I crossed the threshold, and walked right into a shattered symphony. A symphony was indeed what wafted from Abdul's words and activities. Something had gone horribly wrong.
The one thing that Man Friday Abdul hated about his boss' demeanor was his indifference to improving the quality of home comforts.
All the officers' quarters were equipped with calling bells fitted in the kitchen and the domestic-help-quarters except this house. He had made several fruitless requests to his boss. It was a matter of prestige that the bell should summon him instead of the officer's holler. It was too demeaning for him.
|CREDIT - polyvore.com|
In fact Abdul's persistence had led to the requisition of an electric bell from the government store. But, this being a government quarter, an electrical engineer had to oversee its installation by a departmental technician. The notorious 'red tape' had taken its toll; there was no trace of the engineer concerned. Abdul was in an explosive mood.
In the boss' absence I offered to pay for a private electrician, and face the consequences later. An overjoyed Abdul ran out to make the necessary arrangements. The bell was fixed even before the boss' arrival back home. When he did arrive, 'krirring krirring' heralded his entry.
Next morning we waited in the living room for the cup that cheers, but there was no trace of Abdul with the tea pot. The boss lost his cool and shouted for Abdul to hurry with the tea, but to no avail. Ultimately we located him huddled up in a corner of the kitchen.
“How many times do I have to call you?” the irate boss fumed. And ignition reached the bomb-wick.
“I heard some undesirable noise,” retorted Abdul, “but I did not hear the bell ring,” adding that the bell switch was meant for the boss to push, not to add color to the wall.
“Yes, Sir,” the boss managed to say, somewhat startled.
BY TAPAS MUKHERJEE