In the ring of fire...

In the ring of fire...

The war, which is nowadays going on in the corridors of power over the onion crisis, is not less than any Trojan War, writes Shiv Sethi


My niece is generally a cool cucumber, known for her calm and composed demeanour at most given times. Unlike most modern day kids, she does not get agitated over trivial matters. She however, raises a ruckus the moment anyone at home begins to chop onions or wants to eat them raw. The child is averse to its pungent smell.

Unable to buy onions at its current exorbitant price, their absence on our plates has come as a huge relief to my niece these days. Therefore, onion is no more  a matter of discord at home.

Elsewhere, the skyrocketing prices have become a point of discord. Actually using my own wit I have replaced apple with onion in the popular idiom ‘apple of discord’.

The story as per Greek mythology goes that Goddess Eris was the only goddess not to be invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Annoyed, she threw a golden apple amongst the goddesses in the wedding inscribed “To the fairest.” Three laid claim to it — Hera, Aphrodite and Athena — and their rivalry brought about the Trojan War. 

The war, which is nowadays going on in the corridors of power over the onion crisis, is not less than any Trojan War.

The victims are common people who are facing the heat in the streets of the disempowered. 

A few days ago an uncle  was spotted buying vegetables from a street vendor. When it came to onions, the gentleman began to bargain. Standing in the balcony, I was witness to the haggling match. Smartly deflecting the attention of the vendor, uncle managed to pick up a few onions and slyly put them into his pockets. But the vendor was way too smarter and could not be hoodwinked. Now like my niece, he too raised a ruckus on the absence of his onions.

The onion had once again become a matter of discord. It was eventually settled with the intervention of the uncle’s embarrassed wife.

The same evening I went out with my friend. Passing by a sweetmeat shop, we decided to savour some samosas. Here again, the add on raw onion was replaced with a reddish variety.

My friend demanded a smattering of onion but was refused on account of the unaffordable prices. Lo again, the onion drama unfolded. My friend refused to eat the samosa without the accompaniment of onions and demanded his money back. Another discord of onion began. This time, as no aunty came to our rescue, I had to pacify my irate friend.

I recently quarrelled with my mother. In exasperation, I left for college without even having my breakfast. When I cooled down a bit, I realised my folly and started inventing some plan to reconcile. Suddenly, I thought of carrying something valuable to please her. The next moment, the idea of buying onions struck me. This time, the cause of discord was about to play the reverse role. Way back home, I bought 2 kg of onions without bargaining. The plan seemed to work well.

The bag full of onions brought a smile back on my mother’s face. But when she enquired about the price, I naively replied 150 per kg. Lo, and behold, the onion discord began. Mother picked up the bag  and marched out like a soldier to fight the war of onion with the vegetable vendor. According to her I had been overcharged. The battle is still on!


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