Having driven 400+ kms reached Baroda exhausted.
22nd Dawned early & bright for the Barodians (Milind & Ajay) with Ati
Sundar deciding to play the devil & egg them on to wake me from my
beauty sleep at 10 am. Though to be fair the great Pandeji had woken
me up at 1.15 am with his message of deepest regrets (BTW sundar I won
the bet of his not reachingJ).
Due to a mis communication reached Dr. Nene’s clinic ~ just as he
zoomed past in his grand prix manner, jumped out with a steel bucket,
paying no heed to my desperate cries ~ but forgiven because patients
were calling & paying whereas I was calling & collecting.
I was allowed into the sanctum by his munchtanda & took the lift up to
the residence, greeted by my two friends ~ Mishti the guardian of Nene
Villa & resident guitarist ~ One to check if I was carrying food after
which she promptly lost interest & the other to discuss Milind’s
secrets. Whilst waiting for Ajay & Sundar & Milind to join, we had a
great time discussing everything remotely Milind ~ studies(he was very
good), pranks(then why does he not understand my mischief?),
dispensary(Runs to raopura, but the patients recognize dada & dadi
more than him ~ of course I enlightened him why), Driving (mummy is
better, he has a special knack of driving with elbows whilst eating
ice cream, but has not had an accident ~ of course nobody wants to
mess around with him).
Ajay & Sundar meanwhile reached, Mihir would take another hour. After
a quick couple of minutes, it was decided to adjourn & assemble at
I took Nippa on a quick Baroda Darshan ~ a disappointing tour to say
the least ~ with BHS figuring prominently as a disappointment, I shall
be writing about Brand Baroda separately later.
Decided to reach Mahi Valley Resort for a well deserved but
interrupted rest. Reached yes, interrupted again yes with Tushar &
Husseini asking illogical questions ~ What are you doing in the room?
How long are you going to take to come down etc.
Finally came down in disgust!
And the evening began!
Everybody started reaching by 6.30 pm To sustain us whilst people
joined, we had some soda pops accompanied by the tantalizing smell of
chicken that Ajay & his wife had brought but were not allowed to touch
till everyone gathered.
Once the Ring Master – Ati Sundar had come, everything started falling
into place. Ajay, Tushar, Rajan, Sumir were sent to organize the
snacks & drinks first for the ladies & then for the men. Viresh, Amar,
Husseini etc. were instructed to organize the chairs sofa to form a
circle since the one earlier formed by the hotel was not up to the
mark, Milind was told to go & charm the owner once again. I was told
to keep an eye on everyone to ensure this was completed in double
Finally, everything was done to his satisfaction, glasses in
everyone’s hands a Toast was raised to BHS 77 & 79; after that to BHS
77 & 79 friends who could not make it this time.
Then the party began ~ with introductions, entertaining anecdotes each
one remembering something about the other ~ The awards went thus ~
Sumir ~ The most exciting life led – his tale provided us with a
`whale of a time’
Milind, Amar, PP – great anecdotes etc.
Anaggh ~ The most innocent & quiet life led. (Manisha remember no
With music, conversation flowing, the chicken disappeared as did the
peanuts though the best starters were reserved for the vegetarians –
do not know what was it since I did not get a chance to sample –
though Rajan did so.
There were great anecdotes, too numerous to write but the most laughed
1) The Armpit Texan
2) Sanjay Hazare
3) Madam Hathi
4) Why did everyone’s pen stop working during a particular class
5) Tushar’s umpteen crushes
6) What made Viresh give up Cricket?
7) Why does Dilip turn different shades when a particular name is
8) What do Jaypal & Jayesh have in common?
9) Who said Run for the 3rd!
10) What happened to the green broken transistor & the Dynah air gun?
11) What does Milind do at this age also to communicate his interestJ
Finally the Ring Master announced Dinner, since the resort guys
threatened to walk out.
During dinner, we had Nitin Wadi calling & then Poornima called. Nitin
has invited everyone to his neice’s wedding & Makar Sankranti.
With dinner over by 12.30 am, everyone was practically climbing the
walls, to sleep. Slowly everyone gathered again near the reception &
fountain where Dramil slipped in enthusiasm & not anything else.
It was another long session of `do you remember’ that ended at 2.45 am
with breakfast being announced for 9.30 am the next day.
The morning was another repeat of afternoon for me, thanks to husseini.
Reached down to see Jayesh the Rathi; Hemant Pande with spouse
(hemant’s daughters also).Jayesh was so excited that he has agreed to
a different kind of reunion with Huseini’s help in June 08 in Mumbai.
With everyone gathered the Ring Master called for an exploration of
the Mahi River ~ the fittest including Nippa ~ went whilst some of us
decided on confab about Modi, Gujarat, Baroda & life in general.
Once everyone returned, Anjali + Anjali joined, Riaz Saiyed & Spouse;
Deepak the incarnate; Kaushik the player joined & so a fresh round
started, followed by Lunch. There were some shaiyari by kaushik also &
an invitation to everyone for free passes to Navratri in Baroda.
Post lunch though according to the plan it was siesta time, only few
managed to escape, the rest of us sat down to chat, though huseini
managed to take his 400 winks on my shoulder. Some of the gang had to
leave due to previous commitments. Though Manisha took the longest,
nearly 11/2 hours & told good bye 5 times to everyone till somebody
asked her to please leaveJ
Meena joined the gang in between. Then the ring master struck again ~
Taking a volleyball, he sent off a couple of people to play. Cricket
Bats & tennis balls were dug out & a match ensued with the Ring master
conveniently disappearing with milind, meena, dipak, anjali on the
terrace to discuss homeopathy vs allopathy & all other things such as
technology, chips etc. that is beneath us mere mortals.
There was a fair amount of cricket played with Nippa the wicket
keeper. Tushar, Riaz appreciated the keeping but as one says ” Don ko
pakkad na mushkil hi nahi na mumkin hai” so after 19 years she is a
specialist!! Kay barobar na viresh bhau.
With the Match Refree announcing Bad Light it was decided to curtail
the play & assemble for Dinner. With the gang substantially reduced
due to previous engagements, dinner was a pretty quick affair with
Sunil Trivedi holding fort on one side, Sundar fluting away at the
other. BTW Jayesh the Rathi being extremely interested in learning the
flute has been advised by Dramil where it is available in Baroda. The
next reunion would have jugalbandhi of Kaushik & Khyati; Sundar &
Jayesh, finally followed by Milind & Anaggh help by Sumir & Rajan to
The evening ended at around 9.45 pm with everyone promising to stay in
touch, do something meaningful & have more participation the next time
P.S. I was enlightened that Milind was not carrying a steel bucket but