Cooking life to perfection: The Tribune India
He was from a remote village in Nepal and said it took him three days to reach his village and family. He must then have been 45 years old. Bahadur, as we called him, didn’t speak much. He cooked, served well, received all the compliments for the delicious food and the remonstrances for his tasteless or tasteless. I never saw him laugh. The woman often felt uncomfortable with his behavior. He always dressed well, flaunted long hair, and was not like his fellows who usually have a crew cut. He also applied cheap perfume.
One day after serving breakfast he asked me to help him register his new scooter. I knew he bought one about a year ago and had an accident. I asked him what was wrong with his scooter. “It was old, rickety and mutilated, sir,” he said. I smiled and asked my staff officer to help.
I remember the staff officer having a smirk of sorts when he nodded to help him. He later told me that the cook was otherwise quite wealthy. His two sons were abroad and they continued to send him money. He had married twice in the past and stayed with his third wife, in a private home, although a quarterback was available for him in the police lines. Life, it seemed, was comfortable enough for him.
Three days later, he did not show up for work and his replacement came to my house. Upon investigation, it was found that on the newly acquired scooty he was on his way to a friend’s house to celebrate, when on a speed-breaker the two-wheeler skidded, leaving his wife dead. He remained unharmed and the scooter in good condition. He seemed quite upset and didn’t stop crying even for a moment in front of me. The tragedy seemed to have affected him deeply.
I learned about a week later that he had sold his scooter which had been in an accident. He went on leave for a week, then appeared in his usual form, smartly dressed, with dyed hair when he returned. I didn’t see fit to ask about his new avatar, but I was curious.
When I sat in the car to arrive at the office the next day, my staff officer told me with a smile that the cook’s new young wife had joined him in the marriage. There was a long pause when I resumed the conversation with my staff. The cook’s words: “It was old, shaky and mutilated sir” kept ringing in my ears.