Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ghonchu learns cooking

Unnerved by his previous rash experiences, Ghonchu decided to take a break and focus on personality development before proposing to someone again. He decided to develop his culinary talents which would add to his curriculum vitae before making another move. He began dreaming of himself as someone who would be surrounded by eager females once he added this noble art to the other skills (or the lack of skills) that he possessed.

Ghonchu entered the kitchen with an expression of one who is about to start a conquest. He looked around trying to decide what to start with. He went over to the stove and decided that every cook worth his salt should know how to start the gas stove with a lighter. With his face averted and hands outstretched and from a distance of 3 feet he tried to start the gas using the lighter. The distance between the lighter and the stove was 10 cms.

“Phatak”, said the lighter in his hand.

The gas remained stone cold. Slowly, Ghonchu moved closer with trepidation walking on tiptoe. The distance between Ghonchu and the stove reduced to two feet. The distance between the lighter and the stove reduced to 1cm. His hands outstretched, Ghonchu used the lighter. “Phatak”, said the lighter again.

The gas remained unmoved by Ghonchu’s attempts. The distance now reduced further. With a perspiring face, Ghonchu tried again. This time the lighter (along with the hand holding it) touched the stove for a split second, said “Phatak” and immediately withdrew to a safe distance of 3 feet and waited to see the after-effects. He averted his face as though a bomb might blast any moment.

The gas sneered at Ghonchu and the lighter. So it seemed to him. He began to think if this was worth the effort. Then he remembered the greater objective. This was part of a noble cause. So what if his hand got burnt. That would be a small sacrifice to make in the quest of crossing the first hurdle on his path. With a grim face and a steely resolve, Ghonchu tried again.

This time he said a prayer to God, mentally forced his hand to stay where it was, kept the lighter in contact with the stove and tried again, "Phatak". Same reaction by the stove. Nil! Ghonchu looked angrily at the unhelpful gas stove and uttered a few abusive words to it. He felt as though everyone in this world was conspiring against him.

Ghonchu decided to take a break. He went over to the sink, washed his sweaty palms and perspiring face, dried himself with a towel, drank a glass of water and prepared himself for another arduous battle. The first round had been won by the gas stove.

After loosening the top button of his shirt and rolling up his sleeves, Ghonchu faced the stove again. Taking a deep breath, courageously, he tried again. And again. And again and again. For around 15-20 times. Total reaction shown by the gas stove : nil.

Now tired, a thought occured to Ghonchu. "The gas may not be working. What could be the cause?" With an engineer's mind, Ghonchu listed out all the possibilities mentally and tried to pinpoint the fault.
"There is no gas. No, that is not possible since we started using this cylinder only yesterday."
"Could there be a faulty pipe due to which the stove isn't working? Let me check?"

Ghonchu bent down, looked underneath and tried feeling behind the stove. When he withdrew his hands they were full of soot. After he wiped off sweat on his face, the soot happily decided to settle there. Luckily there was no mirror in the kitchen.

With a black-and-white face, a tired body and nearly-reduced-to-tears, Ghonchu's eyes rested on something while his body was in the same bent position.

His eyes registered a knob below the stove, which had On-Off markings and a sign which indicated rotation.

Heaving a sigh, Ghonchu straightened, rotated the knob to the 'On' position and lit the stove calmly as though he had been doing it all his life. The gas burst into flames.