It was a dark and stormy night. A young woman paced back and forth in her parents’ house not accepting the reality of the news from her lover.
She picked up the phone and dialed him. The conversation was the same—he had moved on with someone else, and she should accept it.
The young woman was Zen. The loss of her Gokul, lover, was more than she could emotionally bear.
Finding a cord, she strung it around the base of a ceiling fan. Without Gokul she reasoned she had no desire to live.
However, as the thunder and lightning raged outside, she noticed something moved by the door. Going to investigate, she saw no one until she had turned around and there before her stood an intruder.
A thousand thoughts raced through her mind as well as fears of what he wanted and what he would do to her alone on such a baleful night. Momentarily, she forgot what she had planned to do.
To her surprise the intruder had no malice in his heart. He was tired, worn and hungry—just wanted food and shelter from the boisterous storm outside.
As the story goes, there is no food in the house. Zen orders a “country pizza”.
The intruder is a farmer from the country who has come to the city to find work, but for him work was elusive. As they talk, he asks why she wanted to hang herself.
The only reason that she has is her rejection by her lover. He found that a pitiful excuse because she did not understand real desperation.
In comparison to him she had everything from a material point of view. She had never experienced want or true despair.
He shocks her that telling her that his brother had ended his life out of desperation and hopelessness. From his brother’s point of view there was no hope for tomorrow.
Zen remembered that she had said earlier before the intruder arrived—“What If I Have No Tomorrow?” She began to realize that life is precious.
When the pizza arrived, she realized that she was hungry. The farmer examined the pack of pepper for the pizza—it was imported.
He revealed that he had been a pepper farmer, but the powers that be had followed a course where farmers were placed at a disadvantage by importing the bare essentials (pepper). The farmers of the land were facing hardships unimaginable.
He thanked her, but he could not eat the pizza because it was a symbol of what his life and other farmers had become in the current economy. It would be a betrayal of his life and his brother’s life.
He left still hungry. Now, he would bear the harsh elements of the torrential rains as he faded into the dark stormy night
Zen had a lot to ponder on. An intruder had saved her from a tragic decision and fate.
This is a synopsis of the short Indian film SALT ‘N’ PEPPER. The link is below.
The film ends with these words:
“There is more to life, than just love…”
Life on this planet traversing the cosmos is a journey fraught with joys and sorrows. It has its share of salt and pepper in both good and bad quantities.
If you are facing a circuitous path, take a few moments and consider what lies ahead. Asking for help or finding someone to just listen may be the impetus needed to continue on the road of life.
G. D. Williams © 2015
Salt ‘N’ Pepper – Short Film | Ft. Nawazuddin Siddiqui & Tejaswini Kolhapure
Special report Pepper: how our favourite spice is tainted by a deadly legacy
During the 2000’s pepper prices crashed and have been linked to a wave of suicides among farmers in the Wayanad District. The pepper is mostly produced by small-scale farmers, comprising more than 90 per cent of the population and each having 1-2 hectares of land. Farmers’ prices per kg were reduced to one fifth in a few years. At the same time the pepper yield declined because of plant diseases.
India losing ground in pepper production, exports
India is fast losing its status as a leading producer and exporter of pepper, also known as “black gold”, as production and cultivated area of this spice variety have dwindled.
Grown mostly on the slopes of Western Ghats in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, cultivation base of pepper has come down sharply in the last decade hitting production and export. According to pepper growers and traders, factors ranging from vagaries of climate to afflictions wilting pepper vines, contributed to fall in production and shrinkage of cultivated area.