Saturday, 28 February 2015

Jeeves Explains Holi to Bertie Wooster

Statutory Warning: This piece of writing is a poor and feeble attempt to write like P G Wodehouse but not even 0.01% funny as the master’s works.

In the last few years, I have noticed an increasing number of Indians in my neighbourhood. Nice folks, love their food, especially a special dish they prepare combining lamb meat and rice with a lot of spices, and they call it mutton biryani. A friend of mine lives so that he can eat them, capital guy.

       Indians are the cleanest chaps you can find. I always find most of them clean shaven, with a red dot or ash strips on their foreheads. Once I asked Jeeves, the relevance and he explained the red vermilion on female heads improves their fertility, and the sacred ash on the male head keeps them away from distractions. This combination is such an oxymoron, given the population in India.
  Today was different most Indians were looking like they just had a dip in the stuff that Empress usually dwells in. I wished a few in the morning from my balcony and all were in pristine white but after a few hours are looking like multi-colored mannequins on the move.

I beckoned Jeeves `What’s up with this lot, they look messed’

`Sir, it’s only for today, they are celebrating Holi’

`I thought Indians were very religious guys and you say only today they celebrate being holy’

Usually it’s difficult to evoke an emotion from Jeeves but today I could find both his eyebrows raised so much so that he resembled Leonard Nimoy. Wish I could sneak into the Junior Ganymede Diary, to find what he has written about my intelligence levels, but guess it cannot be very charitable.

 `Sir, it’s spelt as H-O-L-I’

`Jeeves, you need not howl HOLI so loudly’

`Sir, I just tried to make it clear so that you don’t again misconstrue it as a similar sounding word which starts with HO and indicates sexual excitement’

`I am neither so dumb nor drunk’

`Sir, on the point being drunk, I should tell you that during Holi, Indians have a drink called Bhang and consumption of this preparation does evoke sexual excitement’

`Oh! I should try it out today’

`Sir, I shall make it, but heard that Madeline Basset will be calling upon your lordship today evening’

`In that case, make me a drink of Tulasi’

`Very well, sir’

`Jeeves, you have not explained what actually is Holi?’

`Sir, as per Hindu mythology it is the day after a demon brother and sister were killed. It’s also the end of winter in India’

`But why Indians look multi-coloured on this day?’

`Sir, they spray each other with colours to celebrate the colours of spring’

`Why does the other festival Rakhi rhyme with Holi?’

`Maybe in syllabi, sir, but not in the execution’


`Sir, on Holi, girls try to run away from boys, and on Rakhi boys try to run away from the girls’

`Why would boys run away from girls?’

`Sir, because if a girl ties the sacred thread to a boy’s wrist, he becomes her brother’

`Jeeves, keep a note, this time when Rakhi is around the corner, we’ll go on that Royal Caribbean Cruise you have been suggesting for long. Dash it! I can’t be a brother to any of those dusky Indian beauties.’

`As you wish, sir’

In the background, the song `Rang Barse’ is heard and Bertie asks Jeeves

`Whose voice is that, Jeeves? It sounds so manly and deep.’

`Sir, the owner of that voice is Mr Amitabh Bachan, the Bollywood superstar’

`You mean the one who did the Indian version of the game show, who wants to be a millionaire?’

`Yes, sir’

`Jeeves, I fancy having a beard like him’

`Sir, it would not look appropriate on you sir, you would look like a goat with a lot of facial hair’

Bertie squirming `Jeeeeves, talking of goats, please prepare mutton biryani for the night’

`Don’t tell me sir that your friend from Bangalore is going to hang out here again’

`Jeeves, he is my honoured and valuable guest’

`Sir, he loses his honour on seeing a mutton biryani and leaves behind only a few valuable morsels, better this time, I make double the quantity and hid half of it in your car’

`Happy Holi, Jeeves’

`Same to you sir’


  1. Well written, BM. Original and consistent with the master's style!

    "On Holi, girls try to run away from boys, and on Rakhi boys try to run away from the girls" and "the red vermilion on female heads improves their fertility, and the sacred ash on the male head keeps them away from distractions" are classic takes.

  2. Was worth a good read...certainly a candidate in pursuing the legacy in a small way.


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