Saturday, August 6, 2011

How To - Get to your Bananas

The other day I shared some pineapple pieces with folks in office and said that they were from home. I was surprised to know that a few of them had not seen how pineapples grow or how its plant looks like. Not that I was really alarmed because yours truly didn't knew the same about Avocados an year back.

So we decided, similar to our Incredible India! label, today we will start a new label - God's Own Country. No marks to guess which place that is. Now that Don's shifted to Kerala, there will be ample opportunities to travel to the land of rubber (I wanted to say coconut) and backwaters, we will try to bring as many mundane and surprising elements, so as to enlighten and entertain the masses about little things in Kerala, as seen by our own eyes and captured by our own devices.

How To - Get to your Bananas

It would be silly of me to guess that there are people out there who don't know where Bananas grow. I am sure all of us would have seen those big bunches at tea shops or plantain shops but there are still others who would have only seen them by a dozen. But not clouding our judgement with prior experiences, we bring you how these bunch of yellow (the one in the clip is red) plantains are gathered from the tree (if we can call it that).

1. So first, the owner of the bunch, who had been eyeing it from many days, decides that it has ripened enough to be brought down from its hanging place. He is also conscious of the fact that other people in the village are also eyeing it from many days and there are suggestions galore about getting it down. So before all the eyeing spoils the fruit and to get rid of too many suggestions which have become a pain in his ears, he decides to cash in on the spoil. This one was brought down on a Sunday, for you can listen to the mass in the background. So much to keep the Sabbath holy!

2. You definitely need a man or two to get this thing down. So you can call in your neighbours, some of the people who just came by to your house that morning can be asked to lend a hand and one of the guys you had been eyeing the fruit, so that the news can be spread that the plantain has been brought down and there is no need to talk about it anymore or visit the said persons house. But what joy is it if you don't have at least five people, even to pick a pin, in Kerala. The only downside to getting so many helping hands is that they come with as many mouths and so as many suggestions or 'how to do' steps. Even if this is not rocket science, we need to be mindful of the fact that there's not many opportunities to send something up into the sky in Kerala but many ways to bring something down. So if the owner is tactful he'll take a decision on it else the villagers will have a go at it, whether you like it or not.

3. I am sure one would have understood by now that one banana plant only yields one bunch of fruit. Lets remember that! First the dried and withered leaves are cleared off from the plant. Then the tilt of the tree is observed and it is pulled down to let the person with the chopping job to get a good view of the stem of the fruit bunch. Usually its the owner who gets to chop and others will do the secondary job, similar to how to let a celebrity cut the ribbon. Oh what joy it is to chop! A good portion of the stem of the fruit bunch is retained, one to give it a good hold to carry around and second to give it a grand appearance. The other people will gather around and give support and hold on to the fruit bunch so that it doesn't fall off when chopped. Then with a few smooth cuts the chopper will do the job and wola! what was so high a few minutes earlier is just about your mouth now. Peel it and enjoy.

The remains of the plant will be dug out and a new sampling will be planted. And then in eight to ten months time it will again be time for some eyeing, talking and chopping and the cycle continues.

God bless its country!!!!!!


The quirk said...

You really are fascinated with this arent you? I saw Kochu do it for the past few years after Life in Middle east. She loved the fact that she could toil in soil back in Kerala.Waiting fort he pineappple tutorial

Who said...

I don't think you just keep calling me 'country' for nothing :P