By Nusrat Ahmed
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of England, there lived a green woman. She had a little hamlet built of green vegetables and Ladyfingers that she used for décor. She used to wear large spectacles with a thin coating of green plastic covering the frame. Everything was green, from her spoon to her indoor plants. Her fragrances, as well.
Every time they were packaged in a green bottle. She would use a green-coloured face cleanser and green-coloured fragrance oils before lying on her bed. She used to paint her nails green, dusted with yellow sparkles on top. When she used to leave her lush area, the school children would wave her goodbye. Everyone she saw on the street used to smile at her, shake her hand, and say something kind.
I was one of the children whom she admired the most because of my demureness and focus in class. I used to pack the vegetarian rolls and green peas in a green box built from the last pages of my school notebook at lunchtime. I would ring her doorbell and leave the tiffin box in front of the doorstep, so she didn’t know who was doing these charmingly illegal activities.
I used to grin pleasantly as I watched her lift the box from her doorstep. I used to go to class as if there were no consequences for the mischievous act that occurred only a few minutes earlier!
Hmm, roasted Ladyfingers tomorrow, visualizing…
The teacher yelled. It wrecked my ability to think about anything else, and all I could think about was her screaming melody. Ugh! It was definitely not a melody! Please accept my apologies for being a sarcastic infant.
“Yes, yes, Miss”
“What are you thinking?”
“Roasted Ladyfingers, Miss”
After so many nervous attempts, “Emm” I uttered.
“Miss, I was pondering and trying to memorize the spelling of poemeeeeee yes, pomegranate. I’m having a hard time remembering that spelling.”
“Alright. Take a seat.”
I sat in the tiny chair, oh what an apprehensive relief!
The very next day as I placed my secret tiffin box, the green lady laughed “hahhaha caught you. So, this sweet little cherry has been the one leaving me these surprises for so long.”
“Come on my darling. Oh your nose looks pink today, have you put pink blush on it.”
Holding my nose, I spoke “no, no, it is just the cold that is messing with me.”
“Please take a seat in that warm, cosy chair”
“Oh my butt hurts, move right now!”
A green frog appeared in the chair with an exclamatory face.
“Why are you sitting on my chair?”
“She’s our little visitor, Todd.”
Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience. I frowned and asked how this large chair could possibly contain this little frog! Like an enraged oven, the frog became red.
“See what kind of guest you invite in, no respect nothing, talking about my size and length! Sure, I realise that chair is very gigantic for me, but it is mine!“
“Please, don’t be too noisy,” said the green lady. She took my hand in hers and led me into her home’s kitchen.
“I’ve prepared the best lunch. What is this… um, it’s made of coconut, and filled with the fruit that you’re still having trouble remembering the spelling of.”
I was just drooling over the ruby juicy pomegranate, covered with finely crushed red candies, with a burst of white chocolate ice cream leaving a cooling sensation in my tiny mouth. Although mom has strictly said no to ice cream, but forbidden acts are always delicious. Just to add, a little act of mischief never hurts anyone.
Honestly, 5-year-old me had no idea what other ingredients she was talking about except pomeeee, yes pomegranate, I was not familiar with others items she discussed.
But it was spoon-licking good. While I was enjoying my lunch, I noticed she was pouring tea, which had a glittery appearance, as it flowed from the hot boiling kettle. She uttered “gold!” That, according to my mom, is really expensive. I have only ever seen a locket on mom’s neck made of gold.
“Well, I’m the only one who can make gold teas. I have so many unique recipes that I will gradually feed you. Now finish it fast since you have to get back to class.”
“Oh wait, I need to warn you about something!”
“You are not allowed to spill the beans in the class about the little event that took place in my kitchen. Not even your mom should know.”
Without any hesitation, I grabbed my small backpack and began heading in the direction of my school. As you know, I am just 5 years old, I can’t hold any secrets from my mom; my tummy hurts to let those secrets reside in my belly. On that buffeting windy night, I just spilled the beans to my mom. Absolutely forgetting about the warning she gave. Now, who knew after spilling her green secrets, she would flee? With her green hamlet too.
Warning! (Do not spill the beans about this dish)