It was time for dinner. It was also, she knew, time for some theatrics.
She took dish after dish from the kitchen to the dining table. Today, they all looked similar. The spread was leafy today. Lately, she had been reading up on the finer aspects of leafy vegetables in cooking. Her household complained but she had decided to go green.
The leafy vegetables adorned her dining table. She took a moment to take in all the greenery hoping that it would all be consumed. The man of the house strolled in, navigation compromised by the newspaper in front of him. But she knew she need not bother. He knew his way around the house. He had built it after all.
He expertly halted at the table, rustled the paper down and looked at his dinner. For some reason, the special china had been laid out. But it was all green, no trace of the ceramic white the china came in.
“Why does my dinner look like a garden”, he growled.
The other man of the house meanwhile was gazing into the mirror in his room. He was trying out different styles, various angles. The funky light at the salon mixed colors up, making it difficult to ascertain the exact shade. The dull, uncompromising light of the tube light above him cleared things up. Not exactly what he was after, he thought, but this would do. At least until the novelty dies out.
He too, like his father, rustled things up a bit before striding out of the room. The confidence he was exhibiting was not entirely genuine. But he had to portray some assurance for the storm that lay ahead.
Taking a seat and a look around the table, he asked, “Who is dying here? What is this grass you have cooked for me”?
The man in front of him had been eating in a sullen silence. He was finding it hard to chew the blandness down his throat. His taste buds were crying foul, they attempted to throw some of the vegetation back, but he kept gulping water to wash them down.
All of this, however, came to a sudden stop at the sight of his progeny. He choked on his leaves, making his wife immediately thump his head down to settle him.
But settled he wasn’t. Too shocked for words, he gaped at his son who averted his gaze. He looked to his wife for an explanation but she had her head down over the foliage on her plate, chomping away to health and better skin. Was that a faint smile he saw on her face? The nerve of the woman! To feed him fodder and then smirk behind his back?
“Has your son gone completely crazy? What is that thing he has on his head, seaweed?”
The wife looked up at her son’s hair and gave a mild shrug.
“What is the meaning of all this? Are you trying to tell me something? First, it’s these plants you have me eat, and then your son comes before me with that green pigment on his head? What is going on here?”
The boy who hadn’t touched a thing on the table was ready for this.
“Ma, tell him its a form of expression. I’m expressing myself”.
The father let out a thick “Bah!” watering the plants with his disgust and spit.
He grumbled under his breath and stormed out of the room. Once he got there, he realized he had left his beloved newspaper behind. He charged back to the table to retrieve it. His family was giggling amongst themselves. The woman was taking a picture with her son, what they call a selfie nowadays. She even was pointing to her son’s green-tinged hair. They quietened instantly on seeing him.
“Shameless, you people”!
Marching back, he tried to concentrate on the paper. Eco-system, going green, environmental crap. He threw the paper away in distaste.
He decided to go out for a ride. Away from this damned greenhouse. Letting the lungi drop, he searched around for some underwear in his wardrobe. There wasn’t any.
He shouted out to his wife, “Get me some clean underwear!”
She came dutifully enough and unfurled a piece of crumpled fresh underwear.
“You woman, is this a joke to you?”
“This is the only clean one I have right now”.
Clean and fresh as the plants he had just eaten, and glowing like an emerald, bright green underwear winked up at him, completing his circle of misery.
Write Club Hyderabad – VIBGYOR – 7th October 2017.