Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Mystery of Hollow Eggs

Mrs. Bewakoofchand yelled at him pointing towards the eggs, “Look you misfit! The eggs are as empty as your head. There is nothing in them. Not even a minute particle of dust that contains your brain, leave alone the yolk!”
 “Darling today is Reema’s birthday and I am going to make some sweets experimenting with eggs. So get everything on this list and that includes eggs. Hurry Up”. It was a command with a command with no room for argument. The Commander-in-Chief was none other than Reema’s mother and the command was delivered to Mr. Bewakoofchand, Reema’s father.

  The poor creature went sulking to the market and purchased everything but eggs. He was naturally sent right back to the market after being offered outrageous compliments for his absentmindedness. This time he bought as many as twelve eggs. He handled them with all the care necessary for this kind of eggy thing; and with a beaming smile placed them down gently as if he had successfully completed the Operation Egg-Star.

  Reema’s mother, all set for her experimentation cracked the first egg. Shocked! She broke the second egg. Wondered! She broke the third. Amazed! She broke fourth, fifth and sixth and right down to the last egg. She gasped for breath and screamed at the top of her voice at which a portion of the ceiling seemed cracked.

  Mr. Bewakoofchand in answer to the summons rushed to the kitchen in nano second – a hundred millionth second.

  Mrs. Bewakoofchand yelled at him pointing towards the eggs, “Look you misfit! The eggs are as empty as your head. There is nothing in them. Not even a minute particle of dust that contains your brain, leave alone the yolk!”

  Mr. Bewakoofchand slowly bent on his knees and picked up the broken shells and examined them closely to make sure that they were egg shells.  No doubt, they were egg shells. Still confused, he picked up all the broken shells and went to the grocer and mustering up the courage threw all the pieces on the grocer’s table and shouted at him as to why he had to cheat his customers in such a clumsy manner.

  Unprepared for the onslaught, the grocer with a Socratic patience offered him a seat and a glass of water and politely enquired what it was all about. Calming down, Mr. Bewakoofchand explained everything in detail. At this, the grocer too now dumb-struck took an egg and broke it. Knitting his brows into a fearsome frown, he took another egg and another egg… egging egg after egg till he was exhausted of all eggs. The grocer froze, dazed and confused with his head in hands and his elbows resting on the table. And before he recovered his senses, a fat lady, another of his customers with the same case threw the empty eggshells on his head cursing with a fluency that would have made a seller envious.  

  Before she exhausted her curses, another man looking distinctly like a goon performed the same ritual followed by another and another – it seemed like a never-ending television soap opera. 

  The grocer taking everything in his stride, immediately convened a meeting with his consumers who were present there and unanimously passed a resolution to the effect of declaring war on the management of Dhoka Crossbreeds, a poultry farm which was his sole supplier. They all marched to the poultry farm and showered the manager with the broken egg shells. Amazed at this indecent behavior of the visitors, the manager rose to his feet and bellowed at their indecorous behavior.

  The fat lady moved menacingly towards him, took an egg and hit him on his forehead. The manager tried to wipe the wetness off his forehead, but to his surprise there was nothing to wipe! Stunned, the manager took an egg and broke it, still puzzled, he cracked another and another till he broke the last egg and found to his dismay every egg shell was empty. Amused and confused at this egg shell phenomena, he ordered a high level committee to immediately summon the great veterinarian Dr. Pagal Varma.

  Dr. Pagal Varma came looking grave. He stared at the egg shells. For a fleeting second he thought he was exposed. ‘What the heck! I can come out of any situation clean and tidy. After all this is a fool’ paradise’, the charlatan thought and grinned maliciously. The others took the grin as a warm gesture and reciprocated.

  The manager of Dhoka Crossbreeds briefed him and demanded a thorough checkup of every cock and hen. He also insisted that all the medicines and food that the birds took be checked and no hen or cock was to be left unturned. Turning to his consumers he said that they will get their moneys worth at all costs.

  After an hour or so, a profusely sweating Dr. Pagal Varma emerged from his chambers and declared, “Sirs, I did not find anything wrong. Every hen and cock is in perfect health. Even their food intake and the medicines we are administering are comparable to international standards.”

  The group was stunned and looked at each other scratching their chins and temples and wondered what was behind this unusual problem. Breaking the dead silence Dr. Pagal Varma declared, “But sirs, !@#!@#!@#???”

  Hearing this everybody looking at each other broke into a riotous laughter sending their heads – on their shoulders of course – reeling towards their homes.


  “Well! Where did you disappear for the whole day?” Asked Mrs. Bewakoofchand looking quizzically at Bewakoofchand, whose entire body was shaking with boisterous laughter.

  “Why, yes! I had been to the grocer and from there along with him and others went to Dhoka Crossbreeds, a poultry farm to…” He was still laughing.

  Mrs. Bewakoofchand, who never had much time with her husband’s stupidities said, “You wasted the whole day. Then what…” She demanded.

  Still unable to suppress his laughter, Mr. Bewakoofchand said, “!@#!@#!@#???”

  “Www…what!!” screeched Mrs. Bewakoofchand, unable to laugh at this crude joke.

  “Yes, the poor creatures in protest against the population explosion were using contraceptives! Hee… heee… heeeee”.


  If Bewakoofchand had not been bewakoof and had applied a little bit of common sense, which he has none of course as the story suggests, the story would have taken a different turn. Had he walked into any of the local press or approached the media with the empty eggshell phenomena, everything would have come tumbling down.

  With such reports coming to the notice of the Customs and Excise officials they would have unearthed a big narcotics racket and seized a huge haul of drugs with those egg-shell clones made of lime and chalk powder under the expert guidance of Dr. Pagal Varma.

  None of this happened, because Bewakoofchand was what he was – true to his name. As for the others, indeed, it’s a fool’s paradise! 

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