Harikesa das: I had been cooking for Prabhupada for a long time, but I really had a hard time making chapatis because we were always in places where there were no proper stoves. To make a good chapati you need a gas stove at least or coals, and here we are in Mauritius and I’m cooking in a closet on a one-burner electric stove that didn’t even have enough power to boil water and I have to make a full meal that he likes up to his standards. So Prabhupada was complaining and complaining about the chapatis and I said, “I can’t get any wheat, I don’t have any stove, it is impossible.” This was going on many times in many places, just having to cook in the worst facilities you can imagine.
So finally we get to Bombay and there are good facilities and there is good wheat, Prabhupada knows it. However, the gas stove I had had such a low pressure there was only maybe a little flame like this. So I had made chapatis, and they didn’t blow up all the way. I was really trying my best. So then Prabhupada tells me, “You are so useless. Big, big brain, you can’t even make a chapati.” I had been struggling with those chapatis for months now, and I was so fried with hearing about chapatis. I said, “Prabhupada, no one can make a good chapati in that kitchen.” Prabhupada said, “No one?” I said, “No one.” He said, “Get out of my way.” He stood up, he marched into the kitchen with me following behind him. He sits on the floor. He says, “Give me the dough.” He was making with the dough, rolls his chapati, puts it on the burner, takes it off the burner. And I’m just sitting there very peacefully, waiting for the outcome. And he’s looking at me, and then he puts the chapati on the flame, turns it over, it doesn’t blow up. I thought, “I got him now. He’s never going to get on my case about that chapati again.” Prabhupada looks at me like he’s going to burn me to ashes. He’s making with the dough, rolls his chapati, puts it on the burner, takes it off the burner, puts it on the flame, it blows up perfectly. He picks it up with the tweezers and throws it right in my face. It bounces off my nose. He stands up and walks out of the kitchen, and I’m sitting there. It was really funny. We had that kind of relationship sometimes.