RPL House, Mumbai
“Sir, today’s special is Kadaam soup”, Kiran, the canteen boy of my floor, was declaring to everybody.
Mr. Kadaam was suspiciously looking from his cabin. He looked a bit nervous and I noticed a streak of fear in his eyes.
Our canteen generally issues the menu for the week. That includes breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and juice of the day. Soup is generally kept as a surprise. The soup of the day is declared by the canteen boy, every morning. We get mushroom soup, tomato soup, vegetable clear soup, manchow soup, hot & sour soup, etc. But Kadaam soup? This was something new.
Chicken soup have chicken, similarly for tomato, mushroom, vegetable, etc. Manchow soup is an exception, where Manchow is not the ingredient. I believe Manchow is a place, somewhere in China. This too I know because all Chineese restaurants have this soup in their menu. Given the above, what can you expect in Kadaam soup? This had troubled Mr. Kadaam. Is he going to be served in the soup today? He is a man with sharp financial and business acumen. But today he is scared.
Kiran was unbothered and kept on declaring Kadaam soup at every desk and cabin in our floor.
Many ordered the soup without even showing any interest of what it contains. Because, some were too occupied with work, some with personal work, some on phone, some on internet, some following share market, some just want to know what it is, some just want to spend time drinking the soup. But many ordered the soup.
I was confused. I called Kiran to my desk.
“Kiran, what is Kadam soup”
“It is soup of the day sir”
“Yeah, I know. But what it contains?”
“Soup sir, soup. It contains real soup”
Now Kiran got on my nerves.
“Yes yes. But what is kadaam?”
“Sir…!!!”, Kiran was expressing surprise, “Don’t you know kadaam?”
Now I started to get confused. Am I wrong starting the discussion? Or am I asking a completely stupid question?
Mr. Kadaam was closely observing our discussion, from his cabin. Obviously, its the matter of his life.
“Kadaam, pista,…..”, Kiran continued. It splashed on my brain. I was no more listening. Its ‘Badaam’. As simple as it is. Kiran was continuing “…. blah, blah, blah. Its very good for health”. He finished with that explanatory punchline,
“Kaaju sir. Its kaaju”
I relaxed my temper with a deep breath. I also recall hearing a deep sigh of relief from Mr. Kadaam’s cabin. He is not going to be cooked in the soup, atleast today.
I explained Kiran that its not ‘Kadaam soup’, but its ‘Badaam soup’. He called the chef and the canteen owner for confirmation.
15 minutes later, I was watching Kiran cancelling Kadaam soup and taking order for Badaam soup at every desk of my floor. Surprisingly some (predominantly, subordinates of Mr. Kadaam) cancelled the soup.
I did not order. The discussion was more than sufficient for me.