I met Ganeshji not in the century that I was born but had to wait for the onset of the new millennium plus almost eight years for the planets to synchronise and be at the right position to create a favourable grah dasha.
When the three of us Ganesh ji, Virindra Behla ( Viru) and Shailendra were working for a Company based in Indore we used to stay in the company guest house during our visits to the city.
Raju Thapa was the guest house caretaker.
Ganeshji had a permanent room. The other two rooms were for others including the two of us. Even when only two us visited Indore the guest house was declared to be full and unless Ganesh ji approved the third room was not allotted to any one.
We occasionally had some visitors who would come to be with us mostly to have a good meal and entertain themselves with the on going conversations between us. Ganesh ji named these verbal impromptu exchanges of hilarious and at times very serious barbs between us as Monkey Donkey dialogues.
Before he wrote this blog, I remember, for days we three would share different versions of these incidents,laugh and make fun of each other. Then one evening he announced that he had written his version in a blog and published it too.
Shailu, Viru and I make the three musketeers team in the KS group. What contributes to our great gelling is the age factor. Viru and Shailu are around 65 and I will touch 60 in a few years. Our accumulated experience of over 110 years really over flows and makes an impact wherever we are together. Of course we have also heard whispers that three old f—ts are a bunch of noisy nuisance! But our friends and colleagues are such great people that they tolerate us with a smile. Thank you families, friends and all those who have had to suffer us!!
And, when we stay together at the company guest house at Morena or Indore, we go bonkers!!! Sita Ram Baba at Morena Kothi often joins us in singing “baba black sheep.. have you any woooool… yez sir..yez sirr thee bags fooool…”. Sita Ram has learnt to sway his bum or whatever is left of it in tune with the song as he dances holding my hand and move around in circles with me. Sita Ram has also learnt to cope with our frenzied demands for my kapi, Shailu’s chini kum chai and Viru’s other concoctions! Have you heard of drops of Antiquity being mixed with coffee? Well, our own Shailu tries just those novelties!
Each one of us has one’s own expertise areas (let me not call it as crazy whims!). Viru freaks out on quality. The first thing he does when he enters the office or the guest house is to run in to the wash room …. You thought wrong .. not to use it but to inspect the cleanliness. Then, he will pull the servant boy literally by his collar and point out the smallish pecks of dust that you will normally notice only with a telescope or, if close enough, with a magnifying glass! The leaking water taps of course never miss his attention. Give him a chance, the engineer that he is, he wastes not a moment in wielding the spanner or the screw driver!! Thank God he spares the human beings!!
Shailu is a great HR guru and enjoys giving the Guruspeak at the drop of the hat!! His net work is fabulous and he can easily count a few ministers and government secretaries and even an ambassador in his friend’s circle. Shailu’s penchant for reciting Hindi / Sanskrit shlokas can only match his craziness at trying new recipes! He enjoys traveling and staying in guest houses for the liberty he gets to freak out in the kitchen which his dear wife Kiran normally does not permit. So, where Kiran escapes, Viru and I stand in for the punishment.
I can recall a hilarious situation when Shailu tried his hand in the kitchen after gulping some four pegs of somras; Viru was in one corner of the kitchen loudly humming an old OP Nayyar favourite and trying to strip the onions with precision, measurement and design.
I was at a safe distance attempting to cut the potatoes in strips. As Shailu swung around to pick up the masala bottle while holding the glass in one hand, he hit the cooker on the hot plate and it toppled almost falling over him.
Any attempt to hit it away would have meant that the cooker would have landed on Viru apart from the glass flying off his hand!! Viru’s song suddenly became a huge howl…. Fortunately the cooker handle got stuck in the piece of duster that was hanging around and a tragedy was averted! A post mortem by the three of us left us wondering how we could have explained the situation to the company guys … the noisy bunch would then come to be known as the dancing bunch!!!! Imagine we were the guys who tirelessly talked (preached) about discipline, decorum and what not!!!
My fetish was to train Baba punctuality. I would go mad when he often made me wait at the dinner table as he runs out to get that cup of curd from the neighbourhood because he had not anticipated that I would ask for it! And, he would not want to admit that the stock at home was exhausted! I have succeeded in dissuading him from smoking that obnoxious beedi and, if he goes missing once in a while, you know he is hiding somewhere in the garden behind the large bush with his beedi. And, when he walks in, the first thing he does is to wash his face ten times before coming to my room lest I detect the smell.
Our camp these days is the new guest house at Indore. Raju Thapa, our new cook-cum-caretaker gets the full blast of the directions from the three musketeers, each one giving full vent to his own peculiar whims and fetishes! Viru starts inspecting the rooms even when he lands in the guest house at midnight. Shailu starts investigating the supply position of various vegetables for his cooking magic. How can I be left behind? I inspect Raju’s clothing and locate where the buttons are missing and why he has not brushed his hair. Thank God! He wears only bermudas without buttons!!
Let me take you to a more recent experience.
Raju had cooked excellent break fast of pohwa and served it in the typical Indorean style sprinkling a generous portion of namkeen on top. It was so delicious that I could not help taking a second helping. I thanked Raju whole heartedly and he kept smiling. That gave me just that opening I was waiting for to teach him English and manners. I waxed eloquent about the usage of “thank you” and how he should acknowledge the appreciating words of the guest. Raju heard me in rapt attention and beamed a big smile to demonstrate that he had understood the lesson. I concluded my discourse and said “राजू … हम आज शाम बॉम्बे जा रहे हैं …अगले दस दिन के लिए हम यहाँ नहीं हैं”.
Raju smiled again .. must have been his sexiest and bestest smile …. he said loudly and boldly “Thank you …… Sirji”!!!!!!!!!