produced. Some kindly souls amongst the office bearers then took charge of the situation, calling upon the occupant to open the doors.

This brought home the bacon, so to say. The neatly shaved leg came off the table. The door flung open and out came the only occupant of the room, merrily parading his legs to all those who had assembled outside. Once it was established beyond doubt that one of his legs alone had been adequately prepared and presented to the unsuspecting public and that no female was in sight, a sigh of relief emanated from the warden. However, the decibel level of the merriment which ensued and the giggles that emanated from the crowd of students was far higher in the otherwise silent night.

The perils of being an educationist

Roberta Wickham and Stiffy Byng would have surely approved of these fruity schemes.

But had Reverend Aubrey Upjohn been present, he would have been frustrated at not having had the liberty of retaliating with some juicy canes in the soft spots of the office bearers.

Alas, such are the perils of the kind of rules and regulations which bind our hapless educationists these days. Only stiff-upper-lips and sterner gazes appear to have survived in their disciplinary arsenals.

Some of you may agree that the likes of Aubrey Upjohn, Miss Tomlinson and Miss Mapleton lived in far happier times.

(Notes:

Illustrations courtesy the world wide web.

The incidents described here took place sometime during the relatively innocent times of 1970s. The youth of today, armed with Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Social Media et al, could surely come up with far more juicier schemes. The mind boggles at the limitless possibilities.

One is truly grateful to the senior Mr Mulliner who narrated these incidents in juicy details to a perfect stranger like yours truly.

Here is hoping he, an eminent educationist in his own right, would soon chronicle his Plummy memoirs in exhaustive detail, possibly inspiring the youth of today to come up with even fruitier schemes, thereby hastening the spread of the epidemic of Wodehousitis all over the world.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/the-epidemic-of-wodehousitis

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/spreading-wodehousitis-some-plummy-awards)

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ashokbhatia

The character of Bertie Wooster is a study in contrasts. He has a dreamy sweetness about him. He is soft and chivalrous. He has a generous soul. He declines all proposals of marriage in a very polished manner. He never bandies about a woman’s name. Code of the Woosters Cover 1

But very often he also displays a unique strength of character. He can also speak his mind. If there is a fruity scheme which might result in the Code of the Woosters getting compromised, he is not game.

The delicately nurtured invariably corner Bertie and persuade him to do something truly goofy and get him into a jam. Gwladys puts her boyfriend with a broken leg in his flat. Pauline Stoker invades his rural cottage at the dead of night in a bathing suit. Florence Craye, Pauline Stoker, Roberta Wickham, Vanessa Cook, Nobby and Stiffy Byng are some other characters which immediately spring to one’s…

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In order to celebrate the 137th birth anniversary of P G Wodehouse, the Pittsburgh Millionaires decided to meet up on the 14th of October, 2018. The meeting took place at one of the Panera Cafés in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh, USA.

Lest some of you get an impression that the millionaires foregathered to discuss some trustworthy sources from where one could secure either a cow creamer or a scarab, you would be sadly mistaken. If your ambitions lead you to believe that you could have run into an arts dealer offering The Girl in Blue, the famous Gainsborough miniature, to one of the millionaires present at the gathering, you would be even more off the mark.

Had you been able to make it to the gig, you would have discovered the Pittsburgh Millionaires to be a group of strong and adventurous folks, well endowed and successful in more ways than one.

Besides being successful at keeping their respective bodies and souls together, they possess an immense wealth which could make many of us green with envy. Their wealth is not to be measured in terms of the millions of dollars they possess, but in terms of the trillions of units of common love and fondness they have for the verbal musician of our times, P G Wodehouse. A profound knowledge of his canon is another wealth they possess.

Eve Halliday and Phyllis Jackson were already seated on the table when Rupert Psmith and the not-so-efficient Baxter trooped in. Stiffy Byng fluttered in like a rose-leaf on the wind. Pauline Stoker floated in pretty soon thereafter and the meeting was called to order. Picture post cards featuring The Empress of Blandings were gifted by Eve Halliday to those present.

The management of the Panera Café has a stiff-upper-lip policy. Target practice by throwing bread crumbs is out of the question. The place does not boast of fans of any kind, ceiling or otherwise. Hence, hurling boiled eggs at such contraptions is also ruled out. The ambience of the place is not such as to allow a boisterous rendering of The Sonny Boy.

Wisdom prevailed. A reading of the story ‘Goodbye to All Cats’ followed. Curious customers on nearby tables were taken aback by the intermittent ripples of mirth emanating from the table. The management was polite enough not to interrupt but ensured that the tray-carrying trolleys generated sound-bytes which were loud enough to deliver suitable admonitions to the members of the Plummy troupe. Needless to say, the same were duly ignored.

Bits and pieces of the Wodehouse canon were fondly recalled by those present. The Bertie-Jeeves relationship was dissected at length. The challenge of popularising his works amongst the youth of today was discussed. Eve Halliday recommended the practice of ‘fairy books’ where some of his works, duly gift wrapped, could be left in public places, spreading joy amongst those who venture to pick these up. Stiffy Byng commented that her interests included not only the narratives dished out by Wodehouse but also the ones whipped up by Alfred Hitchcock. Pauline Stoker lovingly mentioned the BBC series.

Deferring to the wishes of the café management, no cake was cut on the occasion. The meeting ended on a cordial note, with much ‘What-ho’-ing and ‘Pip-pip’-ing. Baxter was wished a happy travel back to India.

(Note: Yours truly is grateful to Abigail Thompson, Filomena Conti, Allison Thompson, Carol Colby and Sandip Chaudhury, who could spare the time to grace the occasion. Special thanks are due to Allison Thompson who took special interest in coordinating the gathering and even brought along an Augustus look-alike to attract the attention of incoming millionaires).

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Many of our homemakers happen to be depressed these days,

They wish their spouses to refrain from inviting yours truly to their homes;

Lest he behave like a male Laura Pyke, exhorting them to lay off the vitamins,

And while away his own time merely devouring some literary tomes.

 

A lazy bum, he continues to gobble up cookies from the kitchen jar,

Making the Aubrey Upjohn in the family take a jaundiced view of things;

He opens the hatch to guzzle down jugfuls of tea and milk,

Much like Bertie, he gets up very late, anticipating what the morning tray brings.

 

His cooking abilities are limited to boiling milk and eggs,

An apprenticeship under Anatole is what he desperately needs;

Doing the dishes and tidying up the place is not his idea of fun,

Oh, how they wish these could count as some of his chivalrous deeds.

 

Very badly does he need a crash course in baby-sitting,

The prospect of changing nappies leaves him cold;

Bingo Little could surely teach him a trick or two,

While touching neighbours for a tenner he is rather bold.

 

His face glows when he is in the vicinity of an array of tissue restoratives,

Or that of a well-endowed member of the tribe of the delicately nurtured;

But his Gussie Fink Nottle style fumbling and tongue-tied-ness,

Leaves the tender hopes of the party of the other part somewhat fractured.

 

His is a visage that shows him to be a man of baser instincts,

Eyeing female profiles as if following a hill train on a curvaceous track;

Divas from Hollywood to Bollywood he is frequently in love with,

Any record of the romances of Bingo Little he could beat by a crack.

 

Much like a soggy Donaldson dog biscuit, he looks bored and listless,

Yet, unexplained bursts of mirth often escape from his bedroom;

Curling up with a narrative by Plum is apparently all that his heart desires,

Often do they spot him sneaking with one to the solitude of the restroom.

 

Plopping down on the sofa with a book in hand he loves,

Falling off with uncontrolled laughter leaves his insurers in anguish;

His permanent companions happen to be his books and his laptop,

Unleashing some inane stuff which smells more like a stale dish.

 

 Never has he been known to have won any prize in Scripture Knowledge,

But he remains enthusiastic about sharing his thoughts with the younger lot;

Travelling to far off places, sharing nuggets of managerial wisdom,

Many amongst his clueless audience are known to ask for a sleeping cot.

 

Having this vagabond infest their home these homemakers abhor,

Shuddering at the prospect as soon as they recall and brood;

Fervently do they pray that he stays put at the Brinkley Manor of his life,

Wishing that their Guardian Angels always remain in a benevolent mood.

 

(Image courtesy www) 

(Related Post:  https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/about-me)

 

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