Sundar the ever perfectionist, had announced his arrival to Mumbai nearly a month in advance.

As usual it looked as if everyone was too lazy to coordinate the entire effort, with details flying back & forth but nobody taking the initiative.

With a idea of calling Milind, Manisha, Sumir etc. over to Mumbai & make it a good reunion.

Milind confirming his arrival. Tushar already on his visits to mumbai (already participant in the earlier one 22nd april) confirms that he would be available.

Closer to the date, Doc decides he does not want to grace the occasion.

AND mercy, I am down with fever, cold that gains complete control over my speech, so I can no longer be a part of the merry gang!!

Sundar announces his arrival to me, Tushar, Sarabjit, Husseni, Sonal, Sunita. But as wonders shall never cease, everyone calls each other up, enquiring about what is to be done?

With Sarabjit & Sunita not answering their emails, cellphone, text; it remains my constant sms push to husseni & tushar (but pushing a car on the highway, husseni has lost his cell phone).

Finally aided by the local ENT (good one actually, who said that it is my shouting to baroda that led to this problem with the throat), push by Nippa (since she had to answer my phone) a super human effort by me, that I manage to speak with Husseni & Tushar – Viola – we have agreed to a place – PREETAM da Dhaba in Dadar – midway for sundar & radhika; husseni & rosemin as well as sonal & tushar(tg); tushar & hiren; me & nippa. We were optimistic till the 3rd that Sunita would be contacted. Personally I had given up on Saberjet, since there was absolutely no response from him.

At 10.50pm we took stock – everyone had confirmed – a last attempt by husseni to saberjet – induced a colorful sms to me – citing abnormal damage etc. etc. Sundar requested my presence , with the promise that I should not speak, since that would enable me to rest my throat, give others a chance to speak & him to coordinate the mehfil.

Hoping for the best & trusting the ENT took a strong dose, which meant ideally I should get up on Sunday around 11 & leave – Guess – Saberjet decided to call up @ 9 on a Sunday morning. (BTW amar, sundar, milind, tushar, husseni, nitin et all are aware of the perils of trying to wake me on a Sunday)

So picking up tushar & hiren, we merrily made our way to Dadar! Husseni & Sundar having reached, decided to do the booking (however, the ever efficient moi had already done so albeit in Husseni’s name)

Preetam da dhaba in Dadar

No parking, heat – braving all of that for sundar – we quickly entered the cool climes & took our seats.

Everyone softly asking each other to start ordering……at least some juice…..suspense revealed that most of them/maybe all – needed glasses to read – aha vagaries of age – me thinks.

Tushar & Sundar

Finally radhika took command, quickly ordered Chaas for the ladies; the gents 3 of them(excluding me) were gesturing to each other (reminded me of talati sir asking Q & all those who knew/did not nudging each other). Braveheart that I am, now more so, ordered chilled beer for all 4 of us.

husseni & tushar

By then Sonal & TG walked in, ordering their standard & fav iced tea & nimbu soda – sonal – you need to become adventuresome!!!

radhika, hiren

On the heels, walks in Saberjet —- & the flow starts — pagdi kahan gayi — so on…….its rolling, the years melting away as if we had just go together after the summer vacation.

Sabarjet

Radhika & Nippa did the good deed by taking over the vegetarian ordering – cheesy jalapeno ; veg sheek kabab; paneer tikka – whereas the official non veg orderer TG – did the honors – keeping in mind tushar’s preference of eating chicken in the afternoon.

Sharing a quick glass of beer, & some finger food, saberjet left since he had to do some official duty re. Loha the iron man his new movie release.

A hush descended on the place, till TG said the AC is not working, but actually signaling me that if we do not push the conversation, it will end here only. Surprisingly, Hiren who is normally mortally afraid of me, announced in a loud voice that I need to start the ball rolling.

So giving Sundar a dirty look; we did so….starting with Husseni since this was the first time
Rosemin was introduced to everyone, we gave her enough ammunition to fire Husseni that night –

Why was Husseni the only boy not punished in spite of teasing girl/s on Jail road? (vouched for by Tushar)
Why were Aradhana tickets never made available to the boys in spite of repeatedly begging, whilst the girls just had to ask for? This was applicable to Husseni, Ahsaan Hawa, Jaipal & Jitu(Vouched for by Sonal also:))
Why does he still visit Baroda alone only?
Where do he & Tushar disappear during his visits?
Why has rosemin not seen photos of mahi valley?
And why is she the last to know that he has lost his cellphone?

At the end she looked completely stressed out. All of us felt that the long vacation, husseni is taking her end of the month was going to be really exciting.

Looking at all the food being over, the time, we decided to order, whilst the chat veered to sonal.

The veg team decided to order, mix vegetables, pindi cholle, raita whilst the non veg had the butter chicken (as TG says, this is a must at Preetam) a mutton dish for Husseni & TG, raita & roti, paratha.

Sonal announced to everyone, that Anaggh was/is a nice well mannered boy/man (Sonal you are my buddy, we shall go for the raaste ka food); whilst sundar & a couple of other well known boys were in science & hence could not comment on.

Nitin was a quiet mouse – when pushed to answer – she said he never did anything in school & no chakker of home science – my take on it was AG school ma hoi toh!!!!

And Lo….Sanjiv Pande was mentioned……I called him from my cell…..HE PICKED IT UP….belying sundar…….whose calls remain unattended……had a nice chat…..husseni informed him that somebody was divorced over sonal’s shouting, did not get the name…total chaos ranged for a while, with me & TG quietly tucking into the hot rotis & food. (BTW I thanked sanjiv the next day for restoring my faith in humankind….but more about that later)

Husseni & TG were having a parallel discussion on the merits of bhendi bazaar food & once they are back from their respective trips to organize a cooking session, where I was invited – my contribution would be managing the entire thing, instructing & organizing good raaste ka food as starters for the ladies .

Suddenly another hush, with Sundar stopping his hand midway – Sonal had said the magic words – Abha Sharma is also in Mumbai – Dhoom Machale………sundar, tushar, husseni shouting, why was she not invited, with looks thrown at me, as if I were the culprit (for the sake of record let me remind everyone that I was only partly involved in the invitation & for the love of god,,,,cannot recollect Abha – due apologies to her & do not worry, shall rectify it soonest)

Another Q on food – Rice anyone – Sundar wanted Curd Rice – because according to him you go to heaven if you eat curd rice – my answer to that was – Why would I wish to go to heaven? When all of you would be in HELL? What say Milind, Tushar, Sumir, Bimal, Nitin……….&the list continues…..

With so much flowing around it was suddenly 4 pm…..a quick sharing of lovely pista kulfi that had more pista than kulfi according to everyone…we decided to end the lovely afternoon.

Gang 1

On coming out, Sonal the paan connoisseur refused to leave without having one – No Maghai- so settled for banarasi/calcutti ——& finally left amidst promises of the Mumbai team now meeting more often…….Sabarjet is organizing a special event of Indiana Jones for us between 23-30th May!!!! Yiiiiipeee

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