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The Quirky Life of P

Humor and satire revolving around Mr P- a fictional mix of an avatar of Mr Bean and the veritable Bertram Wooster of Wodehouse fame.

Archive for the tag “comedy”

Jalfrezie for Thanksgiving…

Never Too Late: Is there a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated gratitude.- Daily Prompt

P on the phone: “Hey Sis? How are things?”

Sis: “I’m all right P. What is it this time? You have to be quick. I am about to go shopping”.

P: “It’s nothing. I just wanted to call you and see how you were and…”

Sis: “P, get to the point, I’m in a hurry.”

P: “Well, I just finished making a vegetable Jalfrezie to go with my rice and ‘Sookha rotis’, like what you made for last Thanksgiving, and I followed your instructions exactly… but it does not taste the same like what you make…”

Sis: “So then, could you tell me what you did exactly?”

P: “I’ll read out what I had written down from your instructions…”

P proceeds to read out the recipe from the piece of paper:

“Recipe for vegetable Jalfrezie

2 tbsp oil , 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 cup onion-chopped fine, 500 gm mixed vegetables-cut chunky, 10 shallots-peeled and halved, 1/4 cup tomato puree,1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tbsp green chillies-chopped fine , 1 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder, a pinch of garam masala, 2 tomatoes-cut into cubes, coriander leaves-to garnish.
Heat oil and add the cumin seeds, Mix in the chopped onions and sauté till light brown,
Mix in the vegetables, shallots, tomato puree, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, and chilli powder; Cook vegetables for ten minutes, Add tomato cubes, and cook for another 5 minutes, Stir, sprinkle a pinch of garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes and serve garnished with the coriander leaves.”

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Sis: “That sounds all right to me, except that there is no mention of salt…

P: “Oh, should I have added salt? You didn’t tell me that!”

Sis: “I am sure I said salt to taste… Unless you did take it literally and tasted some salt…”

P sheepishly: “Could be… could be… Can I add the salt now? I suppose it is never too late?”

Sis: “You can add the salt now, never too late unless you have finished eating the dish I guess, but the vegetables will not absorb it as well as when it is added while they are being cooked… Anyways, the dish would taste better with some salt even if it is added now.”

P: “OK then. Bye…”

Sis:  “Bye”

The phone was put down at the other end and then P realised he had forgotten something…

He called her up again and she picked up the phone.

Sis: “What is it now P?”

P: “I just wanted to say thank you. I wanted to thank you when I was over there yesterday at Thanksgiving but it slipped off my mind… I guess it is never too late to let you know how much I appreciate all your help and advices and for putting up with me.”

Sis: “P my dear brother, you don’t have to put into words all your feelings… It’s always written all over your face! I love you for all your quirks!”

P: “Thank you sis! I love you too… And before you go for shopping can you come on Skype and take me through how I can make some ‘Sookha rotis’ to go with the Jalfrezie please?..”

It was too late for P as the phone then was switched off on the other end.

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Never Too Late

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Murder on the train

Overheard: This week’s writing challenge revolves around eavesdropping.

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P had been ill at ease with the night travel by train in India, especially when he did not get tickets for the air-conditioned compartment and had to travel second class with the windows left open to counter the heat. It was not helpful that only the previous day, he had watched the film ‘Madras mail’, which was about a murder on a train. Tired, he had however nodded off and was woken as the train jerked to a stop at a station.  As he lay there with his eyes still shut, slowly drifting off to sleep, he was jolted by the sound of a slap. He kept his eyes closed and listened…

Child’s voice: “Kill him, mummy, Kill him!”

Woman’s whisper: “Hush! I don’t want you to wake up everybody on the train!”

Through half-opened eyes, P slowly peeped at the family of three on the opposite berth, travelling in the same cubicle. The dim light was still turned on and he could discern the figure of the man slouching by the window, probably fast asleep.

The woman was now looming over the husband with her hand slightly raised as the tot stood by her side, anxiously whispering “Get him mummy, get him!”…

P was shocked to hear the child say those words… He couldn’t believe a child could be so evil!… But then he remembered the famous film, “Omen” and he shuddered.New Picture (19)

The woman was now leaning towards her husband and as her raised hand came down in a slap, P cringed and shut his eyes…

Child’s voice: “Did you kill him?”

Man’s voice: “What the…?”

Child’s voice: “Did he escape again?”

Woman’s voice: “Yes, Dennis. And stop calling the mosquito “him” and “he”. It is an “it”…

P breathed a sigh of relief…

The woman was trying to kill a mosquito… and not her husband!

Unless of course, by the term “mosquito”, she was alluding to her husband…

 

 

 

From Caterpillar to Butterfly…

Salad Days: Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).- Daily Prompt

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P was reminiscing on

His salad days gone by,

And how like a caterpillar

That morphed into a butterfly,

From a carefree and spritely tot,

He had now grown to a man.

 

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Those balmy days he didn’t have to worry

For food on his table, and he voraciously ate

The meat, eggs, potatoes, and anything sweet,

But he fretted about salads on his plate,

As he dreaded the thought to eat or meet

A caterpillar hiding in the greens… he shuddered at the fate!

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Home run…

 

New Picture (7)Golden Key You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?- Daily Prompt

WordPress would you kindly

Give P a key that need not be

Golden or that opens the gates

To heavens or bank vaults

Or secret doors and boxes of treasures.

 

Many a time P gets himself

Locked out when he forgets

To have his house key with him

The door then shuts and auto locks

And he is left out stranded.

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He needs a key that magically

Appears in his hands

Every time this happens.

He just needs it to enter his home

Without calling a locksmith each time.

It’s such a drain on his wallet!

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(See earlier post P becomes listless…https://avatarofmrbean.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/p-becomes-listless/)

 

 

P.S. And he would certainly appreciate a key that opens the door to eternal happiness too! That would surely be a home run!

Verses for the cell phone…

Literate for a Day

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them? —Daily Prompt

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P felt his mobile phone vibrate and he picked it out of his pocket to see if he had any incoming messages. He jumped out of his skin when the phone shouted a loud “Hello…” at him.

P: Hello! …Who’s that?

Cell phone: It’s me, Samsung.

P: Is that you my old Samsung?  Are you talking to me? Can you hear me? What a surprise!

Cell phone: WordPress has given me the powers to read… just for today… Using those powers, I read the codes inside my body and acquired the technique of talking as well! You are always shouting ‘Hello… Hello’ at me. I thought I’d do that to you today so you’ll know what it feels like, having all the talk and Hellos shouted in your face in a loud voice.

P: Awwww! I’m sorry if I have been a nuisance. But it’s awesome that you can now communicate! Simply cool! So tell me why WordPress has made you literate?

Cell phone: The people at WordPress must have thought that it is high time that you appreciated my services to you. So come on, post something in praise of me! Let me get some cyber fame!

P: At your service my phone… Here’s my ode to you…

 

 

When out of credit, don’t cut my calls;New Picture (21)

You may think humans are just your thralls,

But let important talks be finished

Before you ask that funds be replenished;

Waiting for a minute or an hour even,

Your charms, for sure, will not lessen

If you are only not so monetarily driven!

 

Constant companion, in my pocket you travel,

Jeans or pants, no matter what the apparel;

You sleep by my side, plugged into a socket;

I’m only human and sometimes may forget

To charge your reserves, but it would be nice,

If you have a battery that never dies

And calls may not be missed by the device.

 

And when at times you do disappear

I’m thrown into panic, I hold you so dear;

I am so used to having you around,

To you I am now totally bound,

Connecting me with friends and all I love

While all over the globe I may rove;

Do cancel roaming charges, as goodwill it may behove.

 

Models of Motorola, Nokia and LG,

Modern and stunning, tried to allure me;

Faithfully so long, I stuck to my old Samsung,

Your praises will certainly not go unsung;

But I sometimes wish your keyboard was qwerty,

It would have helped my texting, I’m so quirky;

Also, a touch screen would have been perky.

 

I need more apps in you, to tell you the truth;

A nicer camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

To take pictures and upload my Blog post,

For NaBloPoMo and prompts of the Daily Post;

Now ‘Selfies’, I learn, are the current rage

I’d like to take some and post on my Facebook page,

So if I get a new phone, please don’t take umbrage;

It would pain me terribly Samsung, if you now burst into a swan song…

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The story of noodles

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“So, what story are you going to tell me today, Mr P?” asked the kid. P had his own secret name for the boy and it was Dennis the Menace. There seemed to be a lot in common between the kid and the cartoon character. Usually P gave him a wide berth, but today, however, his parents had asked P’s help to look after him while they took their younger one to the clinic. The baby had been crying all night and the parents had decided to seek the doctor’s help.

P had agreed to look after Dennis because he had some time on his hands and there were plenty of packets of Maggie noodles in the pantry. P had a theory that most kids seemed to like Maggie noodles… The little menace in front of him, also it seemed, was very fond of noodles… If it hadn’t been for the noodles, P would not have agreed to take on the responsibility of looking after the kid and giving him lunch as he had no idea about what to cook to keep the boy happy.

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“Mr P… Didn’t you hear me? What story are you going to tell me today?” asked Dennis. The boy had wanted to play football inside the house and P had dissuaded him from it with the promise of a story. However, nothing was on his noodles other than the thought of how noodles were going to save his day.

“Well, how about a story on how noodles came on earth?” asked P.

“Don’t be stupid Mr P. Noodles did not ‘come on earth’. They were made on earth,” the boy pointed out.

“OK then, I’ll reword it. A story of how the world’s first noodles were made… Does that sound alright?”

The kid nodded and sat down on the carpet next to P.

P gathered his wits about and tried to make up a story.  He cleared his throat and began…

“I heard this story from my grandmother and she had heard it from hers… Long, long ago, in the land of the yellow river, people were living happily. The river kept the land fertile and people ate cooked balls of pounded millets and grains. There was a young family of a man, his wife and two children who lived in a small hut by the river. The father used to go hunting and fishing while the mother cooked and took care of the children. In the evenings, when the father returned home with the fish and all the raw materials needed for dinner, all of them sat down together and had their sumptuous meals of millet balls, fish and a special dish that the mother used to make with stuff she gathered while walking along the river banks.”

At this point, P paused and made sure that he had the boy’s full attention. He then continued…

“Now, the eldest boy in that family was a little spoilt kid. It came to a point when he would eat only the special dish and nothing else.”

“Must have been very yum… What was it exactly?” asked Dennis, his eyes alight with vicarious satisfaction.

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“It looked like noodles” P continued. “However, disaster struck in the form of a very cold and severe winter. The father could not go out and catch fish and the mother came back empty-handed for days and days when she went to gather material for the special dish. There was only flour of millets and grains in the house and meals had to be prepared just with that. The boy who would not eat anything other than the special dish was starving. It was then that the parents came out with the idea of tricking him to eat his food. While the boy, hungry and tired was sleeping, they made a paste of millet and grain flour with water. Instead of making small balls with the dough like they used to before, they stretched it out flat on the floor. They then cut thin strips out of it like strings and put them in boiling water and cooked them. The dish came out looking very similar to the special dish the mother used to cook and when the boy woke up, he ate the meal heartily. Thus the world’s first noodles were born!”

P smiled and looked at the little boy’s face, but did not see much of a reaction.

“You must be hungry now. Let me cook lunch for you. Shall I cook some Maggie noodles?” asked P and was happy and relieved to see the eager nod.

P mentally thanked God and Maggie noodles for saving him from cooking something else that would have demanded more time and effort.

As he was about to get up from the chair, the little boy said “Wait!  You didn’t tell me what the mother was collecting when she made the original noodles or the special dish as you called it. What was it?”

“Oh! They were earthworms that were in plenty around the fertile banks of the river” said P and noticed the sudden nauseous look on the boy’s face.

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“Can I please have something other than noodles, Mr P?” he asked squeamishly before he doubled over and was sick on the carpet. There went P’s best laid plans!

Second-Hand Stories

Waiting…

In today’s writing challenge, you’ll choose a scenario (or invent your own) and write a poem, a short story, a vignette, a scene, or flash fiction based on Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

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Soda man: “You folks shouldn’t fret too much. His home is on the other side of the town. When he reaches his home and hunts for the house keys in the bag, he will realise that he has the wrong bag and will scramble back here in a jiffy”.

Man next to the woman: “Well, all we can do now is sit here and wait… It’s quite late already, how long is ‘jiffy’?”

Soda man: “Considering that it’s too late to get any bus, he will have to walk here and it could be another half hour.”

Woman to the man next to her: “To think that I had only gone to the powder room for a few minutes and my bag disappears… I still can’t understand how my bag could be mistaken for the gentleman’s case.”

Soda man: “That’s Mr P… Done this many times… When in a tipple and otherwise…”

The mystery man who had kept quiet till then: “Taken my case home too, a couple of times…He is quite absent-minded and … quite quirky…”

 

Ye folks who sit next to the man

In the train or bus or a restaurant,

Look out for your bag and umbrella;

Though P may not be a bad fella,

He mistakes your things for his own;

Absent-mindedness with age has grown,

He finishes your drink leaving his half-drunk for you;

Be careful he could use your tooth-brush too!

Ye folks be mindful when P is around,

A quirkier person, can’t be found.

 

Find a Muse in the Masters

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