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Hand in hand for eternity

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dad's Diary 16 - The Coop



Grapevine at home had it that government officers on deputation from other states to this Himalayan hamlet needed domestic help just like him. And Abdul loved to live daringly. So, he set out for a destination thousands of miles away where the services of a 'cook in particular-cum-all else in general' would extract a premium.

There was a foothold in a neighborhood uncle's den who had preceded him. Abdul posed the million dollar question: where was the market? He lost no time in stationing himself there to weigh up prospective employers. His searching eyes riveted onto the man in the chicken stall. He looked very authentic officer type, talking very very authoritatively.

Abdul had hit pay dirt. His inquiries revealed that this officer also lived alone having left his family back home to join his job on deputation. That made two of them in the same boat now.  He followed the officer to his car, and showing great dexterity, opened the door for him. That was three years ago, and neither looked back on the decision.

(courtesy www.mustee.com)
Man Friday Abdul was indispensable to his boss by dint of his hard work laced with an uncanny presence of mind. Abdul's chicken curry of a secret recipe was famous. He was a past master in dodging persistent inquiries about the recipe, even to the extent that he would commandeer the boss' car to travel to markets 15/20 miles away to buy 'special spices and herbs'.


The local grocers could not be relied upon to keep his marketing list a secret. However, his refusal to reveal the  recipe resulted in a steady flow of self-invited friends to the house virtually demanding chicken curry and rice.

The boss also had to guard against Abdul's possible abduction with inducement of higher salary by other officials. It led to the boss soft pedaling him on all other issues.

One day the boss' boss turned up for a chat,  stayed over till late night, and suggestively inquired what was there for dinner. Abdul, who was hovering around the room importantly, informed that chicken curry could be arranged if they agreed to have late dinner. 
(credit - www.ethnicindiancuisine.com)
Abdul went out of the back door, ran down hill to a house where he had noticed the owner was  fattening a chicken in a small coop in the open front yard. He broke open the coop, and decamped with the shrieking chicken at a speed that a minute later the inevitable pursuers had no chance of catching up.


(credit - www.lifeofanarchitect.com)
That night Abdul poured out his heart in cooking the chicken curry. Next day, when the episode came to light, the chicken owner bargained for and received an ample financial compensation to cover his loss.

I arrived there for a couple of days' stay shortly after the incident. There would be chicken curry tomorrow, the  boss informed me at the dinner table. “No, Sir, now,” quipped Abdul cryptically. The boss almost jumped up, chicken and panic having become synonymous for him,“Where did you get the chicken from?” Abdul handed him over the cash memo with a flourish for a chicken bought at the market. The boss heaved a sigh of relief.

Next morning I asked Abdul, “How come the chicken curry was doubly special that night?” He smiled slyly, “Because the chicken was marinated in adventure sauce, Sir, the same as last night's.”

“Last night's?” I asked in amazement. He had “lifted” the replacement chicken from the same coop, and handed his boss an old cash memo, he gleefully confessed. “Don't tell him, he is so chicken hearted!” he whispered.
       
BY TAPAS MUKHERJEE 

           

32 comments:

  1. Brilliant ! now am off to get me some of that curry........

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  2. always interesting and amazing. this time the chicken curry. wait, let me come back from my kitchen, ha!ha!ha!

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  3. @Savira - all the very best dear : )
    @Sancheeta - : )) thank you so much for coming by

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  4. Hey wait I'm hungry now....I just happen to love chicken curry...As always,,,XOXOXO

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  5. @Bongo - please come on over and let me treat you to my speciality. lots of love...

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  6. Hello Kriti -

    Hahaha nicely witty, nicely done! Did you know that chicken meals (all) are among my very favorite to eat. Along with Italian food, I love all chicken dishes and curry too - yummmm. :)

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  7. @Alejandro - yes poor poor Chook
    @Charlie - aahhh how you would have loved Abdul's dish : ).

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  8. Abdul was a master chef, loved the secret ingredient of the curry...Adventure :)Enjoyed reading this post Mitr, Uncle Rocks...

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  9. I missed reading your father's stories..this was really a fun read. I have had indian food but for whatever reason I have never had chicken curry,,now I'll need to try it.


    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/06/diamonds-in-sky-on-vero-beach.html

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  10. love chicken it taste like , well chicken. beans don't. very glad to see you posting again you have been missed thank you and god bless

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  11. Haha...Now we're all trying to curry favor with you to get some ;)

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  12. Hey Kriti -

    I know I would love eating Abdul's food. I'd probably lick the pans clean also hahaha. :)

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  13. ha ha ha! That was hilarious. This kind of reminded me of the relationship between Balram the driver and Ashok his master in Aravind Adiga's White Tiger. Extremely well written as always. So much for an earnest allegiance on a domestic helper's part : ) Love-loved it Kriti, thanks for sharing your coolest dad's awesome writings with us.

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  14. Hello lovely lady, another treat for us i thank you and doff one of my many hats to you ;)

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  15. Another wonderful post! I really enjoyed the suspense. Would Abdul's recipe fail to find favor with his new employer? Was Abdul going to be hired by someone else? And when he stole the chicken was he going to lose his job or worse??? I especially love the line: “Because the chicken was marinated in adventure sauce." This one kept me on the edge of my chair.

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  16. Oh this is one of the reasons why I like Dad's diary...hahaha...It's fun Kriti. We have chicken curry Filipino style...I wonder how it is your style...but I do agree that it'll be doubly special with that magic ingredient...hahaha...

    loved it :*

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  17. Delicious story - loved the ending!

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  18. @Mitr - he does doesn't he : )))

    @Jim - you definitely need to try it out and quick. Thanks for coming by.

    @Roy- neither do carrots : ). Thanks a ton for your kind words. Dad says Salute : ).

    @Corrine - I wish you really would : )

    @Charlie - ha ha ha - he apparently was quite a chef. Thanks a ton for your comment!

    @Yoshay - thank you so much for your comment. Gotta get that book then : )

    @Charles - you are the best - thank you so much the bald one : )

    @Mari - not really the chicken hearted never found out. I love that line too. Thank you so much for your interest : )

    @Melissa - you and I should share recipes and make a conconction of sorts. Maybe we will beat Abdul at his popularity after. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  19. Dad is a smart man and knows how to get what he needs, strategy is a very key element in accomplishing your business and other neccesities. I like your Dad's Dairy, keep up the good work.

    Stop by and share with us at: http://facebook.com/pages/bloggersunite/227139297315313

    Also read my latest blog and follow me.

    http://college-by-choice.blogspot.com

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  20. Your dad is a humdinger and a humorous writer par excellence. This story put a smile on my face. Which I kind of needed :)

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  21. Oh Debra so glad you share my opinion about Dad - love to read his stuff as well. But more than everything so glad it brought a much needed smile on that beautiful face.

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  22. So enjoyed this post. Couldnt stop reading it. Please tell uncle that Kriti




    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.com/2011/07/darkness-in-her.html

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  23. What a totally delightful story!! Loved reading it....Tapas Mukherjee is the best story teller in the world!! :)

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  24. @Rimly will do - thank you!!!

    @Swati - yes he is : )))

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  25. Enjoyable fun read that has me craving chicken curry!! Thanks for sharing :)

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  26. Thank you David! So glad you liked it : )

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  27. I've heard of meals made with love, but with adventure sauce? That does sound good! Great story from your dad, Kriti! ;p

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  28. I know Sweepy - that must have been super special right? Thank you for visiting Sweepy : )

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  29. Naughty naughty Abdul:D I enjoyed reading a couple of your posts. Good fun, as they say :)

    Thanks for dropping by Kriti and letting me know.

    Cheers
    Padmavani
    P.S. Has anybody mentioned to you about a certain acrobatic move the laptop has to make for the reader to check your pic? :)

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  30. @Padmavini - so glad you came over and liked my blog. Love that!

    Yes I am aware of the move you have to make : ) Its my challenge to viewers who really insist on knowing how I look - LOL

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