Onions and Tomatoes

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
"We're out of onions."

That's my wife. Forever complaining about Onions. And Garlic. And Tomatoes. And Cauliflower. And an assortment of vegetables that I didn't even know how to recognize in their uncooked state, until the day I got married.

"I'll get some in the evening."

And that's me. Forever restocking my house with Onions, and Garlic, and Tomatoes and Cauliflower and a wide assortment of vegetables I still have trouble recognizing, so that my wife can continue to cook them and feed our small but happy family.

"Daddy, I'm having trouble with this problem."

My daughter. She's all of eleven years old. It's that exact age when she stops being daddy's little girl and becomes a woman in her own right. You might think it's a little early for that, but it's not. Do you have any idea how much smarter and ahead of us, kids are these days? I mean she's already making eyes at guys a couple of years older than her.
It scares the bejesus out of me.

"Which problem?" I said, as I looked at her book.
"This one. I'm not getting the right answer."

I spent a minute looking at her solution, and pointed out where a minus should have been a plus.
"Thanks Daddy," she said, giving me a smile, and returning to the book.

Only yesterday, it seemed, she used to give me a hug and a kiss on my cheek for things like this. Now it was just "Thanks Daddy".

"If you don't get some onions quickly, we'll be eating out tonight."

My wife was forever threatening me with the "We'll have to eat out if" line. I'd begun buying vegetables by the crate, lately, to keep her off my back. But if she didn't use them soon enough, they simply went bad. It seemed to me that I just couldn't win.

"Which is not a bad idea, if you think about it," she continued, as she came up behind me and put her arms around my neck. She'd just washed her hands, and the scent of Tropical Herbs (or so the soap bottle said) wafted through my senses. She knew exactly what to do when she wanted me to agree to something. And I was putty in her hands.

"Out again?" I asked, trying to resist, as I kissed the inside of her elbow.

"We haven't eaten Chinese in a long time," she replied, kissing me on the cheek - as if I needed any more convincing.

"Mom, Dad! Get a room!"

That was one of her favorite new phrases.
"We're just showing our love for each other, sweetheart," my wife said.
And I continued, "Yes, dear, and we waited till we got married to do this." Just to make sure. My paranoia about my daughter was getting worse everyday.

My wife sat down and looked at me with an amused expression. "Liar!” it seemed to shout.
Ours might have been an arranged marriage, but we had been meeting each other for months before we got married. We'd been very much in love by the time we actually tied the knot. And we'd stayed that way.

My daughter, for her part, blushed as she continued her homework.

"Chinese?" I asked. "Wang's Kitchen or Chen Hui?"

"What's Chen Hui?" my wife asked.

"It's a new place that's opened up next to Tucci Benucch," my daughter answered. "It's supposed to be quite hep. Can we go there please, Daddy?"

My eleven-year-old considered the place ‘hep’. I thought of it as having an 'ambience'. I wondered if there was any difference.

"Chen Hui it is."

"Yay!" my daughter shouted.
My wife just smiled.

"Well, then," I said, "I'm going to have a bath."

"No!" my wife and daughter shouted together.

"You take an hour in the bathroom, Daddy!"

"Yes, and we both have to freshen up too!" my wife chimed in.

"You," I looked at my daughter, "finish your homework, or you're not going anywhere."

"And you," I said, shifting my attention to my lovely wife, "can join me if you want to."

This time, both of them blushed.


Anonymous said...

ooh nice!why,oh why rnt aren't u married already?!?!

thelearner said...

I keep repeating this for all your posts, but "nice" it is. Done *just* right.

I suggest you publish a book with all your short stories.

Also - please remove the Haloscan javascript code you have in your header as it is making things extremely slow.

thelearner said...

Correction: I thought you were using Blogger coments and not Haloscan comments, and therefore my comment on removing the "Haloscan javascript code from your header". But I see you are using Haloscan trackbacks. Haloscan does make things slower, though. Particularly as they're going down pretty often nowadays.

Rohit said...

I must say, your blog is quite "hep"

gvenum said...

This is one blog I feel too wow'ed to write a comment everytime I read...Well ..I did ..finally. Dude..You should be making movies.

Anonymous said...

Very rare to find one hardcore romantic person. I guess you are one.

You should publish the collection of your romantic stories :)

Kumari said...

Publish that book of stories soon...Will give that to my future husband and if he doesn't "live" by "The Book"...he shall be in for trouble :)


Anonymous said...

awesome dude - "simbly" awesome!

Rajesh J Advani said...

anonymous: He he! Good question ;)

thelearner: I don't like including stuff from other sites in general. Which is why I never used Haloscan's comments. I'm keeping Haloscan's trackbacks until blogger decides to support them natively.
About haloscan making things slower, though, I've never noticed that happening. Are you sure you're not simply dealing with a slow ISP?

Rohit: Thank goodness it doesn't have an ambience ;) Thanks for commenting!

gvenum: Thank you for the compliments :) But I have a hard time imagining my stories on the screen. I write them to be read. *shrug*
Of course, I have read opinions about "Just Another Love Story" (linked in the sidebar) that said it should have been a Mani Ratnam movie. No offence to Mani Ratnam fans, but Ugh!

manjula: Hardcore romantic. Now that's one adjective I haven't heard before. :) Thanks for the compliment!
Publishing my work as a book? Maybe someday. :)

kumari: Woah! If I'd ever considered that I was writing parts of what might one day end up being "How to be a good husband for Dummies", I'd have been a lot more careful! I could have an angry mob of husbands outside my door for this (I'd probably be one of them)!

Sourja: Thanks! Do come back. I hope to post something fresh (as in something that's not been sitting in my drafts for more than six months) very soon.

thelearner said...

Nope, I am on a pretty fast broadband connection, so am sure it's not a problem with the ISP. I've also noticed that the sites without Haloscan are faster than those with them, for whom the taskbar gets stuck at "getting data from www.haloscan.com"..

No one else notice this?

thelearner said...

Err.. I mean status bar, not taskbar.

Cykedelyk said...

haha @ "Yes, dear, and we waited till we got married to do this."
Overall rating: Naughty!!
Your site is now under my daily reads...hope I am not putting 'performance anxiety' on you. Atleast 2 news stories a week shudnt be too much too ask for, rgt? :P

Joy said...
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Anonymous said...

aha..Wang's kitchen.Nice place,not hep though.
I wonder where Chen Hui is !
btw Deep fried chilly potatoes @Wang's Kitchen is too good

btw Rajesh..u are having a quarter-life crisis ,get married ;-)

oxy_moron said...

Good one Rajesh:)
see from the comments that you have your stories on Sulekha..will check them out.
Meanwhile, keep up the good work!

Cykedelyk said...

That wasn't supposed to be 'news stories' but 'new' stories. Chuh typos!

ammani said...

I really enjoyed reading Just another love story. You have an ear for dialogue. Though I don't generally read posts that last beyond a couple of paragraphs your narrative was compelling and I soon found myself wanting to know what happened to the lovers. The ending was a bit tame but the ride was lovely.
Please do write more.

Joy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kiran said...


I was trying to give a trackback to your entry from my blog and I couldnot. Let me know how to do it please.

Kiran said...

And sorry for not mentioning, This is really good. If this is not from someone's real life experience, your power of imagination is good. I guess we can see more good stories from you.

Rajesh J Advani said...

thelearner: Hmmm. Maybe being on a 10 Mbps line gives me a skewed picture. I have noticed the "getting data from haloscan" status bar message, though I haven't really noticed any page-load delays. Either way, it's a necessary evil. *shrug*
Anyway, thanks for pointing it out. I'll keep my eyes open.

cykedelyk: I was in that kind of mood the day I wrote this story. :D
Daily reads? Of course you're giving me some performance anxiety! ;) Naaa. Just kidding. Hope to have more stuff for you to read on a regular basis, though two new stories a week is probably four times the frequency (yes, I love math) I can ever hope to achieve! The reason I could even post these stories as often as I did, is because they came out of my drafts!
Two "news" stories a week on the other hand, definitely possible!

joy: Thanks for the kind words! Nice to know that you stumbled upon my stories. Stories which are fiction. Stories written as a single guy. :)

Out of curiosity, though - what behaviour were you referring to when you said "men who even THINK like this"? The guy in "Will You Marry Me" is just an example of the real-life confused, love-lorn best-friend-of-the-girl type of guy out there :) In fact, I think there's too many of them!

About the dialogue in my stories, people have pointed that out before, though I must say I don't do it by design. Nice to know you like it anyhow :) Would like to read your stuff too. Why don't you blogit?

And ideally your comment should have gone on the story itself so that people reading the story can see a consolidated set of comments about the story. But there's no hard rules here, so please feel free to do whatever works for you :)

theobserver: One of the many Wang's Kitchens is in Adyar in Chennai (will try the fried chilly potatoes the next time I'm there. Thanks!). A Tucci Benuchh is located in the Mall of America (Minneapolis). Chen Hui, though, is just a sham ;) I made it up :)

And I recovered from my quarter-life crisis almost a year ago. Marriage or no marriage, Mid-life crisis, here I come!

oxy_moron: Thanks! My work on sulekha is linked in my sidebar, so do check it out and let me know if you like it :)
Do come back, and I'll try to keep the fiction mill churning!

(Your latest post was looooooovely!)

ammani: Thanks for the kind words! "Just Another Love Story" is definitely my favourite among stuff I've written. Nice to know you liked it too.
I'll try to keep writing, so do come back :)

kiran mayee: No this is not from anyone's real life experience. Just a figment of my own imagination. :)
I do hope to keep turning out more posts, so do come back.

What tool were you using to trackback to my post? Blogger doesn't have trackback support natively, but you have a lot of external tools that allow you to ping other sites. I blogged about some of them long ago at Trackbacks when your blog tool doesn't support them and Trackbacks on Blog*Spot. Hope it helps. If not, we'll work something else out :)

Kiran said...

I was using Blogspot only.

I will check out and try them.

And WangsKitchen, its there even in Annanagar and infact at many places. and DeepFried Potatoes with Chilly Sauce, I had it last week end and then I see it mentioned on your Blog.

Now, I am visiting this daily. :)

Kiran said...

I got the trackback working and thanks for the info

Joy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

RJA, is this your first attempt at marriage romance? Well written, I must say!

But I, for obvious reasons, prefer pre-marriage courting. It's so much more fun! :)

Joy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jack said...

great stories.You must definitely publish a book.And thanxs for the wrong call idea ;).

Anonymous said...

So out of general curiousity, how does one have a real conversation with you at 3 AM - writer to writer?

Nachiketas said...

A real nice romantic blog. I remember seeing your articles in Sulkeha. Just lovely cute articles. Your dialogue rocks and that is why you are always going to have people liking your writing.

Write more.

Rajesh J Advani said...

kiran mayee: Nice to see you finally got trackbacks to work :)
About Wang's Kitchen, I've also been to the one in T.Nagar. And the Fried potatoes - yes, nice coincidence :)
I hope you keep visiting, and I do hope I can increase my blogging frequency. Things have been quite tight the past week. Haven't even been able to finish the story I initially thought I'd complete in time for Valentine's day. Will have to reach back into my drafts again, if I don't get my act together soon :)

joy: Dearth of such men? Aww, I'm sure you're just not looking in the right places :)
I will ask you one thing, though. Don't you think flowers, surprises, getting down on the knee, etc, is just a little cliched these days?
I think the most romantic thing, really, is to just say it. Like the guy in "Marry Me, Please" does.
But then, what do I know, right? ;)
Saw your post. Nice :) And noticed you've posted another one. Wish I could post as regularly :)
So you've been reading the archives. Nice to know :) I am somewhat proud of some (yes, only some) of my earlier stuff. Would be nice to get feedback on that too. But that's how blogs roll I guess. :|

TII: Marriage romance? :) Yes, I guess it is. Pre-marriage courting, definitely quite interesting. But remember what they say about variety and eating spicy food? (Wait, I'm sure I got that one wrong...)

Senthil: Book :) This blog is definitely turning out to be quite an ego boost :)
And about the wrong-call idea. Umm. I'm not going to have angry, sleepy-eyed women burn down my blog, am I?

Chaibiscuit: Good question. Specially considering that this blogger is extremely paranoid about his privacy. Hmmm... :)

Nachiketas: Thanks for the nice words. :) I would have posted to Sulekha more often if they didn't lose my last contribution to them four times, and make me wait four months for an acceptance email. But hopefully I'll feel confident enough to post there again soon. There's no waiting time to see my work up on this blog [for me, I mean :) ] but Sulekha does present a much larger audience.
I hope to put up some more stuff very soon now, so do come back :)

Sherry said...

I just found your blog - your writing made me smile. Thanks for making my day a little bit better. :)

Joy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sagnik Nandy said...

Mr. Rajesh - when is the next story coming????

Mistress of Magic said...

first time here... great blog. :)

Manish Bhatt said...

Nace, reully nace. Are you gonna write a book someday? 'Cos you should. Very few things leave one feelin' nice. (Everyone else seems so depressed and full-of-one-self, and all intellectual.)

pagala'k' said...

Good One

Ashish Gupta said...

An grrrreat blog! Your posts are quite humourous with subtle quality humour! Why didn't I find it earlier? Great going conversation with God series....by the way do you belive in God? Seems like you do..

Swathi Sambhani aka Chimera said...

wow! wish all marriages end this way

Anonymous said...

I was just browsing throgh this bolgger's world.and came across with u'r blogs..I must tell u ..U HAVE AN AWESOME IMAGINATION !!....U'r love stories are just AMEZING


Kusum Rohra said...

You should be writing more of these :)