Monday, 8 July 2013


This story is an imaginary story about the famous restaurant called Karims which is situated in Delhi. This story is from the point of view of the founder of Karims. His name is Karim.

The story starts with me being the chef in the royal kitchen in the kingdom of Shah Jahan in 1050 it was 1640 according to the angrezi calendar. The Taj Mahal was being built. The king was still in sorrow even though it had been eight years since his beautiful wife had passed away. Such was the love of the king for Mumtaz Mahal.
In 1042, 1632 according to the Britishers when Shah Jahan’s wife passed away, he completely changed his kingdom, including all the ministers. He couldn’t find a suitable royal chef for eight years. That is when I was called to the kingdom of Shah Jahan. He told me to cook my favorite dish. I couldn’t choose one and so I made four items in the menu. I made four items also because I was not aware of the kings likes and dislikes. I liked one more than every other dish though. It was the Mutton Burra. It is a dry dish. After he ate the first bite, he didn’t say a word until the food was finished. He immediately appointed me the chef of the royal kitchen.
    Shah Jahan would be depressed all the time but as soon as the food was served, he would have his temporary good mood until the meal ended.
      My family was very happy as they saw me in services of the king. The daily routine was the same everyday for the next eighteen years when Aurangzeb the son of Shah Jahan overthrew his old father and became the king. He not only put his father in jail but he also killed his brothers. According to me, Aurangzeb was a very cruel person.
        Aurangzeb didn’t like the food made by me and so he sacked me and got a new royal chef. I knew that Shah Jahan didn’t like the food made by the new royal chef and so I used to smuggle food made by me to the jail for him. One day, we were caught and Aurangzeb banished me from the city.    
      The delicious food of India had not reached the mysterious place Aurangzeb had sent me to. I had to add my secret spices, which I carried in my pocket to make the food delicious. The people there were very good to me and I used to give them the food made by my secret ingredients. They loved it!!
      When two centuries later I decided to go back to India, the people there wanted me to stay because of two reasons. One was that they wanted the delicious food everyday. The second was more important, they didn’t want me to go because they had got the news that there was some terror problem in India. Some people had invaded the country. This made me more eager to go.
          I left for India in 1256 (1840). When I reached Dhaka, some people there stopped me. They put me in jail. No one talked to me for the next ten years when I was in jail. They gave me some bland food once a day in which I would put my secret ingredients to make it tasty. I tried to ask them several times why they put me in jail but I got no answer. When they released me in 1266, (1850), I went to Delhi from there. I walked to the Red Fort after reaching Delhi. When I saw it, I was shocked! There was blood all over. I went right inside the Red Fort. I met the king of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar and told him my story. After my story, he told me his.
      He said ‘the royal chef of Aurangzeb one day brought a huge army. They killed many people. Since then they are taking over the country. We have very little resistance power left now, they have even spread their bland food all around the country.’
       I was disappointed because I knew that Indians liked good spicy food. The Britishers can’t make that kind of food because they never discovered spices.
       At this moment I decided ton open a restaurant, which will preserve the food culture of India. I bought a cart and used to cook food on it and sell the food in front of the Jama Masjid. When there was rush for the food made by me, I asked Bahadur Shah Zafar for some land near Jama Masjid in 1273 (1856). He gave me all the papers for the land.
  One day I got the news that the Britishers had attacked the Red Fort and the king was taken to Burma where he would be hung. When I went to get my land, the people there said that I will not get my land, the Britishers have captured it. I fought for the land for 56 years when I got it back in 1331 (1913). This is when ‘Karims’ was officially opened.   
        At this time we started the tradition that is still being followed – we never threw away the food that had not been sold. It was the base for the next day’s food. We like to believe that what we serve in our restaurants today is the same food that we served out more than a century ago.
        Karims was a famous and successful restaurant. Freedom fighters like Chandrashekhar Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and many others came to enjoy the good food of Karims.
     While my restaurant flourished, India struggled to get freedom with Mahatma Gandhi leading the struggle. Everything started to get in place for India. All the plans were well executed and finally India got freedom in 1366 (1947).
        Here I would like to say something about my spirit. It  kept changing with time. First it was to save the food from changing forever. Later it was to make the ‘Aam aadmi’ (normal person) eat the food cooked in the royal kitchen. Soon after independence, the restaurant became famous and it became the main source of income for me. All this was secondary. The primary reason for me was to see the happiness on the people’s faces after they ate the food. Till today this has been the primary reason for me to run the restaurant.
                After independence, I invited Maulana Azad and Jawahar Lal Nehru to Karims. The constitution was being made at that time. When the two of them came in they were worried and were talking about the constitution. As soon as the food was served, the coversation changed and they were talking happily about the food and saying that they would come to Karims once in every month from now. They were very impressed with the food.
 Today in 2012, thousands of people come to my restaurant everyday. I would be at one of the branches of Karims if you want to meet me. Today I feel great about my restaurant. It is a huge success. All the new goals I kept making, succeeded.

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