“Excellent fruit sir! Sweet and tasty! Just look at the skin!”
I looked at the fruit and there was no doubt in my mind they were ripe and ready for eating. I wondered whether the fruit vendor could see I was nearly drooling in anticipation of having them after lunch.
But, they were the worst I’d tasted.
“How did you ever buy these?” asked an old lady who was visiting and to whom I’d offered the fruit, after lunch, “Couldn’t you make out they were still not ripe?”
“I saw their skin and they looked ripe!” I said lamely.
“Always feel them!” she said, “Their softness, and sweetness can’t be made out by looking at the skin.”
“You know much about fruit!” I said.
“Fruit are like people!” she continued, “Nothing is revealed by how they look. I have seen beautiful girls, with the best looks turning out to be vixen in their marital lives, and I have seen others with no looks and no colour, becoming the best brides!”
“Ah! You are comparing fruit to women!” I smiled.
“And to men!” she said quickly, “Handsome hulks who have no character! And fat, nothing to look at men, who not just look after their wives and families but provide for them in wonderful ways! I tell couples when they meet, don’t get fooled by what you see! Did you ask the fruit seller to let you feel the fruit?”
“No!” I said, “I was in a bit of a hurry!”
“It’s always the case!” she said wisely, “Where we should spend time, we don’t. We look at a girl for our son, or a boy for our daughter and think, now isn’t he a smart looking fellow, or beautiful girl, when what we should do is get to know him or her. Like feeling the softness of a fruit, you need to spend time, to get to know what lies inside a person; do you hear sarcasm or harshness? Or do you feel compassion? Can you feel sweetness?”
I looked at the vile tasting fruit on the table and thought of other times when I’d been fooled by appearances, “I nearly bought a flat because I was fooled by a newly painted building!” I admitted.
“Plenty do!” continued the old lady, “They don’t go deeper, they don’t ask for documents, they don’t scrutinize, they just see the skin, the new paint, the fancy foyer, the beautiful view, and open their wallets.”
I looked at newspaper ads showing festival discounts, and realized skin was being displayed everywhere in cheap prices, fancy ads; anything that fooled you by not wanting you to look farther and find out more!
She took the fruit and aimed them at the dustbin. I marveled at her strength, and grinned as she said, “Let them go where they belong, and maybe you too, for being fooled by the skin..!”
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