Monday, September 23, 2013

Sam N Sam


When Shyamal and Samuel got the axe from their workplace they were not shocked.  Even greater people on the staff were sacked in the name of cost cutting, retrenchment, and other terms which neither Shyamal nor Samuel understood.  All they understood was that many people were losing their jobs.  Even the executives disappeared without a trace though not before putting the blame for the whole situation on America.  Peons like Shyamal and Samuel did not understand what Amreeka was doing in their firm which was in Delhi.  They knew that Amreeka was spending a lot of its wealth creating missiles and bombs which they were raining down on a country called Iraq because that country was alleged to be amassing Weapons of Mass Destruction.    Shyamal and Samuel did not understand the logic behind using deadly weapons openly on a country which is supposedly hiding its weapons.   But they were intelligent enough to understand that life does not follow logic.  Not when countries like Amreeka are involved. 

“Hey, Sam,” said Samuel to Shyamal, “why not celebrate this gratuity we have got?”  Their firm was generous enough to offer them a certain sum of money in the name of gratuity.

Shyamal was thinking that a couple of shots in a bar would put into his feeble heart the courage required to go home and face his wife who was as domineering as his boss – ex-boss now.  She won’t believe him if he tells her that Amreeka was responsible for their present lot, he knew.  She won’t understand cost-cutting or retrenchment.  She will just say that he had failed to grease the right palms.

If I were a jolly archbishop,
On Fridays I'd eat all the fish up—
Salmon and flounders and smelts;
On other days everything else.

Samuel started singing when he had gulped down a peg.  He loved to sing whenever whiskey entered his veins. 

“Hey, Sam,” said Samuel.

“Hi, Sam,” said Shyamal.  They called each other Sam.  Such was the bonding between them.

“You know the meaning of what I sang?”

“You want to eat fish on Fridays?”

“Not I, man. The archbishop.   You know why the archbishop eats fish on Fridays?  Because Friday is a day of abstinence.  Because Jesus died on a Friday, good Christians don’t eat meat on Fridays.”

“I haven’t seen you eating meat on any day, man.”

“I’m speaking about good Christians, buddy.  The priests and the bishops and other good Christians.   People living in paradises.  Like our boss and the others who live in paradises and tell us when we can pee or breathe.”

“Let paradise go to hell, man,” said Shyamal.  “How will we survive now?  Think of the family.”

“We’ll find a job.”


“Maybe... what about teaching, man?  We can read and write, can’t we?”

Shyamal almost dropped his glass of whiskey.  “My sister is a teacher in a public school, you know.  She has decided not to marry because she says her school won’t give her time for procreation, let alone the responsibilities that will follow.”

They considered a variety of career options until the aroma of chicken 65 wafted in the air.  The waiter was serving their order.

“Hey, man,” Samuel’s face lit up.  “You know I’m a good cook.”

It turned out that Shyamal was a good cook too. 

Their new future started the very next day at a wayside dhaba on which they invested their gratuity. 

The dhaba became popular sooner than Sam N Sam (as the signboard announced the names of the proprietors as well as the dhaba) had imagined. 

Amreeka was done with Iraq before Sam N Sam became a multi-cuisine restaurant.  Amreeka was looking for chemical weapons in Syria when Sam and Sam were inaugurating their star hotel. 

Sam and Sam were sitting in their plush office in the centrally air-conditioned hotel when the visitor turned up having procured the right of admission from the receptionist.  The visitor suggested that the entire records of the hotel could be computerised.  “Work would be done much quicker with much fewer staff,” said the visitor.

Sam and Sam looked at each other.

“You know,” said Samuel, “if we knew how to operate computers we would still be peons in the firm that sacked us.”

PS: The conclusion is researched (in plain words, plagiarised) from Somerset Maugham’s short story, The Verger.



  1. Really Loved this One.. :)
    Amreeka,funny indeed..But Seriously it teaches us a lesson,no matter how we are ,if we need to survive we must carry on with something or the other and I always believe that there is no death for a Hard-Working Person..

    And Sometimes Sacking can be fruitful too.. :)

    1. Amreeka (Power) creates problems and we, the ordinary mortals, sort them out at our own levels.

      Thanks for the appreciation.

  2. nice story and they invested in he right thing.. :)

    I wonder if the Whiskey gave them the ideas.. :D

  3. How apt! Amreeka!!! The source of all problems.

    1. Amreeka takes different forms and incarnations!

  4. Plagiarised is a harsh word. You've taken the idea (or concept) and written a totally different story in your own words. Nicely done too.


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