By Gippy Doré
WHAT HAPPENED ON SUNDAY 29TH APRIL AT DORE’S PLACE
SUNDAY 29th. APRIL, 2018 – WODEHOUSE CORNER AT DORE’S
The highlight of the meeting was Giri’s narration of his visit to Dubai and the re-union with his two brothers. This was an event that he had been looking forward for long with much anticipation as they resembled the gang of Three Muscat-eers. Dreaming of Muscat grapes and Muscat wine (famed for its sweet floral aroma) the three Musketeers planned an itinerary covering visits to inns and taverns.
the gang of Three Muscat-eers
The journey to the International Airport at Mumbai was as expected, painful, slow and traffic bound but Dore’s mind was elsewhere. Would there be attractive airhostesses on the flight? During the last five decades, Dore saw a steady decline and fall (resembling the decline of the Roman Empire) of the beauty and charm of the air hostesses on his numerous flights. In fact, the last few flights were infested with staff that, at best, were toothless ayahs leaving him wondering whether he was on a flight or in a crèche. At the airport there were, in the words of Wodehouse, such people as are found at such places; bizarre characters, staggering with outlandish luggage on unruly trolleys in long queues, waiting for boarding cards. When Giri boarded the plane these same characters were struggling with their heavy bodies, hoisting heavy hand bags into congested overhead holds. A black leather bag weighing more than 30 kgs. was being swung up and hoisted over the delicate necks of those seated below, the owner then collapsing like a ton of bricks into his seat. Finally, a semblance of peace settled like a sediment when all were seated with safety belts fastened which was followed by the usual hand-rest-elbow-edging with the neighbour.
The boring flight safety drill was about to start when Giri saw that the airhostesses were not only charming and “see-worthy” but were frankly “compatible”, he in comfort and they being “pat-able”. They did not have rings on their fingers or bells on their toes but were comely and attractive. The safety drill commenced and the girls, one at each end, stretched out their arms horizontally pointing to where the doors lurked. Their gesture was as if drawing attention to the risk that even walls have ears. Then came detailed instructions on how the mob should save themselves should the plane land in water. The girls were displaying yellow life jackets that looked buffoons’ T-shirts and Giri wondered if these life jackets lying under the seats since the turn of the century would ever open up in normal situations, let alone during an emergency when 300 struggling passengers have landed in water. Recalling Keats’ famous lines “Ever let the fancy roam, pleasure never is at home: At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth, Like to bubbles when rain pelteth”, Giri fell asleep lost in anticipation of Dubai’s taverns, tambourines and the lyre. When the plane landed and he was winding his way through the streets of Dubai he saw the opulence of a place where commerce flourished like weeds in the wild. It was a “sunny place for shady people”.
In the large house where the re-union took place, the evening lamps were “shining, yellow as honey, red as wine, while harp, and flute, and mandolin made music sweet and gay”.
The get-together of the three brothers was loud and noisy and conversation flowed free. As Wodehouse wrote, if ever there were three persons dying to speak to each other, these three were those three. Giri’s brother Prem is 89 years old. He and Giri had “travelled” over the map of Sindh (now in Pakistan) with grins and giggles at all the spots and places familiar to them. The map was in Sindhi script. The younger brother Raj was too young to read from right to left. So he preferred the company of the goblet.
In Dubai, Giri met one of his ex-Management Trainees ( Mr Ayub Sheikh, a trainee 30 years ago). Ayub was greeted (on his birthday) and arrived at the Dore house for lunch. It turned out that Ayub is one of the Maha-Millionaires of Dubai. After his training in Mumbai (at Siemens, by Giri), he moved to Bahrain, where he rose to the cliff of CEO – Bank of Bahrain, the richest bank in oil country. Ayub was totally down to earth, modest and affectionate. Giri could read the road signs in Dubai since the first script he learnt in Sindh was Arabic-based Sindhi. The meeting of the three brothers was an ode to God’s Grace. It was trip into seven decades of the past and vibrant in the present. Few can be so lucky in this world. So much for Giri’s adventure into the past.
Two of the members announced with delight of the visit of the stork that elevated them to the status of grandfather. Cakes and confectionary followed with rapturous cries of joy as members demolished them saying, “Its tasty, exceedingly.” “Its delicious, exceedingly delicious.” Members wished many more of such visits from the stork.
An interesting discussion followed on names given to the new born and their importance. Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?” There’s plenty said staunch Wodehouseans and there was a narration of the havoc played on being bestowed by an incompatible name that brought much sorrow. With a change of name, fortunes altered and life became livable. Life is lived beyond the fringes of logic. Members nodded with approval.