Toast

By MANOHAR SHETTY

To Nissim Ezekiel

 

Friends, brothers, sisters, wellwishers

And our esteemed guests from foreign,

Today we welcome to our humble

Abode in Navsari, Gujarat, a precious

Addition to our family,

Our daughter-in-law Emily Curry

Hailing from Lankasire, UK.

On this auspicious day Miss Emily,

Now Mrs, has tied the knot

Of holy matrimony

With our youngest Mahess.

 

For Emily and Mahess it was,

As they are saying, love at first sight.

Our Mahess, as you are well knowing,

Is qualified BE, that is,

Bachelor of Engineering

From University of Sussex.

(Now he is no more bachelor.)

Mrs Emily is qualified in nursing

From selfsame varsity of Sussex

Where they are meeting for first time.

Now if Mahess is catching infection,

There is no need of worry.

(Why our Yogesbhai is smiling?)

There is the saying

Opposite poles are attracting—

Even in Sussex.

 

Very soon I am hoping she will

Enjoy our food and customary customs.

One day I pray she will also offer

Devotion in our pooja room.

But there is no compulsion

As I have told to Mr and Mrs Curry

Who are today also gracing

This occasion all the way from UK.

I have intimated to them

Not to take tension on this day

When all our families

Are uniting and enjoying.

But they are requesting that I deliver

Toast which I hope is not burning in

Toaster. Thank you for appreciating

Joke.

 

As you are well knowing, friends,

I am wholesale merchant of all type

Edible oil—coconut, mustard, groundnut,

With funny name like rapeseed,

And presently also olive oil from Italy

With small side business in Cadbury

W.e.f.—with effect from current January,

Which is my own side connection to UK

And is tasting sweet today

Like our own sweetmeat kajubarfi.

(But how meat can be sweet?)

I am noticing our Bhavnabhabi

And Curry Senior are smiling.

Thank you for appreciating.

 

I am regretting not serving

To our overseas guests the hot drinks.

But I am pure teetotal, that is,

Consuming only the tea.

And there is limbu sherbet,

Pista milk and Fanta in plenty.

 

Already our Emily is showing

So much humility by touching

Feet of elders and our neighbour

Sonalbehn was too much surprised

When Emily is donning nicely

Our traditional gold zari

Saree from Varanasi and also

Our bangles, bindi and mehendi

Which is suiting her to the tee

Like she is born to wear such

Fabrics and ornament.

Mahess is also looking tiptop

From top to toe. As it is said from

Time immemorial, we are not

Losing son but gaining the daughter.

One more time I welcome our Emily

On this auspicious joining together

Of two life partners and families.

 

Again I say, I am not used to toasting

But today it is my bounden duty

To perform such speechifying.

Thus again I am welcoming

All our guests from far and near

On this joyful and emotion occasion

When two souls are uniting,

When East is meeting the West.

 

One renowned UK author

Has made comment

O East is East

And West is West

And never the twain

Shall meet.

But today that person

Has tasted sound defeat.

 

Thanking you.

 

Manohar Shetty has published poems in journals around the world, including Shenandoah, Chelsea, New Letters, and Rattapallax.

[Click here to purchase your copy of Issue 07]

Julia PikeToast

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