Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Story of Pi,Belle and Dusky. =)

For a long time, I wished to write something that would amuse kids. I think keeping kids interested in a story is one of the most difficult tasks and only someone like J.K Rowling can do that so consistently. Anyway this is my mediocre attempt at a kid story. I promise I will improve.
..And I request you to read it just as a kid would, for there is nothing to be read between the lines. =)

In the midst of lush green valleys there was a quite village called Khatapeeta. It was full of families that earned money from farming. Everyone lived on a farm that was looked after by all the members of the family. Sometimes they planted sugarcane and sometimes potatoes and onions.
A farmer called Ata owned one such pretty farm. He planted tomatoes in his farm one season and took care of them the way he took care of his daughters. He watered the plants and watched out for any bugs that might feast on the leaves. He walked through the farm and bent down now and then to check if his crop was healthy. The young saplings relished the bright sunlight and water and tiny tomatoes appeared on every plant. Ata was delighted. As days passed, the tomatoes ripened and turned glossy red in color. Belle, Pi and Dusky were three little tomatoes growing on a tree. Pi was full and round, and growing fat with every can of water going into the soil. Belle was dainty, somewhat pale and green. She took her own time and grew up slowly like a little wiggly caterpillar. Dusky was dark red. He was quick to get angry so he ended up being redder than the other two.
The three tomatoes swayed with the moist wind and the tree drooped, as they got chubbier.

The whole farm was full of ripe red dots when Ata decided to sell his produce. He plucked the tomatoes gingerly and arranged them in open baskets made of bamboo. Pi, Belle and Dusky were put in the same basket. Pi was happy that he got to roll over a lot of other tomatoes and make them scream for help, while Belle was busy avoiding other ripe tomatoes asking her to accompany them when the truck came to a halt. Dusky was furious about the treatment they all were being given. He did not like the basket, the truck or the way they were plucked and sent off. The truck set out to the big market in the neighboring town. They all bumped into each other as the truck began turning and everyone became merry except Dusky. He just turned redder.

They were all unloaded in front of a grumpy vendor. He told Ata that there were a lot of fresh tomatoes in the market already and no one cared for his lot much. After a lot of talking, they both agreed on the money and Ata left his produce with the vendor. He looked around to say good-bye and let out a sigh before getting into the truck.
As soon as the truck left, the grumpy vendor hurriedly arranged all of them in a triangular heap. Pi, Belle and Dusky were taken apart. They occupied three different corners of the heap. As the Sun came up, the market became crowded with three wheelers and people walking about. The Pizza guy picked up Belle along with some other crunchy tomatoes. She said adieu with a heavy heart and was carelessly thrown in a basket full of tomatoes inside a tiny truck. The pizza guy came back after a while with yellow bell peppers and crisp baby corns. There was a small commotion as each one demanded his own space but Belle became good friends with everyone immediately.
Dusky flushed all the more when he realized that his sister was taken away. The Ketchup guy noticed him. He picked Dusky and asked the vendor to give him similar looking tomatoes. They all were hurriedly taken to the ketchup factory.
Pi rolled about for a while, making fun of the thinner tomatoes. A small woman with a hyperactive kid came by and picked up Pi. He went into a wire basket that already contained pale cucumbers, pink carrots and fresh strawberries. Pi was delighted to meet them.

The next day, Belle was sliced up into tiny ringlets along with all her best friends for a Veggie Supreme. They liked all of it till they were laid out on circular bread smeared with sauce. Then two fat hands held a shredder on top and all the vegetables including Belle were covered with a blanket of sticky Cheese. They all were then sent to a hot oven where the Cheese oozed into the pores of their skin and made them blend into the thick bread. The crunchy bell peppers, baby corns and black olives were all covered with the oppressive cheese. Then they were put on a pan and served with cola. Belle was sad at being turned into small ring on a cheesy pizza. She went down the food pipe of an eleven year old and was followed by a wave of cola.
Dusky was thrown into a hot water kettle in the ketchup factory along with his mates and boiled for an awfully long time. They all felt hot and Dusky could not get any redder. Then they were poured into a big blender along with spices and preservatives that made the tomatoes wrinkle their noses. Dusky was angry as usual. After a while he was poured into a plastic bottle and a machine arm sealed the bottle with a cap. Dusky was out in the market dressed as tomato ketchup.
Pi spent two days in the refrigerator. He made friends with the watermelon, who was almost ten times as big as he was and perfectly round. He also made friends with a carrot. However he found the cucumber very boring. Pi was happy to be inside. It was cool and clean. Two days later, he was put into a blender along with mint, sugar, salt and ice. He went round and round till he could not see the mint or the ice anymore. All he could see was his own red self. He felt very proud and a little dizzy. He was poured into a tall glass and two leaves of mint were placed on top for decoration. He realized that he was no longer as round as he used to be but he liked the glass very well. He overheard the small lady calling out for the hyperactive kid. He heard her dainty voice; “ Here is something to get you going. Lots of potassium for your running race” and the kid gulped the glass down and went out running!
The three tomatoes from Ata’s farm, turned into three different foods!! So think of Pi, Belle and Dusky next time you have a slice of pizza with ketchup or tomato juice! =D


thecompletehalf said...

I'll send my kids to ur place every weekend....... :P

shirish said...

You are a basically good narrator and hence a good story teller.I am not saying a story writer.There is a difference between a story teller and a writer.A good story teller involves his audience completely in his story.The audience feel as if they are themselves participating in the story.A story writer may or may not be astory teller.You are both.

The characters Ata,pi,Belle and Dusky get their own identity in your story.They are no longer little poor toatoes.The efforts of Ata in his cultivation,the harvesting and the despach never appears to be a mechanical affair but has its own emotional dimensions.

We can make out a good animation film out of this story.Any takers?


RagingMars said...

wow! I became a kid readin that one!! You have been appointed the official story teller of my kids ;)

You kno what I liked best here was that the tomato doesnt loose his identity even when he/she is made into juice or sauce or served on a pizza... Their life doesnt end there.. Thats wat gives the story a happy and innocent touch :) I guess thats the part kids would like the most :) And they would definitely think of PI,Belle and Dusky while havin juice/pizza/sauce next time :) Why 'kids'??! Even I would think of them wid my next helping of sauce :)

RagingMars said...

and yeah... kaka... I'm on your plan of makin an animation film out of this :)

Meera Rao said...

This is delightful story! Now I know I will be looking at tomatoes with a different eye :)