Saturday, April 22, 2006

Crouching Sayesha, disappointing dragon(fruit)

Remember when you were a kid and you saw an elephant for the first time?


I was shaken to my very core.

Now I see elephants and go, "Ho hum..."

But even today, when I see something for the first time, my eyes pop out, and I turn into the kid that had stared at the elephant as it produced a medium-sized hill of errr... biogas fuel.

That's something that never really changes even when we're all grown up, does it? Though I've seen many people try to act all 'adult' and hide the mind-numbing excitement of seeing something cool for the first time, but deep inside, they're jumping with joy of the purest and most innocent kind.

I especially love to watch Mom and Dad when they're looking at something they have never seen before.

They never have a "We're too dignified to appear amazed at such inconsequential things." expression. Or a "So what?" or a "What's so cool about this?" or an "I've seen this before." expression.

And especially not the spirit-crushing "Aaj kal toh hamare India mein sab kuchh milta hai!" ("These days we get everything in our India!") which I get from a lot of people every time I take any gifts for them in my trip home.

My parents react to everything dil se.

And I am so thankful that it's in the genes.

So I took a dragonfruit along with me the last time I went to India.

After my initial excitement at the amazing appearance of the fruit had died down, I decided to share it with my parents. (I'm sure dragonfruits are available in some parts of India, but I knew my parents had never seen one.)

As I unpacked, I took it out of the plastic bag, and 'presented' it to them.

"So? Ever seen anything like this?" I grinned.

"WOW!" They gaped at it. "What IS this?"

"It's a fruit I got from Singapore. They call it 'dragonfruit'."

"Hmmm... it does look like a dragon..." They took turns to inspect it closely.

Mom kept it in the living room in a bowl, and everyone who came to visit us looked at it in utter amazement. Mom and Dad loved the attention. I felt like I had a second sibling.

After a while though, curiosity got the better of them.

"Shall we open it to see how it looks on the inside?" Mom asked.

"But the outer covering is so beautiful." Dad said.

"But maybe the inside is even better! How does the inside look, beta?" Mom asked.

"Errr... I dunno, never seen a cut dragonfruit..." I replied.

"Hmmm... Okay, let's wait a few more days."

In a few days, the fruit started showing slight signs of drying up.

"We have to see the inside before it dries up. We'll cut it this evening." She declared.

Whoa, date and time fixed.

That evening, in a ceremonial fashion, Mom took her sharpest knife and hacked the dragonfruit into two, as Dad and I looked on.

Heavy silence from my family.

It certainly did not live up to their expectations.

Mom stared at it for a while, and then slowly said in a disappointed tone, "It's black & white..."

"Well, it's not a TV, Mom. It's a fruit. What, you thought it would be dark pink on the inside too?" I said. Actually, I was angry at the damn fruit. I was disappointed that the fruit had disappointed my parents.

"Well, I thought it would have some other colour... but it's black & white..." She looked quite desolate.

"Err... yeah..."

"Oh no! It was so much nicer earlier!! Why did you ask me to cut it open??" She asked.

"Huh?? I asked you to cut it open???? You couldn't wait to cut it open, Mom!" I protested.

She completely ignored my words.

"Okay, now what do we do with this?" Suddenly it had become a 'this' from that 'beautiful dark pink fruit that our daughter got from Singapore'. Sheesh.

"Uhh... eat it, I guess?" I took a shot in the dark.

"Hmmm.... eat it... how does it taste?"

"I dunno."

She cut a small piece and offered it to my Dad.

"Try it and tell me if it's nice?"

"Why am I always the guinea pig?" Dad protested.

"Arre, try it na!" Mom insisted.

Dad tried a piece. The expression on his face said it all.

"Say something na..." Mom urged.

"Actually... it kind of... has... errr.. no taste..." He said.

"Oh my God! It must taste horrible. Did you see his face?? And there was only one of it. Okay, whose bright idea was it to cut it??"

"Yours, Mom!"

"Now what do we do?" Dad asked. I believe that if he'd had his way, he'd have glued the two pieces back.

"Hmmm... we gotta mix it with something. Something that has... err... you know... taste! " She started to go through the stuff in the fridge.

"Oh I know! Let's make strawberry-dragonfruit milkshake!" She said.

"Strawberry-dragonfruit milkshake?? Errr... are you sure, Mom?" I asked.

"Arre, your Dad said the fruit is tasteless, na? So the milkshake will taste only of strawberry. But maybe the dragonfruit thing will give the milkshake a nice flavour or something."

Whrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... went the blender and in a few minutes, it was done.

I stared at the glass of pink liquid with black and white dots all over.

She held up a glass in front of Dad's face.

"No! I'm not going first this time." He said.

Then she looked at me.

"No way!" I said.

So she gave up and tried it herself.

Stony silence and expressionless face for a few seconds.

"Now the strawberry milkshake is ruined. Whose brilliant idea was it to add the dragonfruit?" She demanded.

Dad and I looked at each other in utter amazement.

"This tastes absolutely horrible." She shook her head in disapproval. "Your dragonfruit thing is no good."

That was it, man. I vowed never to take any cool-looking stuff home again, unless I had tried it myself.

I'm meeting them soon. Any ideas on what I can take for them this time?

Preferably something they've never seen before. ;)


shub said...

yeah imagine my disppointment when I saw this on a fruity pastry and then bit into it...only to taste a rubbery and absolutely bleeeaargh bland taste! (oxymoron?! :) )

Anonymous said... parents has yet to see some grades of mine.....
show 'em ur blog this time! :D

Dev said...

Ok... bronze but still happy... this is my best showing ;)

I woulda left it uncut. :D

Siddhu said...

Take that smelly thing they sell at Hawker centres. na! :D

Forgot its name, but I think u've blogged about it. (and i've been unfortunate enough to smell it ;) )

U can take it if they don't throw it out at Changi, or the pilot doesn't crash due to the brilliant smell! ;)

Anonymous said...

>> And especially not the spirit->> crushing "Aaj kal toh hamare
>> India mein sab kuchh milta
>> hai!"

>> "Well, it's not a TV, Mom. It's >> a fruit. What, you thought it >> would be dark pink on the
>> inside too?"

HAHAHAHAHA .. funniest post ever! :D :D :D


Preethi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Girl Who Sold The World said...

HAHAHAHA! Your mom's idea of experimenting foodstuffs is cool! :D And dragonfruit DOES look pretty...*sigh* pity it's tasteless. :/

Shekhar said...

Gee. I'm sure I've never been within a 100 km radius of a dragon fruit, but that sure sounded exciting.

And yes, your MUM sounds exactly like my MUM. :D

P.S. Yes, you ARE my daadi, remember the "Kumar's at No. 42" Indian re-make we were planning?

Shekhar said...

And one more thing...the pic isn't 40 years is just one week old. Ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

nice post.... brings back memories of my visits back home...

for mom i think a pack of hand gel sachets will be very helpful.She'll love carrying them in her purse.

for dad i think the latest credit card size 'all in one tool' from the swiss army knife guys shud b perfect.

happy shopping....

R said...

arre sayesa bahin,
mausi ki adadatein toh ekdum humar amma par gayi hai re!!!
fal, phuul, mithai ,yehi sab le jawa...badi kush hongi maausi..
unko humar taraf se charanspars kehana..

raap pyari bahin.

Negative Creep said...

I very rarely feel that way. Even as a kid, very few things actually inspired wonder. I remember the first time i saw a tiger, i was like cool, what's next? and this time when i was like six, My family, and some friends are posing next to a tiger's cage for a photograph and this one tiger runs and takes a leap at the cage, everyone else ran off, i was the only one still standing there wondering why nobody else wanted to be in the picture.

The only thing that can make me feel that sense of wonder today is art. Like when i hear a beautiful new song, or watch a movie or a book that transcends all normal standards. And that's pretty damn rare.

And i'm not kidding, i really don't have that type of reaction. Even my parents say that. Maybe i'm stunted emotionally. Or maybe i'm just pathologically bored. Cool..

delhidreams said...

there is a humour that's loud n brash, like that on the 'great indian laughter challenge' every friday on star one...
and then there is a humor that tickles ur ribs in an unobtrusive sense of way, it sneaks up to u and lightly, gently rubs it affliction to you... like a cat whcih rubs its tails on ur legs...

ur post was like that only ;)
warmed my insides too,
n yes, my mom n dad r like dat also.

as for something new, visit my blog, take my photo from a previous post n print it, that'll b a nice amusing gift for ur parents :)

Nirwa Mehta said...

Durian? :D

How about taking home a Durian? :D Well, if they don't like it, at least you'll have fun seeing their expressions when they smell it! :D

Okay, I was not trying to be mean to your parents! But that's uniquely Singapore! :D

The first time an elephant showered me with water was at a show in Singapore.. :P I had such dazed expressions on my face that my sister laughed non-stop for 2 days.. I was pretty embarrassed though.. :P

I would like to try Dragon fruit now! :D


Persona non gratis said...

Getting gifts for parents, siblings, relatives, neighbours, the process only ends till you actually board the plane and can no longer shop. Almost, but there is always sky mall and duty free shopping...Actually eatables is a good bet. Rest, India has it all.

Manish Kumar said...

chalo achchahua jaan gaye ab agar ye dragon kahin dikha to bas dekh ke hi santosh karenge :)!

Unknown said...


That was another cute & funny post Sayesha :))

Your mom's too cool yaar.. experimenting stuff and then what follows up are her wonderful & innocent questions!

I almost visualised the whole incident that I just read.. including all the wierd expressions you'd have had :P

Another nice one...

Take care,
Aarti :-)

Siddhu said...

Yes, Durian! That's it! Durian's the word!! (P.S: Came her after a whole evening spent studying for a new post to refresh moi. :( Guess you got exams too - but you should speak to Ian about letting exams interfere with blogging. ;) )

Sayesha said...

You tried it! Hehehe... :D

//a rubbery and absolutely bleeeaargh bland taste!

That's the most perfect description of it! :D

Hahahahaha! No way are they gonna see this blog. :D

Arre I'd have left it uncut too... but Mom and her curiosity... hehehe :P

Hahaha! Durian, eh? I was once conned into having durian cake. UGGHHH!! :S

Durians are not allowed into modes of public transport, remember? :D

Thanks! :D

Hehehe... I truly believe that on some levels, all Moms and Dads in the world are alike :D

#World Girl,
It only looks pretty. Galti se bhi try mat karna! :D

Hahaha! Ok ok baba! :D

#Well wisher,
Thanks for the ideas... but they've seen 'em all... gotta get something reallu unique :P

Bahnon ki aadat ek jaisi nahin hongi toh kaisi hongi re!

//fal, phuul, mithai ,yehi sab le jawa...badi kush hongi maausi..

Hahahaha! Fal, phuul, mithai from Singapore! Hahahaha! :D

#Negative Creep,
Haha, I'm not surprised. In whatever I've known of you, you don't come across as the excited-about-life type. At 17 at that! :O Just make sure you don't turn into a full-blast cynic. Cos if you do, there won't be much to do with your life once you hit 25. :)

Thanks yaar! What a cute little description of my post! :)

Oh they saw the durian when they came to visit me two years ago. We all ran for cover! :D
ps: When are you coming here again? I'll take you for a dragonfruit buffet! ;)

//India has it all.

Sigh... that's the problem yaar! :)

Hehehe! Life mein har cheez ek baar try karne ka, kyun? :P

Hahaha! Yeah, my parents are hilarious without knowing it! :D

Hey, you expect two posts from in ONE day? :O That too, in the middle of exams?? :O Sheesh!
ps: Ian says he doesn't like you.

Anonymous said...

"What, you thought it would be dark pink on the inside too?" I said.

Sayesha, turns out that the insides could be dark pink as well, depending on the variety!

Kathy said...

...why not a singaporean guy my dear kawaii hehe^_~..i can imagine your Dad's and Mom's reaction (Oh my!!)^_~
..hope Mom won't experiment to mix the guy to strawberry hehe..pheww!!bad bad me^_^ sorry :(
...jane do na hehe..forget what i said ,just kiddin' sweetie *wink*
..enjoy weekend!


Sayesha said...

Wow! Thanks! I didn't know that! :) Maybe I should take one of these home. On second thoughts, maybe not! :P
ps: Wonder why you didn't disclose your identity though :)

Hahahahaha! Oh that would be so cool! "Mom, Dad, look what I got for you... err... for myself rather...!" :D


Always search the google before trying a new thing like dragon fruit, its taste, fit to eat or not, good for health or not and so on.

On a light note, it really looks cool from inside as well as outside too. Great thing!

ritzkini said...

Wow !! a post abt a fruit ?!!
I almost thot i had lost my sleeping tablets..
naa..thanks yaar..glad to have you back..
*ok..i'll shut up..and go away...:D*

Neha Sinha said... about taking home some err...crocodile fruit?..:D

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

take home a grade report with straight As.

heeheehee i'm sure ian loves me. ;)

well seriously, i always wonder what to take home. so the last time i went, i took home an album, with photos of mine on my various trips/ excursions, over the past two years, (all the events that i used to tell them all about or send them digital photos.) they loved having the hard copy, tho. and i'd little comments written by each photo acquaint them with my life here. i went all out, actually. :-) it was fun. you can just make printouts of select blog entries! :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

p.s. and i quote

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

Anonymous said...

i actually thot abt a hour to make u reach any decision abt 'something-they-have never-seen', but couldnt come up with any. (i actually thot abt u giving ur parents a real surprise by marrying a singapuri guy, but i very shorty realized kee that sounds too offensive aur aap mujhe bahut maaroge.)
and dragon fruits were cool, even wen they were cut open. and i must say they were cut with great care and absolute symmetry.

Mohan Kodali said...

lol!! show them ur blog and this post

Just Jane said...

Sayesha bhai, :P
You learn something new every day, they say. I learnt not to try a dragonfruit today, galti se bhi nahin! Love these mummy daddy kahaniya...they always make my day :)Now that you're gonna see them soon, more blog posts in similar vein *childlike happiness* :D

Vikram said...

how about a dragon fly this time? :P

//Preferably something they've never seen before. ;)//

hahahaha, nice... nice... :P

Vikram said...

@Negative Creep,

I was exactly like you when I was a teenager too. I used to wonder why people get so excited seeing something. I know I'm a cynic but I use a lot of word play to make sure the other person doesn't feel hurt.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha your mom's so cool!!!

I have one great souvenir in Singapore... that was in a Chinese restaurant. There was that corner with a glass wall where they let you watch how they made the noddles, manually. You know, the kneading, the tossing and whacking kind of thing and the slicing into tiny tiny strands to make it into a noddle form, just by the use of their hands. It was very, very impressive!!

Maybe you can take a video of that, buy a pack of noddles and show the whole thing to mom?

Ha ha ha this sounds weird. Don't mind me. I'm still amazed with that noddle- making, you know.

Have a great day! (How do you say that in Hindi? :-)) )

Siddhu said...

Sayesha didi!!!!!!!! Today is the 24th, two days!! WAAHHH! (Ian is prolly cursin me now ;) )

And i figured out how I thought you hadn't posted for more than 24 hours. Cuz of the time difference, I read ur 22nd April post on the 21st of April itself! (Lol, it sounds so weird - I read something you wrote in the future ) - So when I checked again on the afternoon of the 22nd (late night in S'pore), I didn't see anything...

Negative Creep said...

@Vikram, I'm too lazy to use that much wordplay. :p

My friends know me well enough to not get offended, and i don't care much about the rest.

Milind Sharma said...

Sayesha Aunty it really doesnot look good. Stop eating that otherwise your stomach will pain.

VT said...

Hahahahaha! No way are they gonna see this blog. :D

Isn't that preposterous to say! I think you are shrouded in hubris, unless your parents are involved in activity like farming j/k they must be knowing internet and by extension - google right?!

Sayesha said...

Hah! Google is no good, you can never tell how good (or bad) something tastes just from a text description. :)

*ignore mode*

Crocodile fruit? Hahaha! Mila toh woh bhi le lenge! ;)

#Ipanema Girl,
I wish re! :P

Yeah, the album thing sounds good. I have something senti planned too, just need to execute it right. :)

ps: Wah wah! Kya quote kiya! :)

Hahaha! No Singaporean guy for me :)
ps: The photo is flicked off the net yaar... I didn't take any pics when Mom cut it :P

Hehehe... no way! :D

#The Chosen One,
Thanks :P
ps: But when you come here to visit me na, you GOTTA try the dragonfruit! Aakhir hamein bhi mehmaan nawazi ka mauka do na! ;)

Dragonfly??? You think my parents have never seen a dragonfly, you dhakkan! :D

Hehehe... yeah it's really cool to watch noodles being made :)

//Have a great day! (How do you say that in Hindi? :-)) )

Errr... "aapka din achha ho" :)

Sheesh! So much pressure? I'm already stressed with exams yaar! :P

#Negative Creep,
Good for you! :)

Okay that's it. I'm barring entry to this bacha party! :O

Sayesha said...

Of course my parents know the Internet and the Google. I meant that they will never know of this blog because I will never tell them I have a blog! :D

Aslam said...

A boyfriend :P

Anonymous said...

@negative creep: u proud of being "stunted emotionally"?excitement at seeing something for the first time, curiosity, eagerness to solve mysteries,quest for knowledge all these emotions shaped many of the great things of the world you c today..even the computer you are using to write blogs :-)anywayz been there felt would def realize one day that life is indeed beautiful..but you have to make the effort to see the beauty and trust me its worth it..

Jeevan Baretto said...

It happened with me when I saw for the first time the camels roaming around here. Down south you can find them only in the Zoos. But in Gujarat we get to see them, being used to pull cart and stuff..!!

When I go back home n tell my friends that I keep seeing camels as they see buffaloes n oxes.. they stand in awe..!!

RP said...

One of the most geniunely hillarious post I have read oflate. Awesome. So all parents are like this is it? :-) Nice to know.

Preferably something they've never seen before. abt a nice pair of Kimonos?

Anonymous said...

I meant that they will never know of this blog because I will never tell them I have a blog!

You underestimate the popularity of your blog! Just type Sayesha on google, and look at the results. You might be surprised!!

Negative Creep said...

@Anon. not proud. The cool part was just funny. And sure the world is beautiful, life is beatiful, whatever. I still don't give a damn about it.

Anonymous said...

Wow....had never seen this fruit before! Amazing insides too. Very unique :-). but quite a big disappointment that it doesn't have any taste? :)

Rani Sowmya said...

Amazing blog! Couldnt stop laughing.. U write pretty well! ;-)


Sayesha said...

Sheesh! On second thoughts, a Singaporean boyfriend's not a bad idea! ;)

Ah well, to each his own I suppose :) He will discover it when he discovers it. You and I can't do anything about it now :)

Camels on the road?? Awesome! :D

Thanks yaar! :)
Kimonos?? Arre they have seen Kimonos on TV :D

#Undisclosed Identity,
Hehehe... Dad does not use the net too much, he doesn't google. :D
ps: At least I hope he doesn't! :O


Haan yaar, we all got so excited for nothing! :/

Welcome to Sayeshaz! Thanks for commenting :)

Ray said...

Your post is realy good, a true storyseller u r. but i dont agree with you views on dragon fruit. everything that u tastle first normally doesnt live up to ur expectaions caus due to ur mind frame u expected somthing esle. anyway bought one today fist time. its tasleless from outside (fcos after removing skin) but really sweet from inside. small little seeds give keevy like expresstion. may be u left it for long or something. buy one today and dont wait just cut and taste i m sure u ll respect its uniqueness like all other fruits.
If you just want to take fruit for parents try Persimmon. dont knw if they ve checked it in india its very rare in india. lived 23 there but never tasted in north india.

also if you want to try something there is fruit called Bill specialy in hot weather in punjab. its hard from outside like coconut wihout hairy thing and really tastly from inside. leaves of Bill are also used in puja in india specially on shivling if i can remember correct. Ur parents definatly know that fruit. if u r from outside it ll b great experience for you.

Thanks for ur blogpost.


sajal said...

We are growing the dragon fruit in india and will soon distribute it locally. Website is under construction though :

Excellent narration. I have some points about the fruit.
A variety of dragon fruit does come with the inside being pink. pink kernel with black seeds.
For best results... cut the fruit in small pieces and keep in fridge.. serve cold...
Dragon fruit is similar to a banana, as in after harvesting, you gotta keep it for a few days for it to mature... quite possible that it was not ripe fullt?

Dragon fruit is supposed to be sweet, and the crunchy seeds r nice.