The Knife

Wednesday. "Saravana! Chicken 65! 2 more orders! 10 minutes!" "Bastards" thought Saravana, as he diced the meat. &...


"Saravana! Chicken 65! 2 more orders! 10 minutes!"

"Bastards" thought Saravana, as he diced the meat. "No creativity. There are 15 other items in the menu, but nobody looks beyond Chicken 65"

"In their defense, I think that's what tastes best with the alcohol" chimed Kural, the kitchen assistant.

"I'm just saying. It's only 4 o clock and I've already cut up 6 birds"

"Is that a new knife?"

"You noticed! Yes yes, it's new. I got it only today. It's designed for cutting meat. But the way things are going, it's going to get blunt by the end of the night."

"Yea yea. Now's the time those underaged kids come. Morons. They're the worst. Don't know how to handle alcohol and end up puking all over just when the actual customers come. It's becoming more like TASMAC with each passing day."

"Haha. They're very entertaining. Especially those girls. Imagine what would happen if their parents found out"

"I have a feeling they already know. Yesterday, I saw this girl at table 2 drinking with her father."

"Hahahaha! Chancey illa! How'd you find out?"

"I don't know - she looked 19 and he looked 45. I just assumed."

"Don't assume Kural, these days, anything is possible"

"I'll say."

"Chicken 65, 2 plates, order up!" Saravana called out.

"I'll go" offered Kural as he took the heavy tray into the smoky pub. The kitchen ticket said Table 4 and as he neared his destination, he smirked. Underage kids. And it looked like a birthday party - there were 3 boys and 3 girls, none of them older than 20 and they had an enormous cake already on the table.

"Chicken 65?"

"Eii! Your order has commmee. Get me another drink already!" said one of the girls in a high pitched voice. She seemed particularly drunk. Must be the birthday girl, guessed Kural.

"Yes Ma'am?"

"I want....I laaarge vodka. Laarge. You understand?"

"Yes Ma'am. With?"

"I don't knowww. Eii, what should I have it with?" she asked, poking the boy sitting next to her.

"How many rounds did you have?"

She started counting her fingers. "Onnne. Twoo. Three. Three! Three rounds onnnly"


Some friend, thought Kural. It was clearly this girl's first time and he was already overloading her.

"Okay. I want one laarge vodka. And one redbull okayy?" she trilled.

"Yes Ma'am. Anybody want anything else?"

"Ohhh!" interrupted Birthday Girl. "I want a knife! I have to cut the cake. It's my birthday" she smiled.

Kural nodded and headed back into the kitchen. Saravana was cutting up another bird.

"Can you believe it?" he asked. "Another 3 plates of Chicken fucking 65! I quit."

"I want your knife"

"I know customers can be assholes sometimes Kural, and I have thought about it myself a few times too, but murder is simply not the answer."

"Thoo. Some drunk 17 year old wants to cut her birthday cake. Give me the damn knife already."

"Why such a hurry? Figure aa?"

"Chi. She's piss drunk. It's her birthday after all. Let her cut her cake before she pukes on it."

"Yes officer" smiled Saravana as he washed the knife and handed it over to Kural. "Make sure you get it back! It's brand new!"

"I'll try"

35 more orders of Chicken 65 later, it was closing time. Saravana was cleaning up his work area when Kural plopped on the table next to him, exhausted.

"Man I hate Wednesdays"

"Tell me about it"



"What happened?"

"Your knife! I forgot to get it back!"

"I knew I wouldn't get it back the moment you took it. I'll get a new one tomorrow. If there's anything I love, it's billing the management."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes yes. Need to get it first thing in the morning tomorrow."

"First thing in the morning? What's so special about that knife anyway?"

"Nothing. It just cuts so well."


"Shrinidhi! Could you get the door?"

"Yes Ma, going"

"Must be Kamala Maami" Prabha mumbled. "Varshaporuppu and she shows up half an hour late. Why is it so hard to get a cook these days"

"Sorry I'm late! Bus-ey kadaikala" said Kamala maami, half sprinting into the kitchen. "Varshaporuppu also. What are you making?"

"I've already started on the thaligai, maami, but why don't you get going with the Paayasam. It's the neivedyam. I'll ask Shrinidhi t o help you"

"Aiyyo, its okay. She's just a child. Let her stay away from the kitchen."

"Just a child? Maami, she turned 19 day before yesterday."

"Oh yes oh yes, I forgot. What did you all do?"

"Nothing, maami. She said she was going out with her friends. She went out and showed up one whole hour after the time she said she'd be back. Didn't talk to me, or even her sister. She just went straight to sleep."

"She must have been tired. "

"Ennavo maami. It was the first time we even let her out that late. Next day we took her to the temple."

"Nice. Where is the Jaggery?"

"Third shelf. Oh, when you're cutting it up, make sure you don't use the red knife."


"Illa maami, it's just that I use it to cut onions. I don't want the same for the neivedyam you know?"

"What about this one?"

Prabha looked carefully at the knife Kamala Maami was holding - it had a long black handle and what seemed like a very sharp serrated edge.

"I don't remember seeing that knife. I don't know, it must be new....Oh what the hell, I don't remember cutting onions with it, so go ahead."

Kamala maami shrugged and went ahead dicing the jaggery. She stopped after a few cuts and took a long hard look at the knife.

"What happened, maami? Is there anything wrong with the knife?"

"Nothing. It just cuts so well."

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  1. is there a part 2 coming up ? :)
    Btw nice story written in madras style

  2. mm nice,you have a good style MM(mokkamohan)


  3. Whats the whole point here? Save the chickens ?


  4. sontha anubavama

  5. Nice tambrahm flavored story!! vonder-full!!

  6. I am sure that the sister to whom the b'day girl did not talk before going to bed is not Varsha!!! Am I not right??

  7. Inspired by true events?
    Also, I feel like eating Chicken 65 now.

  8. Is it just me, or is this intended to be tragic?

  9. good wit, but I can't think beyond the chickens sadly!

  10. Nice :)I have always wondered if vibhuti made from the dung of american cows (that are fed beef in powdered form, among other things) is kosher enough for religious use

  11. Hmmmmm how can someone walk out of a pub mistakenly with a knife. Not convinced

  12. andha lordukku chicken neivedyam....ada paavi

  13. Time to write a novel. Short stories atleast. :)

  14. Ha Ha, what irony! Why the hell do so many ppl have to ask "sondha anubhavama", bleady jobless! :D

  15. Unexpected climax!Is anybody making a short film out of this?!

  16. This summer, from the writer who brought you the epically controversial Deviance, Lavanya Mohan,of Coconut Chutney productions, comes another heart-wrenching, and gripping tale.
    He was just an ordinary one.. or so he thought. Come watch this heart-warming yet tragic coming-of-age film.. of a knife.

    "Absolutely fantastic - sharp account!"

    "It cuts to the chase like that!" *snaps fingers*

    "Enna.. katthi patthi kadhaiya?"

  17. ^^
    This looked really epic and snazzy when I typed it before any one else had commented.
    Now it just doesn't seem as awesome as I had thought it to be :|

  18. Abhistu Srinidhi...thanni adichitu enna pannarom ne therila.

    Aiyyo.. Now maami has to read Sundaragandam 3 times in a row to reverse this paavam.

  19. chutney, naan un kooda kaa vidalamnu irukken. but since i think you will happily give another kaa, i dont know what to do. writing style and all is nice as always, but i dont feel good after reading it! :-(

  20. ah, nice use of non-linear narrative (reminds me of pulp fiction). i like the use of dark humour... its just enough to make one laugh and yet stop short of evaluating maami's belief system.
    You are a natural story teller. You think accounting is the right profession for you?

  21. Super! You should put like button on your blog for people like me. No words to express appreciation, like will do!

  22. Hehe nice one :) SOmething tells me to expect a kickass part 2 :P

    PS: been sly-reading ur blog for a while now.. and as is the custom, here goes - #shamelessblogplug pliss to be visiting :D

  23. Ayyo.. abachaaram abachaaram

  24. Good that she has not vomited that night, that shows she is 19.May be after drinking payasam she will vomit!!!
    A knife is a knife is a knife!

  25. OMG!! :--) Enna personal experience-o :--D


  26. The Curious case of the (Chicken) Cutting knife!!!!

  27. For God's sake, don't release a sequel and spoil the spirit.. The story is so good passing commentary on so many things.. If this is the way the present generation is moving, I shudder to think about a future bereft of diversity of culture..

  28. Very subtle, very real and the contrast was nice delicate. I quite like it.

  29. nice

    but the servers speak like they're educated teenagers. maybe that is what you intended

  30. You are indeed a very good story-teller, CC !!! I just liked the way you've written the second half.

    Chennaite ???? Me too !!!! :)

  31. A simple story with a wonderful narration.... mmmm soundds good ... How come the girl didnt have a hangover...!!

  32. With WA on this. How can someone walk out with a knife! That too big enough to cut meat. But nice irony captured there.

  33. @codsmastercool it was awesome....
    @chutney bday girl hid the knife in her larger than life handbag, didn she :P... i like the story... :)

  34. Hahaha! I don't care how the girl took the knife out without attracting notice or other such stupid logical questions. Such deliciousirony! Chicken knife labelled as pure because it wasn't used on onions. Too much.
    BTW, based on real life? :P

  35. ROFL !!!

    Awsome lady !! This is what I was waiting for ... :) .. 100% Pure and Genuine Lavanya :).. Keep it up !!

  36. making pun of it nice one. Logic missing in taking knife out of pub..and chicken 65,,nothing beyond can be thought off

  37. ur birthday was a month back right :P

  38. Nice.. U just wanna say about the knife which cuts very well, whether it is jaggery or chicken or humans . Good.

  39. Super fun. Ooohh the yumminess of knowing what we know as readers and what the characters don't. Nicely done!

  40. And as someone who's been a drunk & 19, it's very possible to steal a knife from a restaurant...

  41. I remember someone else going straight to sleep :P

  42. Hey, recently started following your blog :) Love it! :D Keep writing often and i'll keep visiting! :)

  43. looong wait for this post but worth it i say!

  44. Hey, very nice story... really!

  45. Hey,
    Iyer aathula meen pidikaradha??? Adhutthu eppo??? :P


  46. That was a great build (loved 'eii, redbull') up to a ok ending, more punch, more horrifying things should have happened like chicken in the neivedyam etc...

  47. first time here..
    What struck me was if there is a lot of reality attached to this story, there wont be anyone left to enjoy this satire in about 2 decades..since they wouldnt know what 'thaligai'or 'naivedyam' means.
    are iyengars becoming extinct ? Or will the double standards continue ?

  48. andha meen pidikara karandi,, illai, kozhi vettara kathhi yaarkitta irukku...I am suddenly reminded of MMKR. BTW, are you sure this Shrinidhi isn't really you?:D

  49. perhaps you must think of writing MMKR part 2 sooner than later. Either way your popularity will take your story to Kamal Hassan.

  50. "Nothing. It just cuts so well." - Nice ending.

    Konnuteal pongo.

  51. To those who ask why did the girl walk away with the knife--
    Ever heard of some one taking something with them as a memento for a "memorable" evening.

  52. Kokkara Ko Ko!

    Paavam andha kozhi!! :(

  53. Knives cut deep, words cut deeper. You'vemjust proved it :) Nice one!

  54. Its a reality though people may try to put it under the carpet. Worth read for parents

  55. @WA, Gradwolf: Allow me to get all Sherlock Holmes-y.

    Just coz it's used to cut meat, doesn't mean that the knife has to big and blocky like a chef's/butcher's knife! (Why would someone use a big ass knife to cut cake?) Since it is used to cut meat, it can't be a bread knife or a boning knife. Therefore, it has to be a carving knife or a utility knife - the latter more likely - like this one, for example -

    (Notice the serrations & black handle. :D)

    And I've seen girls walk out with all sorts of souvenirs in their handbags (martini glasses, for instance.) A knife in the bag wouldn't be surprising.

  56. Indha kaalathula entha ponnayum nambave mudila baa

  57. Don't know if I should comment on this blog to say this, but consider this as an act of affection.

    The post is bad. Don't stroll into the pseudo-secular, atheistic, and other non-sensical territory. Somehow I think, you are not that type.

    Krish Ashok is there for all that.

    Of course, at the end of the day, you're going to tell me its your choice and all that, but I don't have to argue against that.


  58. What a like most about your blog - the writing style.

    A nice post!

    :P How ghastly it would be for the maami to find out the knife that never cut onions was used for cutting meat before... What if the drunk daughter did not even wash it??! Scandalous! :P

    I am liking this post. I like subtle humor more than the very in-your-face kind! And especially if there is irony! :)

    And yes, all posts should have a LIKE button :)

  59. Oh my god lol!!!! Awesome come back post!! I totally adore the way you write!! :) :)

  60. Good one dude!! That was an awesome read.
    New template looks enticing too ;)


  61. ippidi kooda ezhutha theriyuma.. paravala..

  62. wow tat was one helluva comeback from the i-dunno-wat-to-blog-about chutney :) totally abrupt ending though.. looks like part 2 is in the offing eh?;)hmmm wat label would this come under?harsh reality,pointless musings,irony ? all seem equally possible ;)

  63. I got this one! :) And frankly to say.. Relieved to read an actual Chutney post! :P You're back! :)

  64. Gradwolf - My mishtake. I thought this was some nice chamathu girl who might have picked up the knife accidentally and hence I was saying it is impossible. But now that you've made it clear, if she has purposefully taken it, of course it is possible :)

    Chutney - Me also thinks that the eee adichaan copy incident has made you very very popular, orre the new commenters only nowadays

  65. conversations are a good style.

    another style is describing things and staying in the moment leisurely, something like arundhati describing pothholes or tarantino making glorious bastards where that german will just not go from the villagers house.


  66. hey!! awesome.. nice touch of kannada.. and that is exactlyhow a 19 year drunk girl wud have sounded.. u're good mr. chutney!!

  67. Good story. I like the dark humorous undercurrent.

    Sadly, what some Indian authors seem to forget is that not everyone is familiar with the Tamil (or whatever other language you are using) words, phrases or festivals. If this was intended to be read by Tamilians (or whatever region you hail from or the people in the story hail from), then it's fine. It's like a nice little internal joke between you and your community. However, if you intended this to be read and enjoyed by everyone, you have sort of failed miserably. The wit that I am sure is present in the story goes bland when if one doesn't understand every word of every sentence.

    Sorry for the curtness.

  68. Being your ardent fan, thought you ought to know about this -


  69. This post reminded me of quite a few things that I like a lot. For one, your old old style of writing, the sensational-for-many-reasons post Deviance, and also the fact that it had a tiny tinge of Asal Tamizh Penn's style somewhere in it.

    IMHO, one of your loveliest posts in the recent pasts. :)

  70. This is the first time I have visited this blog. And I spent quite a lot of time going through many of your posts. Superb writing style! Nice narration! Keep it up.

  71. @ Gurdit, the point about literature is that its reach is restricted by language. Notwithstanding that, it does not prevent people from writing in tamil, malayalam, gujarat, telugu, bangla, hindi, english or any other language...
    I would go to the extent of saying that chutney's post was an internal joke between her and people who know tamil and tamil culture in the same way as Wodehouse's writings are internal jokes between Wodehouse and those who understood English and English culture... We learn and understand English and English culture to enjoy Wodehouse. What stops people from knowing and understanding tamil and tamil culture?
    For people like us who live far away from our native, to hear or read even a saadha word like mokkai makes us smile and think bout home...
    Chutney, nee ipdiye ezhudhu, unakku access to other rasigars venumna translators appoint pannidalam..

  72. thanks everyone :)

    ungalukku special thanks :)

  73. Super kick ass!! I mean super! Randomly came across this page!

  74. Stumbled upon your chutneycase by accident...
    Nice one... :)

  75. this one is awesome!!! am jus waiting for more of ur writings chutney...

  76. Its okay. Expected much more.

  77. This new template is nice.
    But no new updates?

    - Sid

  78. I would simply comment by saying coconut chutney with aachi chicken masala!

  79. nice! could understand your feelings! i would term this article as "non-veggies from a veggies eye"

    india is in need of non-veggies.. we no more need to eat veg, become soft and vulnerable for foreign invasions..

    eat non veg, grow tough, be brave and bold is the need of an hour for every indian :)

    know the hard reality

  80. This reminds me of a short story series which was aired on Doordarshan... called Darpan!

    Brilliant way of telling stories..

  81. @Badri

    Believe me when I say I know what you mean when you say that even a single word makes you smile. But in her earlier posts, chutney had a habit of providing translations at the end of her posts.

    Which actually helped me get to know a bit of Tamil. Very rudimentary but ever since I started reading her blog, I have wanted to learn Tamil. But it is easier said than done. I barely get time to be able to take care of my daily stuff ( being in college is a bitch). So to say that we should learn Tamil, just to get the in-jokes, not very nice.

    Her translations helped pique my interest in Tamil and I was learning random Tamil words.

    Sadly, for some unknown reason, she has stopped providing translations and the experience of reading her blog posts has been poorer for it.

    Still fun, nevertheless.

    Oh and since I am commenting for the first time, Awesome writing CC. Really fun to read. :)

  82. The chef conversations were funny. Creative.

  83. My god... Awesome..:) This is what is happening in my office too... I was about to write on the same.. Kewl u took it up.... A gal actually thinks a long to say Naamakatti.. don know why she did that.. But the community is becoming worst.. god shud help..

  84. hey u r AWESOME!!

  85. like all ur blogs, hope u get thru CA, it is quite tough, that is why i di a D;Sc from paris univesity in phys(of course i had to learn french but it is easier than ca!!if u have time pl visit
    and buy my book- earnings go to eye hospital in chennai; i live in paris adn we do make cocunut chutney nad slo peerkangai thohayal(my wife made it)...suryanarayanan, paris

  86. Thaaru Maaru :)

    "I know customers can be assholes sometimes Kural, and I have thought about it myself a few times too, but murder is simply not the answer."

    Ultimate !!!


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