Fiction Fragment: All about Broccoli

What is one to do when vegetables lose their character. She was prepared for the bigness of everything before moving to the US. She’d seen enough documentaries on everything being supersized and on strange gun laws. But for vegetables to be so obscenely large, and so strangely tasteless. Not that she even liked cooking too much. But she was jobless, married and alone for over twelve hours a day.

But she’s a brave woman. She tries anything once. Even strange looking things like this green mess. Forty minutes of adding random masalas, lots of red chilli powder, she seems to have won.

It finally doesn’t taste like broccoli is supposed to. Perhaps she could do this after all. Forget years of hunching over her desk to do homework, and get a first class degree. Women seemed to do it all over the planet.

He comes home, after the evening is over. He wants his dinner. But he’s a good man. He doesn’t make demands, he only has expectations. He asks her what she’s made, unable to sniff the menu out like usual. BRO-KO-LIE she says, glowing with the knowledge that she’s a step closer to being a good settled-in-the-US wife. He laughs. Very loudly. He loves her. He steps closer and says, “It’s not BRO-KO-LIE di, it’s BROCK-uh-LEE. You are so simple.”. Oh, he loves her. Loves her simplicity.

She adds salt to the food, two fat tear drops, falling in quick succession. And mentally searches for the Tamil equivalent of the word asshole.

15 Comments

Filed under Photographs, Poetry and Fiction

15 Responses to Fiction Fragment: All about Broccoli

  1. He doesn’t make demands, he only has expectations – ah, men!

    love the way you give enough room to your readers to imagine what happened in between :)

  2. Sneha

    Oh she must learn about the power of domestic violence. Even a gentle ladle knock on his head would’ve fought the tears, conveyed the point AND made her feel better.

  3. i decided then and there that i’m going to make him proud of me.

    i would talk to ronita who stayed a few blocks away. who also was alone at home through the day. ronita is a woman who had answers for everything. and ronita also smoked and drank…

    i could ask her to come over. or better still, go over to her place as ofen as i can. i could learn the names of all the things that i had only read about in books and magazines. i could even learn how to pronounce them correctly.

    ronita also always seemed so keen on getting to know me better. knowing my likes and dislikes – colors, clothes, films, music. she liked talking about her days in kolkata. and about her special friend, tulika, who she was still attached to more than her hubby. and she said that i reminded her so much of tulika. i felt a warm glow within me when she first said it.

    yes, i am going to get to know her much better now. and i am sure hubby dear will be very proud of me :-)

  4. wa

    Liked the part about he doesn’t have demands but only expectations :)

  5. Broccoli . . . brings back memories, the crunch cannot be lost so easily, can it?

  6. Kumarraja AK

    its a good view on how simple acts hurts a person, but would there be something like the same, a woman might say, that could make a guy feel bad? may be if someone comes across such a thing please do publish it
    (note:its feel bad, not “hurt”, because guys cant get hurt, its not in a guys nature to be ever hurt and its impossible)

  7. You capture her angst beautifully.
    Awesome (as usual)

  8. “She adds salt to the food, two fat tear drops, falling in quick succession. And mentally searches for the Tamil equivalent of the word asshole.”…..LOVELY!

  9. Expectations. That word gives me the shivers!

    Good one, though am wondering why you chose broccoli. :)

  10. impressed

    The story just compelled me to comment. How can u so perfectly capture a life that you havent led…

    Fast Fwd 5 yrs- the simple girl from India who quit her job for marriage by her free will has found a job in the US and has discovered herself as well. She never knew she was so ambitious. He just went with the flow in india from school to college to a direct placement in a good company. The only times she stayed at home for extended periods was for summer vacations so she never got a chance to introspect. Back then, she just envied the glowing skin of people who werent working and got up late. So when she met her husband, she jumped at the idea of being a home maker. But now there is nothing absolutely nothing that will make her go back to 12 hrs days at home experimenting in the kitchen. And she is never tells a home maker in a condescending manner how lucky they are and she can only wish to be in there shoes.

    And now the harmless, not meant to hurt things such as when she isnt pronouncing something right dont hurt any more- infact they laugh at them together!

  11. Beksandro

    haha…almost my life captured to a T.

  12. km

    Great comic timing.

  13. I love the ‘di’. Yes, yes, what a sophisticated guy :)

  14. Laksh

    What *is* the Tamil equivalent of the word asshole?

    I’d love to know. :)

  15. I wonder if stories must have an “end”. :)