‘That’s all the tomatoes we harvested in our vegetable garden?’ asked Mom, shaking her head in disappointment, tears forming in her eyes.
‘But mom, it’s only the first time you have grown them,’ I tried to pacify her.
‘I had challenged Nina, that I will be able to produce a few kilos of tomatoes. I will even send her 1 kilo. Now, she will laugh at me. Bwaahhhh,’ she bawled.
Nina was her younger sister, living in the same town. These two have been indulging in one-upmanship ever since I remember. If we bought a 260 litre refrigerator, Nina mausi will buy a bigger one. If she bought a 3 burner gas stove, mom has to buy a 4 burner one. Its an endless story.
More than the disappointment of the tomatoes, mom was worried about other’s reactions to it.
Mom had been nurturing her vegetable garden for the past three months. Though she was successful in other vegetables, it was the tomato that was her most cherished baby. And she had talked about it to the whole world. Even putting up pictures on Facebook. Her cousins from New York to Sydney to the one in our village knew about it. And all were eagerly waiting for her to post the snaps of the fresh produce.
‘Mom, I have an idea, ‘ I said to brighten her up.
She looked at me through her tears.
‘Let’s line them up and take a picture for your Facebook account. That way your cousins will think you had a good produce.’
Mom smiled a bit.
‘And, let us send the entire produce to Nina mausi. She will think it is the 1 kilo tomato you had promised.’
Mom’s smile reached her eyes, when something struck.
‘But then, what will I show to the neighbours? Bwaaahhh…’ and she produced a fresh set of tears.
I finally gave up and went back to reading my book.