Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Land of errr.... bananas

Maybe it's a silly thing to come to a new place with a lot of expectations. It doesn't help when the place has a name which makes you think that those expectations aren't fanciful. Like Kerala. Kerala means the land of coconuts. Now forgive me for assuming that the land of coconuts would have plenty of coconuts. Actually it did have a lot of coconuts. The only issue was that it had a tad too many. So many, in fact that they grew all over the place like vermin. So nobody bothers to shimmy up those long things called coconut trees and fetch the humongous things down. And since everybody has enough of them growing in their backyards, and their foreyards - and hey when did this one come up in the driveway - nobody in their right senses would buy them. So that left the third biggest city in Coconut-land effectively coconut-less.

Which is fine in the normal scheme of things. But then, as it were to happen, I love these things. And I came here with dreams of a coconut for breakfast, and one for lunch and one for... you get the drift. Which is what I tend to do when these things are available in plenty and are inexpensive. Which is what I did on a trip to rural Andhra, when I had enough of them to make the poor shopkeeper get cursed by his wife for not getting down more from the tree the previous evening.

So Kerala isn't, unfortunately, the land of coconuts. What it, however, is definitely, is the land of bananas. Yes, bananas. Tonnes and tonnes of the yellow stuff, hanging all over the place, in every nook and cranny. Any shop worth it's salt sells bananas. They sell them, ranging from yellow to red, tiny and medium to gargantuan, sugary sweet to starchy tasteless, beaten black and blue to smooth, untouched glossy yellow. There are shops which sell only bananas. One small hole in the wall, with a dozen odd stalks with a hundred odd bananas on each, and one heck of a contented shopkeeper swatting off flies and enjoying his afternoon siesta. For he knows, this is safe business. Nobody would be bananas enough not to eat bananas. His income, although nothing approaching astronomical would ensure a happy for himself and his progeny. Which is what most people in Kerala are more than happy with (damn, I wish I was as content as them).

Now, I hated the stuff before coming here. No particular reason, other than the taste. But then the lack of a overtly edible alternative in the form of good mess food drives you to places you never though you might reach. So now, I love the stuff. Yes, bananas. So much that I ate... how many of them today.... yes, 6. So now, I binge on bananas. Wow. How sad can life be! Atleast it's better than gulping down other random packed stuff, but bananas? 6 of them in a day? I mean, come on. Well, there's some solace from the fact that the damn things are dirt cheap and don't make a banana-sized hole in my pocket. I know, terrible joke. But then the yellow stuff ain't too well known for brainpower increasing nutrients.

They were right. MBA does change you. Completely :| Whether it's about a new found love for bananas or a significant decrease in the quality of my jokes. Sigh.

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