Reading Time: 2 minutes

He stood at the street corner, the rays from the light pole bathed the vegetables on his handcart in a sickly, yellow color. But there was no other place the vegetable vendor could stand. This was his designated spot. He had paid the local authority a pretty sum to hawk his vegetables every evening. The people from the community were well acquainted with the man and his green produce, and after five pm, his vegetable cart was the place to be.

It usually began with the women and children. The young ones, off to romp in the park, zipped past him, while their mothers and grandmothers stopped to indulge in a lucrative buy. It began with picking, touching, and squeezing, vegetables were groped with an indecency that could not even be justified with the money they demanded.

When plastic bags were filled, then began the haggling and blabbering. Five rupees less, two potatoes more, the cauliflower should be fresher, throw in some free coriander. The man usually did as he was told, arguing with women was his biggest woe. He had one waiting him for him at home. He needed to save his energy.

Then came the men, returning from their jobs and work, shoulders drooping, foreheads crinkled, clueless as to what to buy and how much should do. Many on their mobile phones, intercepting instructions from cackling female voices. The vegetable vendor had his hands full, grabbing and stuffing vegetables in bags, placing them on empty backseats, thumbing through notes while taking orders from more puzzled faces.

Customers had thinned out. A few more sales, and the man would turn his cart towards home, a rundown shack of complaints. He sighed and looked at the yellow light. The vegetables were more loved and wanted than he would ever be.


Helen loves all things sharp. Her mother thinks she’s crazy. Helen Of Forks showcases a girl’s strange, unexplainable obsession.

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12 Comments on “The Vegetable Vendor – Flash Fiction Story

  1. “A rundown shack of complaints”…I’ve lived in plenty of those myself.

    I always enjoy your posts as you have a gift for discussing human interactions in truthful yet amusing ways. It seems I can always relate your posts to other things that I have read or seen and this one is no different but I won’t bore you with that story, instead, I want to focus on the fact that your flash stories help me to realize no matter where we live or what language we speak, we are more alike than we are different and though our circumstances might be different, our basic problems are typical. I mean, who among us can’t relate to feeling overlooked, unloved and taken for granted at times?

    Thank you for the glimpses into the lives of other through your perceptive eyes and keep these stories coming.

    • I appreciate your observations and honest declarations. We all are bound by typical human predicaments. Though we may differ in race and culture, the basic natures of men and women have a common ground from where such relatable instances stem.
      As a writer yourself (a damn good one), you well understand that our observations have to dig deeper than what is apparent. And add to that imagination, then there is no limit to the scope of emotions that can be touched and portrayed.
      Your stories are always appreciated. You have a knack for sharing just the right one.
      Thank you so very much! 🙂

  2. There is so much pathos in this.
    Ok, it’s sad!
    But the descriptive and nuanced phrases made me read it twice! X

  3. Wow, that is such a powerful story, Terveen. Reminds me of compassion and grace, understanding and compasionship. Lovely. Have a great rest of your week! 😊✨

  4. How you make everyday living come to life is amazing. India is a story of its own. In every single thing that takes place there, there is story behind it. I love reading stories like this.

    • Everything is a story, Shobana. India definitely a land of many has so much to offer. Thank you so much! 🙂

  5. Pingback: The Face On My Leg - Flash Fiction Story | It Ain't Right Till I Write

  6. This story, though descriptive and immersive, carries with it an important message. It reminds me of the way that celebrities or performers can sometimes be treated. People want them more for what they ‘sell’ which is usually their image: their singing and dancing, their acting, their bodies, who they are during interviews and when they are on TV. Rather than who they really are. Celebrities sometimes struggle because people love the face that they put on when they’re performing rather than who they really are.

    • I really like how you have equated this to celebrities and their lonely lives. It’s their persona and saleable traits that people pine for and are obsessed with.
      In this case, the poor vegetable vendor is in the same situation. So many live lives, major portions of which remain sad and isolated, hoping for some sort of genuine human connect.
      Thank you so much for this wonderful observation. You have a knack for digging deep into the foundation of a story. That’s a beautiful talent! 🙂

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