Apples and Oranges

Ibrahim Waheed “Kalaavehi”

Aisha was willing to fight to prove that apples were better than oranges.

The supermarket was full. Some were there for the shopping. None would have accepted that they were there because a sudden tropical downpour had sent them running into any available shelter, the supermarket being the nearest. Some even asked for shopping baskets.

Aisha stood at the fruit stand with her friend Leeza and was saying, “Do you remember our teacher telling us that apples had a lot of vitamins in them?”

Leeza had no basket. Carrying those steel-handled plastic baskets was more than an excuse. They were like status symbols. You carried a basket because you could not possibly carry in your hands all that you took. And Leeza certainly did not want to carry away more than her hands could carry.

“But oranges have a lot more vitamin C in them!”

Aisha started shivering, not because she was losing the argument, but because she had got wet coming in. She looked at the shiny red apples and imagined biting into one. It would be sheer heaven. She imagined her teeth biting through the blood red skin and into the crunchy sweetness inside. Her mouth watered.

“An apple a day is also supposed to keep the doctor away!” Aisha said, swallowing. She could almost taste one of those fruits from heaven.

“But vitamin C is supposed to give greater strength to our bodies. So if you eat oranges, your body will be stronger. You will not get fevers and colds.” Leeza always made sure she did her homework. That was why she knew so much. Her teachers loved her for that.

Leeza also knew that if she studied hard, she could have better life than her parents had.

And then, mercifully, the rain stopped.

The two hungry-looking girls quickly left the shop and went home to an uncertain lunch, probably some curry-flavored Mamee noodle soup. They had that almost every day.

They also knew that if they worked hard enough, maybe someday they would get better jobs than their parents had. And maybe, when such a day came, they could finally find out for themselves what an orange or an apple tasted like.

And Aisha knew that when that day came she would win her fight. She would be able to prove to Leeza that apples even tasted better than oranges.

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  • shifa  On August 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

    a wonderful story to relate in a classroom specially as a set induction when they teach fruit lesson

  • Nora  On October 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I just returned from the hay festival, where i attended your talk on creative writing. I was curious about this story after you relayed the incident about the two girls you spotted at Hazash. I find your stories very meaningful and deep. Also, thank you for the pointers. I’m sure i’ll find them useful when I write.

    • ldive  On October 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you! And you are welcome Nora.
      Meanwhile, be careful if you want to become a writer. Sometimes it can hurt you in ways you would not even begin to understand!

    • ldive  On October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      It is so good to know you are a writer. But stay off the blue Curacao!
      Thank you for reading some of mine!
      I will read your blog sooner than later!
      Bless you!

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