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ashokbhatia

The more the thoughts dwell on the fate of Wodehousitis in the decades to come, the more the soul recoils in horror. One peers into the future, and shudders at what one sees there.

Most youth of today are blissfully ignorant of the sunlit valleys of Plumsville, where rivulets of subtle humour offer a gentle reprieve from the stress of an incessant exposure to social media. Where roads are lined on both the sides with trees which offer low hanging fruits of eternal wisdom. Where characters offer solutions to such delicate challenges in life as handling loopy soul mates, diet-obsessed girl friends and spouses, obdurate aunts, thrifty uncles, moody pigs, overbearing dogs and sleepy cats.

Unless prompt steps are taken through proper channels now, the epidemic of Wodehousitis may soon become a part of folklore, confined to the dustbins of history.

A singular characteristic of this affliction is that it…

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The more the thoughts dwell on the fate of Wodehousitis in the decades to come, the more the soul recoils in horror. One peers into the future, and shudders at what one sees there.

Most youth of today are blissfully ignorant of the sunlit valleys of Plumsville, where rivulets of subtle humour offer a gentle reprieve from the stress of an incessant exposure to social media. Where roads are lined on both the sides with trees which offer low hanging fruits of eternal wisdom. Where characters offer solutions to such delicate challenges in life as handling loopy soul mates, diet-obsessed girl friends and spouses, obdurate aunts, thrifty uncles, moody pigs, overbearing dogs and sleepy cats.

Unless prompt steps are taken through proper channels now, the epidemic of Wodehousitis may soon become a part of folklore, confined to the dustbins of history.

A singular characteristic of this affliction is that it passes from one generation to the next. It follows that if steps are taken to facilitate its inheritance, better results may ensue. Stocking all editions of all the works of P G Wodehouse on our book shelves could help. Ensuring that the technical gizmos lying around in our humble abodes carry some of the juiciest stories in the canon could help. Occasionally replaying some episodes of the movies featuring Bertie Wooster and Jeeves could make the younger ones in the family sit up and take notice. Gifting appropriate books to those in the family way could help.

At a recent meeting of the Master’s fans in New Delhi, India, the germ of another idea popped up – that of identifying potential soul mates with Plummy leanings for the young ones who are yet-to-be-affianced. It was felt that even if one of the parents carries the Wodehousean gene in his/her chromosome, the coming generations would be likely to lead happier and fuller lives. If the parent belonging to the tribe of the delicately nurtured caries it, the drive to make Wodehousitis sustainable might yield better results.

One way of initiating a search of this kind could be to come up with matrimonial advertisements which actively seek life partners suffering from the delectable affliction of Wodehousitis.

Here is a draft which could be refined and sent across to various sites which offer matrimonial services.

“A well-bred professional, a male rabbit of about 27 winters, well endowed in physical and materialistic terms, is on the lookout for a soul mate who is a gentle and mild dormouse with whom he could settle down peacefully and nibble lettuce.

The aspiring soul mate would be expected to be smart, intelligent and well read. Specifically, the party of the first part strongly believes that those familiar with the works of P G Wodehouse would make an ideal party of the other part.

What the party of the first part intends to bring to the proposed union is a modern notion of chivalry. Opening car doors and holding chairs is passe. Instead, the emphasis would be on sharing household responsibilities and in providing soulful companionship. All possible endeavours shall be made to ensure that the party of the other part never misses her afternoon cup of tea. 

Ability of the party of the other part to think of goofy schemes to ward off those who prey on the millions of the party of the first part would be preferred. So would be those who have strong entrepreneurial leanings, much along the lines of Joan Valentine and Sally.

Spending some quality time together while gazing moodily at the stars would be encouraged. But espousing theories about God’s daisy chains and fairies would be discouraged.

Skills which keep invading cousins, aunts and ex-fiancees away from the home and hearth would be greatly admired. So would be the ability of retaining cooks and maid servants in the face of stealthy moves by scheming aunts who refuse to be gentlemen.

Costs of adequate medical insurance shall always be a part of the household budget. This would cover any damage to limbs caused by the cup of mirth brimming over while reading together a work of the Master and one falling off from a sofa and rolling over on the floor, and any such eventualities.  

The party of the better part shall be encouraged to pursue her own professional career. It is expected that the pocket-money meant for the party of the worse part would get dished out without any hesitation or remorse. Nor would its usage be ever questioned or doubted, thereby supporting the sporting spirits of the party of the worse part.

It may kindly be noted that the party of the first part shudders at the prospect of swimming a mile and then playing five sets of tennis post lunch on weekends. Also, an improvement in one’s intellect is not on the agenda of the proposed union. It is hoped that the party of the better part would keep such sensibilities in mind and refrain from using softer tactics to get the party of the worse part to abide by her wishes.

Both parties would enjoy equal rights in terms of occasionally spending time with their own circle of friends at clubs and in other social circles. Valets and house maids who are members of clubs which insist on keeping records of juicy goings on in the lives of either of the parties shall not be hired.

Members of the tribe of the delicately nurtured who happen to be pure padded cell from the foundations up are discouraged to respond to this missive.

It is hoped that when either of the parties faces one of Life’s harsh slings and arrows and is twiddling her/his thumbs trying to cope with a challenge, the other one would rally around and act like a Jeeves, marshalling not only his/her keen intelligence but also a deep understanding of the psychology of the individual.

The intended purpose of the proposed union is not only to enjoy life long companionship, especially at an advanced age when the lining of the stomach poses unique challenges to the parties concerned. It is also about little feet pattering about the home – feet which support a head which is steeped in Plummy thoughts and a heart within which sloshes an abundant supply of the milk of human kindness.

The union would be expected to produce offspring who will inherit the combined Plumminess of both the parents. Offspring in the vicinity of whom human life would not be under any threat. Bright kids who might be goofy but shall not seriously endanger the peace of mind of the nurses, the governesses, the private-school masters and the public-school masters who will eventually take on the responsibility of looking after a blend of the parties of the better and the worse part.

This alone will ensure that flowers shall always be in bloom, birds shall always chirp merrily, peace shall prevail, the sun shall shine merrily and God shall continue to be in heaven.”

What do you think?

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/a-plummy-encounter-in-new-delhi-india)

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