When we last met our intrepid boy wizard Stoppgappi, he had just become the proud owner of a bagful of diamonds, though technically his trusted maid Diana should have been their rightful owner, as she is the one who had entered the loin’s den and rescued him from Mona Darling’s evil trap, but since he anyways handed over the bag of jewels to Diana to take care of their regular household expenses, it doesn’t really matter (See: https://jagahdilmein.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/paapi-peyt-ka-sawaal-hai-part-3-in-which-diana-saves-the-loin-i-mean-the-lion/).
And now, Gappi was living a peaceful existence, since his ration of 200 aaloo paranthas (heavenly, and heavy, Indian bread filled with potatoes, and cooked in tonnes of desi ghee, or clarified butter) per day was no longer under threat. Little did he know that the next storm that threatened this bliss would arise due to another diamond. But I’m going ahead of myself here, let me start from the beginning of that fateful day, when all was hunky and all was nemo…I mean dory.
Gappi had just finished his breakfast and was now attacking his post-breakfast bucket of chhaachh (buttermilk, a traditional Indian digestive drink made out of curd and water) with his usual gusto when the doorbell rang….and kept on ringing for the next three minutes.
Gappi’s face was in the bucket of chhaach, and anyways, he was the master of the house, it was his maid Diana’s job to open the door. Unfortunately, Diana was busy preparing a second bucket of chhaachh for her master, to help him digest the contents of the first bucket.
But whoever was on the door just would not take the hint, and kept on ringing the bell incessantly. This led to a rather unfortunate sequence of events, for the bell-ringer that is:
- Gappi finally polished off the first bucket, lifted it, turned it upside down, aimed it at his mouth, and drank the final few drops of the drink. He was a firm believer of the adage- Waste Not Want Not. He then calmly walked up to the door, and opened it.
- Diana finally finished preparing the second bucket, lifted it, turned it sideways, aimed it at the front door, and threw it with all her super-daayan strength at whoever was on the door, troubling her so early in the morning, when she was preparing breakfast for her Stoppu Baba.
Gappi’s timing met Diana’s accurate aim, and lo and behold, they found a man in white (since he was drenched in chhaachh from head to toe, and little could be seen of him beneath it) standing outside the door, shivering with fright, or possibly, cold, for the bucket also contained two big bowls of ice.
Diana immediately realized that she should not have let her anger overpower her natural prudence, and apologizing profusely, she led him into the bathroom, placed him under the shower and turned it on. And suddenly, the man screamed as if he’d jumped into a burning volcano, or in this case, a burning volcano had jumped over him, and it was then that Diana realized another thing- The water in the geyser was set at 500 degrees centigrade, as that is the normal temperature at which daayans like to take a bath! (For, you see, Diana was a daayan, or demon, in disguise. See: https://jagahdilmein.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/the-wizard-his-maid-in-which-we-are-first-introduced-to-stoppgappi-diana/)
So she quickly jumped and went to the fridge, dragging the man along with her, bundled him up tight, and stuffed him into the freezer to cool him down before the hot water could do any more damage to him.
She waited for what she thought was a suitable period, i.e. one hour, and then opened the door of the freezer. The man had cooled down all right, though she was only guessing that from the layer of two-inch thick ice that had formed around his entire body.
She panicked slightly then, although she would bash my head in if I ever said it in her presence, and did what she always did when she wanted to break ice into smaller pieces- She got a large hammer, and was just about to hit the man with great force to break the ice (literally) when she froze in mid-action, unable to move even an inch.
It was her master Gappi, of course, who had finally decided to intervene in order to save the poor man’s life, and had hence used the STATUE spell on Diana.
He then took out his magic wand, and gently passed it over the frozen body of the man, and within seconds, all the ice had melted away, and the man was as good as new. It was then that they realized that the man who had entered their house as a Man in White, was actually a Man in Black, for his face was jet-black, not because of his genes, but because of a thick layer of soot that had not been washed off even with Diana’s shenanigans.
The man now sat on the sofa, sipping on a hot cup of tea that Diana had handed over to him as a peace offering, and started narrating his story. He said, “My name is Vikramaditya Chauhan, although everyone calls me Kallu Lala because I am a coal distributor, and as result of dabbling in coal throughout my life, I have this thick layer of soot on my body, which is permanent. But that is not what I am here about. I’ve come to ask for your help in recovering my diamond.”
Gappi was shocked upon hearing this, and couldn’t help asking, “But you’re a coal merchant, how did you come to have a diamond in your possession?” Kallu Lala replied, “Don’t you know what Henry said?” Gappi was confused, who was this new guy who’d entered the already complicated situation? Could he be the thief who’d stolen this man’s diamond?
But he did not want to appear clueless in front of a potential client, and so casually replied, “I know, but Diana doesn’t. So why don’t you tell her what Henry said.” Kallu Lala said, “Henry Kissinger said- A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure. I have loads of coal, and loads of pressure, so why are you surprised that I have, or rather, had a diamond in my possession?”
Gappi really had no comeback to that impeccable logic, and so asked, “If your diamond has been stolen, why have you come to me instead of going to the police?” Kallu Lala’s face fell, and he replied in a low voice, “Because the thief’s name is Chameli, and she’s my only daughter!”
Why has Chameli, the shehzaadi (princess) of Kallu Lala, stolen his prized diamond? Will Gappi be able to recover the diamond from her, or will she prove to be too slippery a customer for even his legendary abilities? To stop these questions from stealing away your sleep and mental peace, keep your eyes wide open for the next part of The Incorrigible Thief.