V – Vegetable Cutter and The Aunt
JayPrakash Uncle returns home from office to find his living room occupied – in every sense of the word!
The Aunt is sitting cross-legged on the armchair with an intent look on her face. Both boys are on the sofa, chin on palm, watching the proceedings in front of them with great interest.
And on the floor of the living room is seated a young man in a tie. All around him, on spread-out newspapers, are various types of vegetables in varied sizes and shapes. The man is holding a little machine in his left hand and is busy turning a lever with his right.
Clearly a hand-operated vegetable-cutter demo is in progress.
“See Madam; there’s nothing to it. Actually very simple.” the man says as he inserts a cabbage piece into a slot, turns the lever and hey presto – out comes the cabbage in thin even slices.
“It’s so easy,” continued the man “even Sir can do it!” This with an ingratiating smile thrown at Sir.
“Ooooh!” says Raju impressed. Not with the magic machine in front of him, but with the thought of his dad churning out vegetable pieces by the dozen.
“Let me try it” says The Aunt. The man sets the thing up for her and she proceeds to operate the cutter with unsatisfactory results.
“It’s Okay Ma’am,” says the smooth talking salesman. “It’s good for a beginner. You’ll get it with practice.”
“You’ll get it with practice indeed! The Uncle mutters. “As if this is a car….!”
“Ahem…” he says to The Aunt. “Are you thinking of buying this thing?”
“Yes.” says The Aunt. “Life in the kitchen will get simpler for me, hopefully. Look how easily he’s doing it.”
“Exactly.” agrees The Uncle. “he’s doing it. He’ll leave after you buy it. Then you’ll be doing it. Remember the roti maker???”
The Aunt gives a guilty start.
The Uncle continues, “After the salesman left, not a single roti turned out good!”
“Oooh yes,” says Raju with a shudder. “We ate rotis for two days after that.”
“In different shades” adds Raghu reminiscently. “Off-white, pale brown, black….!”
“Ma’am, this is not like that.” interrupts the man in tie. “This is really good. I already sold 3 pieces in the next building.”
Now Ma’am is convinced. The deal is closed. The man leaves – tie and all. And The Aunt is now the proud owner of a brand new vegetable cutter.
Next day 5.00 P.M.
JP Uncle back home from office, is surprised to see the front door open and the wife sitting on a stool just inside. One son is stationed at the window, the other is in the balcony.
“What’s going on?” asks The Uncle. Nobody replies.
“Watch out.” shouts Raju from the window. “He’s just coming out of the front building!”
“He’s entering ours!” yells Raghu from the balcony.
The Aunt swings into action. She heaves a box next to her and charges out of the door. The boys follow. JP Uncle gapes after them.
Raju stops briefly to explain. “Amma says the vegetable cutter is useless. She’s been trying and trying whole morning. We’re going to tell that salesman so!”
He rushes out not wanting to ṁiss out on the excitement.
The Uncle shrugs. There’s nobody to listen to his “I told you so..…!”
He looks around. There are cabbage shreds on the floor, on the table, on the kitchen counter. A couple of pieces are stuck to the TV screen.
Raju charges back in with a message for The Uncle.
“Amma said to say she’ll be gone awhile. If you’re hungry there’s cabbage soup, cabbage parathas, cabbage pakodas, and cabbage salad.”
He charges back out again brushing off small cabbage shreds from his shirt.
x —————————————– x
This is the 21st in the series The Adventures of the JP Family as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge 2019.
Alphabet Illustration – Sudarshan Rao