Sheila's Reviews > Of Soulful Cheese and Melted Needs

Of Soulful Cheese and Melted Needs by Elaine Chiew
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really liked it
bookshelves: short-stories, 2018

This short story got me with the title which encapsulates the whole tale beautifully. The story is available online at

Two youths of Indian extraction man the In-N-Out Burger bar off Interstate 101- Kukri, the chatty philosophiser "can an egg have a ghost?" and his sidekick the shyer, virginal Raj. They think they slow day is made when two girls come in and pay intimate attention to them. What's that old saying - 'if something is too god to be true, it usually isn't', yes that's what is happening here unbeknown to the two smitten boys.

SPOILER ALERT - the girls are using seduction techniques to rob the joint. Although they only get the few dollars in the till, one takes much more from Raj. Left spent and confused, Raj "felt robbed. Sad. Angry. Lost. But it wasn't his money". The boys share a "joint" of Kukri's mother's spice mix in consolation as Kukri plans a better approach to getting girls "Nirvana isn't reached by sitting on your finely-shaped buttocks under a tree...What we need is a car....then we go cruising" - so Indian I can hear the intonation :)

But it is the final paragraph that really makes this a poignant tale of virginity stolen "Raj wants to cry. But all he can do is watch the puff-rings Kukri blows out; they fill the air with a pang of dum aloo homesickness and the clandestine whiff of Punjabi girls" Beautiful.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 7, 2018 – Shelved
January 7, 2018 – Finished Reading

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