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Saturday, 22 February 2014

High Tea in Jhumri Talliya

Phone rang & PA to Zonal Manager informed of boss wanting to visit the branch. Welcome said I. Could one say anything better?

Let me draw a sketch of my boss for you - bald, round faced, a few strands of hair trying to stand up on his head, short of height & a big beer belly. Nick named The Baldy, he talks as if he alone is right & most experienced. Likes to drink in the evening with preference for roasted leg or two of chicken or some kebab.

PA further informed that The Baldy shall be reaching the branch around 4 pm & it would be better if high tea is organised for him. Welcome said I. Could one say anything better?

Now having spent most of the time in rural & small town branches this term 'high tea' did not make any sense to me. I checked up with staff in the branch who had heard of tea but not 'high tea'. I checked back with PA who said 'yaar along with tea have some cashews, samosas & pastries that's about all'. To be sure I checked up dictionary as well. High tea is defined as a meal including tea, butter toasts, jam & cakes served between 5 pm to 7 pm. It is said to have been started by British aristocracy around the year 1825. So The Baldy must have been born prior to 1825 CE in British aristocracy.

Now the menu was clear - tea, cashews, samosa & biscuits as pastries in Jhumri were heard of but not available. It is a small town full of ponds & ducks. Vermaji informed that keema samosa of Yaseen halwai is world famous in Jhumri & is available only in the evenings. In case The Baldy saab is non veg, he would relish it. In case saab stays for drinks than chicken tangri & kebabs can also be organised from Yaseen bhai. That settled the menu.

Having finished with official work, all officers joined The Baldy for high tea. He relished the keema samosa & thanked Varmaji for the show. Thereafter he preached & sermonised about hard work for increasing business figures & achieving targets & so on. By now it was late & he accepted an offer of a small peg before departing. All officers gathered after a break in a room in nearby hotel. Varmaji was bubbling with energy & had organised it well with chilled beer, whisky, kebabs & special edition of keema samosa for the gathering.

After first peg things became cordial & everybody listened to old repeated jokes of The Baldy & laughed heartily as if these were the best ones. After all The Baldy is the boss & signs the annual appraisal sheet. As the party went in to next round of cheers, keema samosa arrived to the delight of all but Sharmaji who takes drinks but is non-veg. As a round of large pegs was served. After having a bite The Baldy started praising spicy & tasty samosa. Sharmaji jumped in & proclaimed that he had heard about Yaseen using buffalo meat in place of mutton & ducks in place of chickens in kebabs.

Well there was a pin drop silence in the room.
 
I am not sure what effect Keema would have on annual appraisal or whether a memo would follow.




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