My name is Broccoli. Go ahead, feel sorry for me just because I don't have a unique name. I suppose I could have called myself Brassica oleracea var. botrytis but then you would call me arrogant. Besides, how would you pronounce the italics?
I don't belong here. I don't know how I know this, but I look around and see that I am a different shade of green. My neighbours are darker, oilier and more hardy. I feel thirsty all the time but my neighbours seem to manage with as little water as they get. My earliest recollection of life was in a really hot place. The sun bore down on me and the only water I got was from a bucket. Ah, water. I still recall how parched I used to get, my leaves too heavy to hold up so they almost kissed the pot. I could barely sway, my limpid leaves hanging like dacshund ear's. Droopy, I got very often. Then I got water and in loads. It made me so happy. Slowly my aching leaves would move up from the ground and hold themselves rigid and proud; catching the sun like a solar panel. I had two siblings then. I don't know what happened to them. We got separated after we moved from the hot place.
When I moved to the new place, I felt better. It was not hot all the time. My leaves enlarged, I grew taller and I could see all the other plants in the balcony from a height. One time, another plant grew taller than me, a tomato plant; it gave a lot of fruit, and eventually died. I sometimes wonder about that way of living. Giving fruit and then dying. I used to feel really happy just having strong shiny green leaves, but then I began to notice that in the new place, all the other plants gave flowers which sometimes turned into fruit. Their leaves withered and the cruel water tricks made them weak, yet they defended and cared for their flowers and fruits, valiantly giving up water and food just so they would survive. Why didn't I ever produce flowers or fruit? Could I even make babies?
I searched deep. Maybe I wasn't special enough? Was the problem with me or my environment? I was different from the other plants, but was I different in this regard too? There was no one to talk to about this. The other plants merely looked away when I tried to reach out to them. My big leaves prevented them from getting enough sun. Always, there was an excuse to avoid me. Once in a while, just like water from the sky, blobs of brown stuff would descend on me and I would feel rejuvenated. I would grow taller and taller, make more leaves; I could turn towards the sun each day. Yet, no fruit emerged. I don't know why this is. I came to a newer place some time back and it was even cooler than before. Like the last time, yet another tomato plant grew next door, grew bigger than me and started giving fruit. I can't take it any longer.
Why do I just keep growing?
Why do I just keep growing?
Notes: This is a private story. I have a broccoli plant, whose seeds I got from UK. I managed to grow it from seed in Hyd, but it never flowered there. I thought it was the weather. Bangalore doesn't do the trick either. I have had it for 4 years now. The title alludes to a joke with my friends that the only thing the plant is good for, is to feed a goat.