Poor Anna-swamy

Annaswamy believes in karma theory, not korma theory.

‘My name is Swamy, Annaswamy. Not Anna Hazare,’ he boomed in the direction of the kitchen. ‘You know I can never fast. Or even throw an empty threat to fast. Where is my long awaited lunch? My tummy is sending distress signals. Can’t you hear the rumblings?’


‘All in good time,’ the kitchen answered in an authoritarian voice. ‘Have you heard of Navaratan Korma? Gem of a dish. All you require are cheese, nuts, nine vegetables—potato, carrot, green peas, french beans, cluster beans, cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum and bottle gourd. First boil the...” Swamy growled. ‘Stop it Shantha. I believe in karma theory not korma theory. I may not know Manu’s smriti a bit. But my bet is he would have decreed when her lord and master sits down for food, the good woman should serve and not keep him waiting.’

Shantha came out of the kitchen riffling through a glossy  table top cookery book. ‘You know what goes well with Navaratan Korma? Basmati rice palav. That’s it. brown Basmati rice palav. Do you know that palav owes its origin to the Turkish word ‘pilav?’ Quite a dish. For an authentic palav you require mushrooms, half a cup of slivered almond. carrot, currant...”

He let out a groan. ‘You can’t pull off that palav wonder. And why tell me? Don’t you know an hungry man is an angry man? Where is my lunch?’ ‘All in good time, Sir. You know Lakshmi mami in B6? She taught me last night how to make aam ka mitha achar. Tasted a bit she gave me. Wah!  Simply divine. You know what? Her husband makes them. Mami says he is an achar specialist. Makes different  achars—chilli achar, amla achar, kadumanga achar, mixed vegetable achar...’ ‘Then he should be called an achar-ya! Right?’

Shantha snorted. ‘And you won’t  even know how to make hot water in the kitchen. O! My god! Is that the time? I will have to run.’ ‘Run? where?’ ‘To C12. For the cookery class.
Ah! About your lunch, there is the left-over rice in the fridge. Yes, there goes the door bell. The caterer has sent your curry, sambar and rasam. They may not be much, even bland. But chalta hai. Don’t wait for me. Nimmi promised a yummy lunch after her class. She is going to teach us exotic stuff.  Tapioca burfis, ice cream bondas and drumstick payasam. Enjoy your lunch. Bon appetit! Bye.’

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