Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Scent of Green Tomatoes

Today, for some strange reason, I can smell the pungent, sour, scent of tomato plants and green, unripe tomatoes. Every autumn (In the eastern parts of India, tomatoes grow in winter and not summer), my parents (both amateur gardeners but deep enthusiasts) would plant row after row of tomatoes. Every year my father would hope for a bumper crop, and my parents would enthusiastically envision bottle after bottle of ketchup, pickles and preserves. Almost every year, our kitchen garden would be ravaged by goats and my parents would be tomato-less and forlorn.

Sometimes when the tomato plants managed to escape the goats' attention, we would have small, red tomatoes that mother would use in chutneys, salads or we would just munch them raw with salt. My younger brother and I would have fun playing amongst the tomato plants, pretending to water them and trying to spy butterflies and caterpillars amongst the tomato rows. I still love the velvety, prickly silvery green of the plants and today I can almost feel the squishy, black mud between my toes. The patches of afternoon sunlight, the smell of the plants, the chirping of birds, insects, the fluttery butterflies, the shimmery spider webs, the occassional mongoose, the lovely green grass, the blue sky with cottony clouds floating, the humming bird nests in lemon groves, the hoopoes and the wood pigeons, I miss all of them.

My parents still stay in a huge bungalow with a large garden. I just don't have the time to go visit them often and to laze in gardens watching blue skies and birds any longer. Growing up is such over-rated shit.


At 2:47 PM, Blogger bubbleandsqueak said...

mud between the toes?!!!You would'nt have lived to see this day.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Plumpernickel said...

Figuratively speaking. I achieved a lot while you were whizzing around on scooters and Bets was being forcefed. Heeeeheee...


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