Monday, April 18, 2011

A Prison Full of Tomatoes

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Boy who loved tomatoes. Fondness of food ain’t a human novelty but not everyone falls for a tomato. In fact, Boy took a shine at a very young age and grew up stealing them from kitchen, if urge demanded. However, he remained a fidel for a long time ahead. But fate believes in surprises. And how!

And before Boy could realize his penchant for slipping tomatoes, he had become an infamous klepto. And before he could fathom the extent of his kleptomania, he found himself in a crowded prison on charges of theft. And before he could do anything about anything, the jewels he burgled from a local store proved costly.

No one likes crowded place, and least of all, prisons. Not only are convicts struggling for oxygen and privacy, they are also stuck with each other’s incivility. Hygiene is a far-stretched idea in such banal existence. You are no more you. Personal identity is reduced to numbers and the days spent enclosed. Individuality suffers the loudest. Conclusion: Life in a prison sucks big time.

Boy often reminisced his school days and how promising he could have been had he made better decisions. He realized how everything has transformed right in front of his nose except for one thing – his appetite for tomatoes. He still craved that plump red piece of nature like anything. He thought life is not THAT bad. At least he thought so.

It seemed the prison authorities loved tomato more than Boy ever did. The reason being they employed the vegetable in almost all the meals they cooked and served. One might have called it a culinary potpourri of La Tomatina minus the funfare. Needless to say, Boy wasn’t complaining. He relished whatever the prison was dumping on his plate. He never displayed a smug face unlike his fellow prisoners. He never sulked at the excesses of tomatoes or at the apparent lack of choice. He was content with tomatoes and vice versa. Just like he thought, life is not THAT bad.

Well, that was about to change.

As time passed on, he was growing tired of loneliness. The ironical element couldn’t escape the presence of loneliness in a place full of people confined against their wish. He started missing his folks back home who hardly paid him a visit. Sleep was the toughest part. Nightmares were longer than the minutes he kept his eyes shut. Memories of carefree days kept replaying in his insomniac mind. Ergo, prison was growing on him.

Out of sudden, he found tomatoes repellent. Maybe it didn’t happen overnight but he surely got a hang of his co-prisoners’ opinions about prison food. His intense liking for it was now replaced by deep abhorrence. At least, others, despite their daily cussing against slammer order, ate what was laid in front of them on the table. Boy couldn’t. He blamed tomatoes all his misery. At last, he found a scapegoat who was responsible in making him what he was today. And it was rather impossible for him to consume his enemy.


Imagination said...

Hmmmm... quite an interesting story. U shouldn't have labelled it under 'meaningless'.
I guess, the abhorrence towards Tomatoes which played such a significant role in boy's life would be of temporary nature. Its like if somebody liked living by breaking norms and trying something new all the time but if that doesn't pay immediately then that person tends to dislike those very ideals and beliefs but all that is for temporary nature... One just to need to cling to those ideals at that very point.

Shakti_Shetty said...

Well said! :) Thanks.

Decht said...

He refuses to blame himself and blames innocent tomatoes. Human nature inspires me only one word = LOL.

Shakti_Shetty said...


Conclusion: In the battle between Hahahaha and LOL, Hahahaha won. :D

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Cant believe its fiction though , or that its amazing insight into life:) Many of us can draw a parallel to this, though not with tomatoes and prison:)

Shakti_Shetty said...

:) .. it's fiction, yes.

Thanks for your time.

FAROOQ said...

parallels may b drawn to our life.. where we blame something or d oder fr all d miseries. good dat d boy atleast blames it on d tomatoes" :)

Shakti_Shetty said...

Exactly. :)

Aquatic Static said...

Agree with Imagination: not meaningless at all.
Very nicely written.
(Also, nice to see you react to comments here as opposed to Twitter ;D)