Ankush Kumar in his inimitable style dissects the happenings of Sarabjit’s Singh’s funeral, two mega releases on Bollywood’s 100th birthday and himself cooking butter chicken. Kindly refrain from sentimentalising.
The head of operations stood in one corner and had a huge grin on his face, his entire team were there standing behind him and watching humour unfold in front of their own eyes. I had the ‘butcher’s knife’ in my hands as I tore into a dead chicken. Something on similar lines was being played out on national television that day.
A man lay dead in his coffin, his deep secrets buried into myth with his death, there were faces with grief and shock, sadness and sorrow, anger and frustration. Moreover there were hordes of public leaders playing to the gallery and striking brownie points on the dead man’s soul. The Friday hype did not stop here there were two films that had hit national theatres across India, as Bollywood celebrated 100 years of cinema.
By the time the chicken was cleansed, the blood removed and I with great effort had done the dressing, there were bruises to display all over my hands. Similarly as Sarabjit Singh was laid to rest, dressed in the tri colours, his funeral procession marched towards its logical end, the bruises on the politicians and their act was on display as they tried to save face by shedding crocodile tears. Saltwater was offered in quantity through the two movies that hit theatres on Friday, One emoted tears through the drama that unfolded on screen, the other one made you cry on the decision of watching that movie.
I had shredded the dead meat into fine strips, the other ingredients were finely chopped and I was ready to cook my first Boneless butter chicken inside my own restaurant, quite similar to the funeral that was telecast live on news channels. The media had dissected the entire story of the man and his tryst in Pakistani jails, the state had announced mourning for three days and the central government was ready to give that man ‘National honours’. All the ingredients were in place here too for the final HURRAH!
The film critics had a busy day in office too, as they dissected the dead chickens (Bombay Talkies & Shootout at Wadala) and the audience was ready to lap up the reviews and decide the fate of Bollywood in its hundredth year.
The wok simmered for fifteen minutes, there were murmurs on the fate of the dish that was being prepared, I was nervous like a child is before his results. Likewise the media waited outside single screen and multiplex theatres for the audience reaction on the movies on display, as a twenty one gun salute was fired in the air and the man was finally given national honour.
Three Frauds simultaneously was happening on that fateful Friday, first fraud that ‘I’ could cook better than my team of chefs, second fraud, that the politicians really cared, and the third one cinema itself as ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ had termed it the most beautiful one in the world.
‘Bombay Talkies’ was given thumbs up from the audience, everyone around felt that ‘it was the perfect gift to Bollywood in its centenary year’. My Butter chicken was ready, and the verdict had been delivered, it left a sour taste in the mouth quite similar to the ‘state funeral’ given to Sarabjit Singh.
- From Scratch Butter Chicken (berryberryhappy.wordpress.com)