(100-word flash fiction)

It all started with mangoes. There she was, hiding among her backyard trees, wolfing down the juicy, golden fruit. An innocent teen, cloistered in the inner courtyard of a Brahmin household, far from the eyes of the world.

The crash had startled the mango from her grasp. A young, ripped body had followed the fallen coconut down the tree. She had burst out laughing. He had fallen in love. Well! She too. Isn’t whatever is forbidden the most enticing?

Eventually, her folks found out. She was married off, hastily, to a Brahmin boy. His body was found in a ditch.

This is something that could very easily have happened 100 years ago in the south of India, in the coconut palm laden villages. Brahmin girls and women were cloistered and not allowed to move about in public view. Their contact with men was limited to only close family members and so, sometimes when they accidentally met men, like in this case, the coconut-feller, who would have been from a lower caste, romance blossomed. It was usually cut short with the girl’s marriage and the guy’s exile or death.

Many thanks, once again, to our head-mistress Rochelle, who keeps us Friday Fictioneers in line ♥

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51 comments on “Mangoes

  1. You tell a powerful and educational story. Institutionalized patriarchy may not be as extreme as it once was, but it is a long way from being neutralized.

  2. Wow, that was a great story but I especially love that you gave the background information about it. It made the story much more meaningful for me, as I didn’t know this about the people.

  3. I heard the coconut fall, and felt the terrible sadness that must have occurred so very many times down the centuries, and perhaps even today.

  4. That’s why I don’t eat coconut.

    The practice of marrying off people who are in love to separate them may be the only thing sadder than unrequited love. It’s even worse when one ends up dead. Well-told, heartbreaking story.

C'mon, don't be a silent spectator ....

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