chopped a whole lot of onions to make goat curry," said Campbell
looking at the heap of chopped onions on the cutting
Campbell and Juggernaut shared a flat near the campus. Campbell,
a thin, lanky guy with physical attributes that represent all the
races on the island; a little bit of East Indian, Chinese, Carib
Indian, African and English ancestry. His accent was pure local
and his life passion was only women.
and onion go hand in hand, it is like rum and coke or scotch and
club soda or steel band and calypso," Juggernaut continued to
chop more onions.
you cook anything without onion?"
never; onion is not a spice, it is the mother of all vegetables;
any cooking shall start with onions," said Juggernaut wiping
tears from his eyes.
at you, tears pouring from your face with runny nose."
no pain no gain; when onion is cut open the sulfides in the onion
reacts with an enzyme to emit the pungent chemical ally sulfate
that generates the pungent aroma and flavor," Juggernaut showed
his knowledge in chemistry.
"Whatever you say, man, after you moved in, the whole apartment
smells like a house of curry," Campbell started stirring the
onions in the sauce pan.
you know a severe shortage of onions once threatened collapse of
a State Government in India?"
the infamous Potato famine that caused whole scale emigration of
Irish to America, I won't be surprised if it were perhaps an
onion famine in Indian that drove the Indians to the other
countries in the last century," Juggernaut tried to reason out
for Indian emigration out of the country.
is the big deal with onions and Indians?"
"Indians love spicy food, onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric are
the core ingredients in cooking curry; onions provide body to the
gravy with strong flavor, there is nothing like too much when it
comes to onions," Juggernaut added a large spoon of garlic and
ginger paste with a dash of turmeric powder to the sauce pan,
before adding the meat. When all said and done, the thick tasty,
yellow, spicy, gravy dominated the meat dish with little or no
Juggernaut on a rare visit to his old country, visited the daily
market to see 'Onion Raju' from whom he used to buy onions. Raju
was his name but everybody called him 'Onion Raju' since he sold
only onions. His father and his grandfather before also sold only
onions from the same location. The market underwent many changes,
and Juggernaut had tough time to find his way to Onion Raju's
stall. Eventually, he asked a fruit vendor whereabouts of Onion
Raju. "Onion Raju's stall was relocated to another section of the
market,' said the fruit vendor and gave the directions to his
you remember me," asked Juggernaut addressing an old man sitting
behind a mountain of red onions.
sir, I remember you; you look just like your father,' said Onion
Raju with a broad smile on his face." He wore a white turban made
from a long piece of white coarse cotton to protect his head from
summer temperatures that can go up to 110 degrees on some days;
his white bushy mustache covered part of his mouth, and his face
was severely weathered from exposing to the harsh elements
leaving deep wrinkles; the smell of dry onions filled the air
around his stall.
good to see you after so many years," Juggernaut was genuinely
happy to see Onion Raju.
your mother still visits me to buy onions, not that often
what about your children?"
both my daughters are in America now studying computer science,"
Onion Raju looked proud.
so glad your daughters doing well in education."
all of my life I have been selling onions and with the money
saved I sent them to America to better themselves; I am satisfied
that they were doing well there, hopefully they get a job and
settle there permanently, you know."
they will get a good job and you can visit them too."
God's grace it could happen."
know onions are cheaper in America than here."
really?" "Do Americans eat lot of onions?"
really." "Here unlike other vegetables, onions are
always in demand in all seasons; how much a kilo of onions
for you it is only 60 rupees per kilo," Raju was scratching his
Juggernaut knows it was over-priced and yet he bought few kilos
just to satisfy Onion Raju.