The scorching sun rays hit the back of my cool skin. Hanging from the barbed wires of Ram’s farm, I could feel the stretch already. I have been hanging here since ages now. The days dissolve into the cool nights and the orange hot ball comes up again. The squirrels particularly are chirpy and give me some reassurance that there is someone whose life is more meaningless than mine and well mine is just hanging in this wind which bashes against my cool curvy body.
After what seemed like an eternity, I fell down on the dusty ground beside the green bush. All ripe and ready to be served on the plate. I want to go to the big hotel with that big white hat chef to slice me real nice. I don’t want to be like my neighbor who ended up with the cycle puller on the dusty village roads as a munchy with masala. I am good enough for those porcelain white plates from the crystal clear bowls dressed in some white mayonnaise sauce and a sprinkle of salt. The desires of life are endless!
But wait!Ram is selling me to the restaurant owner of the nearby town. He runs the office mess too. That doesn’t make me happy but then what choice does a cucumber have? In his old dingy van I started my first journey as a free bird on the crooked road down the farm. Ram took good care of me but he could have sold me to a better dealer. Life!
The restaurant owner dumped me in his kitchen and informed the old murky cook about the refill of vegetables. Lying on the floor with the other cucumbers of my farm, we felt disgusted with the sooty floor of the kitchen, it smelled of an oily mop which must have been used hundreds of times on the same floor without cleaning.
The next day, a middle aged boy sliced me in half and cut me down to cubicles and sprinkled salt on me and showered me with lemon juice. After a rather shaky time in the deep container he put me aside. Apparently the room upstairs wanted a serving of round cucumbers. I am always intrigued by the human mind, whether you slice me up in cubes or rounds, I taste the same, I mean really!
The same boy decorated me in a small plate and took me upstairs to the room where a slim beautiful girl greeted him with a smile. She lifted some parts of me and i thought finally, some one nice will consume me. To my horror, she put me on her eyes and went to sleep. Here I was lying on some face as a cooling agent. The purpose of my life was to be consumed not to be used. But what can a cucumber say? She threw me away in the dustbin after 20 mins.
The other part of my life lies in that kitchen. The old man picked me up and put me across 3 different plates beside chicken, mutton and some gajar halwa. I was in a better place here.
The boy handed over the plates to the hungry customers. While in a hurry some of them kept dropping droplets of chicken curry over me. One of them did finish me off and fulfilled my karma. The rest of them spilled halwa and water over me. The tangy lemon juice got washed over and I was all soggy.
After what felt like infinite amount of time, the boy picked the plates up and popped me in his mouth. He threw away the spilled over chicken curry over me in the big stingy dustbin.
We have all sorts of expectations from life and what we think and we get are poles apart for almost all of us. The best in life for us is just a perspective. Maybe the best is what happened to us and what is about to happen. I don’t know what my life would have been if it was in a big hotel, maybe they would have never used me and I would be rotting somewhere until they tossed me away in the corner of a garbage truck. Life is uncertain but it is full of adventures that you don’t want to know in advance, it sucks the fun out of it, doesn’t it?
If you don’t use me and leave it on the ground, my seeds take over my pulp and burst out inside the ground and give rise to other plants. But was that my karma? No. Our life is nothing but struggles and fight to acquire a little more land, a little more wealth and a little more happiness which is dependent on the little of other things. I am not saying its wrong, but it is an endless spiral of nothing. I could be a juice, a salad, a beauty treatment, a raita, but can I be all?
Happiness is ethereal.
The above story is inspired by a discussion with my dean Mr.Tapan Panda. It is his idea and his perspective, I have merely weaved them into a humble account.