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Saint Kabir and the cooking designations in Ernakulam hostel – Cochin mass cooking Video

abhilash - March 8, 2012 - 6 comments

Sant Kabir says “Sai itna dejiye, ja mein kutumbh samaye. Mein bhi bhooka na rahu, sadhu na bhooka jaye.”( Lord kindly ensure that I receive sufficient food to feed my family. Neither should I be starving and nor should be the priest who came for food).

I am not a literature student. These were lines from “Kabir ke dohe”(Kabir’s contemplations) in the eight standard hindi text book. To mention about “dohe” and not to introduce Anitha Philips madam would be like enjoying a tea without “aalo ke pakode”.

 Anitha Philips madam was our hindi teacher and fifth standard class teacher. She used to praise me in front of the other students about the fluency in the hindi language I possess and that I being a malayalee does things better than the hindi speaking students. One of the important point that she did not notice was that I being a malayalee was born and brought up in North India. “Ab nepali munna nepali nahi to kaa chaineej bolega?”

I shall discuss about my class teacher in another post. She isnt a “figure” to quote in one or two paragraphs, a complete article is needed to accommodate her. “Guruve Namah”.

So kabir’s specific doha was to insist on the concept of sufficient food aka mass cooking. Let me take you to the days of our hostel life in Ernakulam during 2010. I was staying with Arun, Joy, Melvin, Anup and Sibin. We used to cook together where each member was assigned duties as per their experience level in the kitchen and the designations specific to kitchen.

Entry level candidates were called “paiyans” and they were assigned with the job of cleaning utencils and washing vegetables. As the population consisted of 6 peope, the one assigned with cleaning was provided maximum freedom to burn fat.

Candidates who excel in cleaning utencils within their tenure of 2 months were promoted and given training to cut vegetables. The person at this post had to go through procedures and specifications relevant to each recipe. Size of the cutting, time taken for cutting and cleanliness were the criterion for consideration to move next level.

Only experienced people who understand the difference between salt and sugar were assigned tasks of cooking food. They had to follow the guidelines specified by the chef and act accordingly. As they were the victims for crimes related to stomach explosions, they had to be tough to handle punches and kicks that would be the sideeffects from people consuming food.

I was until then promoted to the post of Chef and was leading the team. Monitoring the perfection of the recipe and taste was part of my job. As I was handling management, consuming a chappati or two while cooking was considered an act of appreciating the cook and lower levels of the food chain rather than showcasing hunger. As paan Singh Thomar says in his movie “ Hamari toh khurak hi jyaada hain… hum kaa kare”.

You believe or not, being a chef was the best means to enjoy food without extra kichen exercises. Now I am alone and cook rarely, however those memories are still there to cherish.

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  1. Dear Abhi,
    Nice to see you back in blogging. I was wondering whether you've turned philosophical in life.
    Memories cherished give you positive energy.
    An interesting post.You can start enjoying cooking again!
    Happy Weekend!

  2. Abhilash

    @Anupama –

    Thanks for the comments Anu
    Only memories stay with us forever, the people leave with time.

    I am not completely back to blogging due to the work schedule. I try to read your blogs often but aint posting comments as I need some time to post my views.

    Planning to devote a part of Sunday for this activity.Nice that you did not forget this place. 🙂

    Sasneham njanum

  3. joshi daniel

    such fun and it's always cool for one to sit and look at the past making fun episodes of our friends.

  4. sm

    fun post
    now going to watch the video from title seems video is great

  5. So much experience! no wonder you are a wonder in the kitchen! Do take time to blog…

  6. Thanks so much Abhi for the comment more then comment I loved reading ur pasta story…it brought a smile on my face…Thank you…good to c u back and lovely write up and a very good video seems like u all had lots of fun in the kitchen:)

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