Gippy’s Galatta – Wodehouse Meet on Jan .6th, 2019

January 7th 2019.

Friends,

Members who assembled for the Wodehouse meet were sad to hear of the news that Ms. Rupa Dore had crossed over and joined the celestial stars on 26th.December. Her bright Wodehousean observations were like her actual presence amongst us and she will truly be missed by all. In the wake of this event, sadly, Giri’s elder brother, Dr. Prem Dore passed away last week in Dubai. Giri Dore, the stoic that he is, has accepted the reality that life is. Our sincere condolences to him and his family and pray for the strength to bear the irreparable losses.

(From PG whose minutes of the Wodehouse are slow and take hours and days that turn the leaves of a calendar.)

Gippy’s Galatta

SUNDAY 9th. DECEMBER, 2018 –   WODEHOUSE CORNER AT DORE’S

 

The mild onset of winter ushered a pleasant evening that put members in the Wodehousean mood. They recalled little known episodes from his novels. Like when the hero spots a thief in the afternoon and thought to himself that he knew robbers turned up only at night but did not know that they put up a matinee performance.

Discussions rambled on and soon humour flew out of the window when members narrated the woes of their cooperative society meetings and how thick your hide must be to survive that jungle. When things go wrong and they usually do when one realises that the type of participants are not very different from the characters of Panchatantra.  A member narrated how the affairs of a society (where his friend was a  resident) were referred to the Registrar of Coop. Societies, something that happens when a Committee is inactive or is infested with in-house inconclusive fighting over matters like daily maintenance of the premises, urgent repairs long neglected, bills unpaid and so on). The Registrar appoints an Administrator who is expected to take charge of the situation. In this instance the Administrator proved to be an oily character, an amalgam of Soapy Molloy and Percy Pilbeam, and soon things came to a standstill resulting in the Extraordinary General Body Meeting that had to be scheduled. Come Sunday morning and only a few of the seats were occupied as most members were averse to be even remotely involved with the affairs of the society. The Administrator had arrived and was hovering around waiting for the  Committee members. The hall was filling up and shortly the Committee turned up. It was as though the Chairman was leading a funeral procession in mourning. The General Secretary and the other  members of the Committee “with bowed heads and joined hands” filed quietly one behind the other with papers, folders and clip board in hand. There was palpable tension in the hall. The Chairman, after wishing a good morning to all, came straight to the point. “Friends, there is bad news. We have no cash for the regular expenses of our society. As we all know, our society is now in the hands of the Administrator who, it appears has been issuing cheques to various contractors whose bills were held up by the last Committee for shoddy or incomplete execution. In fact, there are no leaves left in the cheque book nor, for that matter, is there any cash left in the bank which has served a notice on our society. The Administrator stood up and defended himself saying that he was not aware of whose bills had to be paid and who should be asked to go home. At this stage, there was much agitated cross responses from the flat owners who, with their undigested breakfast, sat with eyes heavy, ready to drift into a short nap, now concertedly got up startled. The Chairman silenced the crowd by his stentorian voice, “We are here to discuss urgent matters. Buildings in C, D and E wings have no water supply while in other wings it is threatening to be a trickle and dried up situation.  We need water tankers immediately and we have insufficient funds. What do we do now? We have to raise urgent funds. This is to be discussed now.”

“What about the fire in the Club House? We want a report on how much was lost last week in the fire.” This came from a large group (from other wings unaffected by water supply) who had noisy full throated activists. “Yes, we want to know how the fire took place and the extent of the damage.” Meanwhile, the WATER group stood up and claimed their priorities. They were interrupted with “No. let’s have the full information on the incident of the FIRE  in our Club House”. And so, for the next 15 minutes there was a loud fish market scene with shouts of WATER and FIRE being fired like bullets. The Chairman intervened saying, “All right, alright. I will briefly tell you on the fire mishap. On Monday, smoke was noticed emanating from the Club House which was locked, as usual. The Fire engines went down by mistake to Grand Towers instead of reaching Grand Palace as our complex is known. Anyway, fortunately there were no casualties as the Club House was empty but, yes, the tread mills, cable pulley machines, abdominal crunchers, the wooden furniture, nettings, have been gutted beyond recognition.” “Sir, are you saying that nothing was saved from the fire?” The Chairman replied, “Let me finish. We are in the process of filing claims on the Insurance Company. Yes, a wooden cupboard where the sweepers kept their brooms, brushes and a garden rake was away from the fury of the fire and all that valuable cleaning stuff, I am happy to say, has been saved. No, at this stage, I cannot tell how the fire started. It may be a short circuit caused by some bundles of electric wires connected and wound up with black adhesive insulation tapes. But I am not sure. We will soon learn and let you know.” Neither the knowledge gained nor the wisdom handed out by the Chairman seemed to satisfy the FIRE group who uttered vague threats in a loud abusive voice while walking out in a huff.

The Chairman took up the water shortage issue and this discussion went on for the next 3 hours with suggestions of some quick fixes with  the local contractors who could divert water supply from the adjacent complex which called for cash incentives and so on till the tankers and costs were ferried up and down with members doing mental arithmetic and sums, others on small pads to assess the immediate charge to be levied through the Administrator who was an interested observer in all the mess. The whole experience, no doubt, was a guaranteed headache which defied any extra strong analgesic  tablet.

A member said it’s time to hear something more interesting than unpleasant scenes in some wretched society. He narrated two bizarre incidents that re-affirmed our faith in human nature. In Switzerland an amateur cook abandoned his suitcase containing kitchen knives in a train. In panic the Swiss Police evacuated the entire train while the cook lay fast asleep on the platform.   In distant China there was a report of a crazy passenger on board a flight who tried to open the emergency exit of the plane for fresh air. The Chinese man was detained for 15 days although he explained at length that he felt stuffy.

Members expressed that life in a cooperative society was relatively peaceful in comparison with such unpredictable characters who perhaps should be kept within the covers of a Wodehousean novel, if not in prison.

 

— PG

MEMORIES OF OUR BELOVED RUPATHAI

 


OBITUARY


Rupa Dore´ ( July 12, 1936 – Dec 26, 2018)

 


Chennai / 28th dec 2018

Dear Sharat , Ajita & Shali,

It’s with a heavy heart that we’re coming to term with the fact that our beloved Rupathai is no more. I knew her from her college days in Udaipur. Being the only daughter among 7 sons made her a very special aunt (athai) and the centre of all attention.She was good at academics & equally adept at singing and dancing.

I particularly remember her humour & sharp intellect. She was also in the small group of Bollywood diehard fans, who are active till today , ready to quiz & be quizzed.

Her support to the T-O-D website since its inception is well- known.

One little known fact is that during her B’lore days, she created & operated a shop “Om Boutique” successfully for some years,before migrating to usa.

These are the fleeting thoughts, mixed with sad feelings on the big void left by beloved Rupathai.

Lakshmi manni & Poornima join me in our condolences. May the almighty give you the strength to bear this irreparable loss !

Yours affly ,

Kartik (anna)


Very sad to hear this unbearable loss. This is not a wound that time can heal. Hopefully your father is holding out fine. Let me know if I can do anything for y’all.

Thank you dear athai for teaching and showing me the art of humility.

Thank you athai for teaching me tact and political correctness when connecting with family or with the rest of the world for that matter.

Thank you for showering with so much affection and gifts that I begin to doubt if I even deserve all or any of this. I can only hope your blessings are with me for time to the power of infinity.

Thank you for introducing me to the stature of Sri Raju Bharatan and to Sri Ameen Sayani. I’d probably not be featured in a magazine without your intervention.

What more can I say other than thank you for lighting up my world.

Regds, Nandu

Gippy’s Galatta – WODEHOUSE CORNER AT DORE’S

SUNDAY 11th. NOVEMBER, 2018 –   WODEHOUSE CORNER AT DORE’S

 

Like the leaves of autumn the days of October fell thick and fast pausing reverentially only on October 15th. when P.G.Wodehouse, the Prince of Humour, was born who, with his craftsmanship in prose, reduced many “alleged humourists” to mere footnotes on the pages of English literature.  A member asked, in all seriousness, “Why is it that all famous men end up in stone?” Explain yourself, the others demanded. “There is a a memorial stone that will be set up for Wodehouse in Westminster Abbey. He will stand in the company of Shakespeare, Jane Austen amd T.S.Elliot. Wow! Here was an author who was needlessly hounded by British after the second World War and then conferred a knighthood on the eve of his death in 1975. Now he will be rewarded with a stone. Fame and stone go together, as it were.” Another member recalled the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns who lived and wrote in utter penury. The story goes that after his death his aged mother heard some sound outside her house and when she went out to enquire she was told that the people are setting up a statue in memory of Robert Burns. The mother exclaimed loudly, “O Robie !, you asked for bread and they are giving you a stone.”

These are festive times and Dassehra had just passed. It has been passing for centuries beyond centuries and the citizenry revel in it for weeks in preparation for diverse activities, one of them being the Ramleela celebrations in every town and village.  A member gave a vivid description of the typical folk operatic theatric performance. Mythological scenes from Ramayana are enacted using scarce (even appalling)  local talent and resources. Many are organised with a shoe string budget.  Let’s say the small town is Rampur in the middle of nowhere (railway station 8 kms. away, women trudging 2 km. daily for drinking water, undependable lighting, you know the rest. But life and enthusiasm for the fun of life are vibrant, seeking revelry in evanescent moments now re-living the glory of the past, now enlivening the present with mirth aided by bawdy talk. Anyway, on the appointed day the revellers assembled, in as noisy a manner as possible, on the large ground in front of a vacant warehouse, squatting on hired bed sheets. Noisy old women with grandchildren occupied the front rows while the rows behind were filled up with much expectations for the show to start. A large number stood patiently at the periphery for this was their program. The entire community contributed in diverse ways plugging all loopholes to make is a three hour success.

A look inside the green room (actually there is no green room; only a thick curtain on the stage and a faded wall right back) showed all brands of bright petromax lights (the type used for marriage processions) and wicks with flares. An orchestra of lights, some  jazzy and classy, others like poor relations standing apart having arrrived for the same purpose but divided by some sort of caste system.  The real interesting part was the dramatis personae. The actors are traditionally selected from the street and the lane. The local carpenter, the oil monger, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, besides the tailor, a teacher and an ayurvedic quack. A drummer and a violinist who could play a long trumpet like instrument to herald the Lord.

Outside the crowd was impatient. Behind the curtain one could see some discordant scenes:

Ø      Jaikumar (Hanuman) wearing bifocals, quarrelling with Shukla (the organiser, principal financier of the show, playing Ravan) complaining that his mace was heavy and how was he (Hanuman) expected to hold it up for the length of the entire show. To which Ravan gave no reply but stared angrily at Bharadwaj (Laxman) who has been imbibing liquor far beyond his medical advisor would permit.

Ø      Last minute touch-up for Lord Rama who tried to look regal and resplendent, his costume pricking and poking him in diverse places like in-house mosquitoes.

Ø      A fair, tall graceful reed like person, Mr.Ashwin (playing the role of Sita) sat on a wooden box smoking a beedi, a picture of one who is at peace with himself.

Huge applause followed the rise of the curtain amidst much action on stage and in the audience. Many elderly grannies stood and reverentially bowed before the deities compelling their little ones to do likewise. The audience participated lustily, in scene after scene, bellowing outrageous anger against Ravan and Surpanaka encouraging the titan Hanuman and the Lord himself in the eternal struggle for justice. There was chaos with uproaring laughter as wrong lines were spoken carelessly They enjoyed the improvised crude music in the background accepting the fact that if the Gods themselves were put to such trial and hardship, what then of mortals like us !!

Not all go to the NCPA or Prithvi as the nautanki is still favoured by “We the people” who decide the festivals, their dates, their celebrations and the levels of noise, no matter what the Supreme Court orders.

Members could not agree more.

 

— PG

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Gippy’s Galatta – Prof. K M Kundnani

My Dear Shoots and branches of our Hyderabadi Family Tree. I am annexing herewith a newspaper announcement recalling Prof. K M Kundnani.

The revered ” Guru” was a professior at D G national College, Hyderabad ( Sindh ) Ramanna and Premanna were his students. ( Perhaps Vichanna also ). He triggered a re-incarnation of his college after partition , in Bombay in the fifties . It carries the Name K C College . It has also a Branch called K C College of Management Studies. I had the good fortune to conduct many Mgm.Training Programmes for this renowned institution- See Annexure 2 ( 2 Pages )

Love and Cheers!
Giri

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