Audio: Aachaar (Pickles)
"Sarkar Amman" and her son, Prince Hamidullah,
Princess Abida's father, and Ruler of Bhopal State, 1926-49.
"We had moved two or three steps more when the steward felt something trickling down his face. He touched it and he smelt it and he turned around to Rahmanullah Khan and he said 'What it is?' |
Rahmanullah Khan, realized that the aachaar box had been turned upside down and some of the aachaar oils were trickling down his beautiful white uniform was all soiled red and yellow with all the aachaar masalas [spices] and everything trickling down and the special smell of aachaars with which the steward was not - he was a European, he was not at all familiar with this.
And Rahmanullah Khan did not know what to say because he didn't know English. He started to laugh.
This steward thought that this is not a very good joke. He thought he was laughing at him. So he got so angry that he threw the box on the deck and gave it a good hefty kick. The box started rolling down the gangway, and Sarkar Amman stood there absolutely aghast that all her beautiful aachaars, and the box and everything was rolling in front of her and eventually he kicked it into the sea. And that was the end of the aachaars.
So we still had to travel, but without the aachaars. I think my father was most disturbed with this incident, because he thought all of his beautiful show with his ADCs [military aide-de-camps] and all that had been destroyed."
November 17, 1990
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