The Strike of the Spud

The Strike of the Spud

Silence reigned in the kitchen. The vegetables huddled together in a hurried conference. The onions smirked on their shelf. The potatoes sat huffed up on the shelf below. If they had arms, they would have surely been crossed over their brown bosoms. 

The potatoes had dropped a bombshell in the kitchen. The rest of the vegetables were still reeling from the news.

“We’re going on a strike,” informed the petulant potatoes.

The tomatoes, compliant and easy going, couldn’t bear the note of discord thrown by the potatoes. They squeaked from the cool confines of the veggie basket of the fridge,

“Why? What happened?”

“Nobody loves us anymore,” pat came the reply.

Shocked by this assumption on the part of the potatoes, the tomatoes rushed to convince and commiserate,

“Hai, why do you feel like that? You’re must in every kitchen. Without you curries will lose their defining dual identity. Aaloo-baigan, aaloo-gobhi, aaloo-matar… You’re the omnipresent friend of the vegetable kingdom, like Veeru to Jai or Circuit to Munna Bhai.”

The peevish potatoes snapped, “That there exactly is the point. I’m the quintessential friend, always the wingman, never the lead. I’ve humbly lost myself in the dish to let the dish shine, always. There was a time when humans would not do without me. But now with the advent of all this health consciousness, they all have taken to banishing me from their kitchens. Potatoes are the villain now. All the love’s for broccoli.” 

A teardrop slid down the green facade of one of the potatoes, the aftereffect of having been forgotten on the shelf for some time. “It hurts our sentiments. Adored once, reviled now,” another grumpy potato pouted.

The onion, guffawed loudly. “So you’re saying your feelings have been hurt. At least you get to keep your identity in the dish. Look at me! Ground sometimes or chopped so finely, you can’t even find traces of me in a dish.”

“Don’t you bring yourself into this story. Always tagging along! It’s hard to go anywhere without your pungent presence bringing tears of irritation to my eyes. You’re one to talk when you’ve brought down governments. Who among us can boast of that?”

The tomatoes thought of trumpeting their name but stopped in time. The peas muttered from the freezer for the first time, “Why do you say you aren’t the star of any dish? Think of the scrumptious samosa or the velvety vada. Where would these be without you? You’re an essential part of any kitchen. All the health talk goes out of the window, when you arrive in the form of crisp chips.”

“Each one of us has its own importance in a dish. When we all come together, at the right time in the right amount, magic happens.” 

The potatoes smiled, peeved no longer. 

Humans worshipped chips, however unhealthy, like manna from the heavens. So the potatoes weren’t being banished. They were just reinventing themselves in the big corporate kitchens.

Long live chips and long live potatoes.

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