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.