Bala is mad. He has gifted me an Egg Poacher.
Don’t get me wrong. Bala’s gifts have always been wonderful and welcome— if extremely original and unusual at times— during the 64 years we’ve voyaged together round the Sun on this planet-sized spaceship. Bala’s my friend and brother, elder to me by two-and-a-half years. From as far back as I can remember, Bala’s regarded me as a special uniquely challenged child who needs kindness, patient mentoring, discreet supervision and occasional interventions.
Hence, his thoughtful gifts, aimed at improving the quality of my life.
I hope to provide more details on Bala and life in my forthcoming book ‘The Brothers Cannabinol’ (any resemblance in the title to a certain book by one Fyodor Dostoevsky is completely intentional), whose synopsis is even now fermenting in cerebral vats before it is distilled, refined and sent for summary rejection by leading international publishing houses.
“No!” I yelled, when Bala called to tell me of the Egg Poacher’s impending arrival via Jeff Bezos’ gargantuan river of merchandise. “I don’t want an Egg Poacher. I don’t need an Egg Poacher. I don’t even like poached eggs. I prefer omelets or boiled eggs…”
“Exactly,” he interrupted cheerfully. “This Egg Poacher boils eggs too… and does much more besides. In fact, poultry farmers from Guangzhou to Guwahati report that their hens are clucking in joy and laying twice as many eggs when shown Instagram photos of this fine device. You’ll love it!”
The Egg Poacher arrived two days ago. Clearly, it has been manufactured in the People’s Republic of China; for, extreme care has been taken not to provide trivial and useless information such as the manufacturers’ name and address, date and place of manufacture, and so on. However, it conforms to the Chinese Executive Standard GB-4706 and its ‘Operating Instruction’ leaflet contains a ‘Circuit Schematic’ – both of which are a complete mystery to me (photos below).
Staring at the box, it strikes me that the name ‘Egg Poacher’ translates to Anda Chor (egg thief) in Hindi if you interpret it in a certain way. ..and Anda Chor is such an appropriate name for a Chinese device, at a time when the People’s Liberation Army of People’s Republic of China is trying to poach great chunks of Indian territory from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh…
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I really like Chinese-made products, as I have since schooldays in Shillong in the late 1960s when we walked down to the sidewalk vendors in Police Bazaar and stared longingly at sleek-bodied, sharp-nibbed, exquisitely-smooth Chinese-made Wing Sung fountain pens which, at nine rupees each, were way beyond our lean resources. The only affordable option most of us had then was to buy the desi Sulekha pens, which were as fat-barrelled as Congressmen, leaked like the Defence Ministry, and had broad and scratchy nibs that dropped off at the slightest excuse like a flasher’s dhoti or delegates at the UN General Assembly.
But I digress. Behold: the Chinese Egg Poacher!
And now that I have studied the box and its contents thoroughly and conducted a trial run of the Egg Poacher, I must admit that Bala was right: I love it! Not only because it boils eggs most beautifully; but because its box and its leaflet of instructions have dispelled four months of coronavirus-induced gloom in less time than it takes to … well… boil an egg. I’ll allow the photos to speak for themselves.
Afterthought: Maybe Alexa would know what alexipharmic nipples are? Will someone ask? The term seems to have faded from public mammary…er…memory…