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
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
But today that person
Has tasted sound defeat.
Manohar Shetty has published poems in journals around the world, including Shenandoah, Chelsea, New Letters, and Rattapallax.