The Yoghurt Generalization [A Short Story]

Strangers are like kites. But, it’s unimportant. What is important is I met a stranger on a train. He seemed to be a man in his fifties. I am unsure of the number. You can be an expert in face-reading, but I bet you can’t read him. The only prediction you can make about him is he is not going to go bald for the next ten years as your eyes fixate on his hair.

After a few exchanges of formal questions and answers, our conversation took a U-turn. 

“How do you see people who are sad most of the time?” I asked him.

“I look down on them,” He answered, “Because, you just cannot help them.”

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As he was collecting the words in his mouth, I leaned over, giving him the space to speak.

“These people often play the victim card. No matter what you do to them, they will keep crying,” He added.

“Maybe, they just never stopped hurting and—”

“No,” the man cut my sentence, “it’s all bullshit. Didn’t you read the book Man’s Search for Meaning or 12 Years A Slave? Those people escaped The Auschwitz concentration camp and slavery of white supremacists. And, despite that, these people tell you to praise them just because their parents didn’t, when they were children. What is the thing with this unresolved childhood issues?”


“The idea is childhood experiences shape who we are,” I finally spoke, “and, children who were bullied might become adults who might have stage freight.

“Bullshit,” the man commented, “What about children who didn’t have any childhood—the Afghanistan kids who watched chemical bombs hovering above their head all the time?”

I knew where the conversation was going.

“I think Lifeway makes the best Yoghurt,” I indirectly proposed a new topic of conversation, “except that they recently tested their product on children, treating them as a lab rat.”

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“Didn’t you try Brown Cow? It’s thicker and higher in protein.”

“I like Lifeway.”

Before the man could respond, the train halted, and a tenor of people began to board and de-board.

“I enjoyed our conversation,” He concluded, “And, you should eat Lifeway only if you find it tasty. Everyone has their taste, which we cannot generalize or compare—because we don’t know how some things taste to some people. People who choose Lifeway also eat different yoghurt—it tastes different to each of them.”

“Exactly,” I replied. 

Ahmad Khan

I have no blood in my veins. I have ink.

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