ONION

Peeling the Onion

‘Onions make me cry.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I meant what I just said – “onions make me cry”.’

‘Oh you are so prosaic.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I meant what I just said – “you are prosaic”.’

‘Prose-ike! Well, there is no poetry in onion for sure!’

‘On the contrary, onion is poetry.’

‘Only if you think tear as the essence of verse.’

‘Not at all…it’s all in the layers!’

‘Layers?’

‘Yes, layers. Layer after layer. You peel till you reach the core. The mystery of life coded in layers. You peel off one layer, get to the next, then another …’

‘I guess you have never peeled an onion. Once you are done with the skin, you just chop… Chop, chop, chop!’

‘Ugh, that’s vulgar!’

‘What? Chopping?’

‘The very image.’

‘But that’s what you do to onions.  Chop them and off they go into the frying pan. Watch them sizzle in hot oil.’

‘How ritualistic! And I assume you still have tears in your eyes.’

‘I hear if you keep the tap running nearby, your eyes don’t hurt that much!’

‘So why don’t you?’

‘That‘s the fun part. I always remember it after I have those tears in my eyes.’

‘You like tears, don’t you?’

‘No I just want to get over with the onions as quickly as possible.’

‘What about the running of water thing?’

‘Well, the acid, or whatever, that is in the onions, chemically bonds with water. So the moist in the eyes attracts the onion juice. So if you have a larger source of water, the juice flies towards the tap.’

‘Like the river runs to the ocean.’

‘What?’

‘I am beginning to think, onion is life.’

‘Only if you want to live in the underground!’

‘Was that a rhetoric or a statement?’

‘Who do you think you are? Tom Stoppard?’

‘Stop art!’

‘Stoppard.’

‘Absurd!’

‘Absurd?’

‘Absurd.’

‘What are you doing?’

‘Drawing.’

‘You call that drawing?’

‘You are right. Sketching is a better word.’

‘Let’s order.’

‘Why – you don’t like onions?’

‘Only where it should be…’

‘You mean not in conversation.’

‘Not in conversation.’

‘Con Verse Ate On.’

‘What?’

‘That’s onion!’

‘What?’

‘Con, i.e. Underground; verse, i.e. poetry; eat on, i.e. food. Conversation for consumption!’

‘I know what you need – chopping, sizzling, and then being eaten.’

‘Precisely.’

‘What?’

‘Life is to be eaten. Poetry is to be eaten. Onion ….’

‘Poetry eaten?’

‘Metaphor, my dear.’

‘Get a life.’

‘Or get an onion.’

‘You know I have been thinking…’

‘Good for you!’

‘Seriously, I have been thinking. This is not going anywhere.’

‘What this conversation.’

‘No this between you and me.’

‘Layers.’

‘Stop it.’

‘You just removed the skin. You are entering layer 1.’

‘I am not playing.’

‘Dig deep. Layer 2. What lies beneath. Oh! Have you seen the movie? Creepy.’

‘What are you trying to do?’

‘Giving you one more layer of skin.’

‘You don’t want this conversation, do you?’

‘Very much so.’

‘Very much what? Yes or no.’

‘That was a tag question, wasn’t it? I get confused too when people use tag questions…as if they are seeking approval to what they already know. Always seeking affirmation!’

‘You just used one.’

‘I did, didn’t I?’

‘You are digressing.’

‘No moving to the next layer.’

‘How many layers do I need to get to the core?’

‘That depends.’

‘On what?’

‘You can just chop and crack it open. The centre will be there under the burden of stratified layers.’

‘You want me to do that?’

‘Chop it, hell no. That will destroy the pattern. You need beginning, middle and end.’

‘With a touch of tears that will be tragedy. The grand version of human poetry. Master of form, slave to content.’

‘What are you doing?’

‘You know where the north-circular ends, the south-circular begins. One sphere gets to another.’

‘Exactly, what do you mean?’

‘I mean what I just said.’

‘What?’

‘Counter circle.’

‘Counter?’

‘Encounter, to be precise! You know I can play the game too.’

‘Game?’

‘You and I.’

‘ You and me?’

‘Subject or object?’

‘What  are you doing?’

‘Working on your drawing.’

‘You are not exactly Picasso, you know!’

‘I am just giving it another layer of circle – the frying pan.’

‘Why?’

‘I want to see it end in smoke….the mystic smoke rising to other spheres….the physical making connection with the metaphysical…’

‘You are crazy.’

‘No I am talking the talk. You know I am beginning to think onion is life, too.’

 

[The waiter enters with a bowl of soup and a plate]

‘Your onion soup!’

‘It‘s about time.’

‘And your Caesar salad.’

‘Are you ready to order?’

‘The main menu…’

‘I’ll skip it. I think I’ve just lost my appetite’

‘Me too, the salad looks quite big.’

‘Can I have another paper napkin?’

‘Yes, the last one has become a masterpiece!’

[The waiter leaves]

 

‘So, onion soup…’

‘We begin where we end.’

‘Let’s split the salad.’

‘Into two.’

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