The 360º Project | Happy Banana Leaves at 1º

Happy Banana Leaves

The banana tree is a favorite, for it is such a splash of happy green.

In the thick of writing, the TV drones on in the periphery of my vision,unheeded. When I write, I usually have the TV on in the background, mostly BBC or the TLC. I do come up for air once in a while and have to admit that some of the best ideas come out of the blue from the conversations I hear on the screen. Else, I look out of the window, in front of me, to observe the greens of the banana and coconut trees (yes, as in the photograph above).

The banana tree is a favourite, for it is such a splash of happy green. Last month, it had a huge cluster of bananas, neat whorls of it, culminating in the Yahoo-logo coloured flower that’s shaped like a mortar shell. I did nurse the thought of taking a picture and, by the time I decided to, the neighbour to whom it belongs had neatly dispatched it for further processing of a human kind.

My cook/caretaker looks forward to it for a different purpose. I love fish, especially when steamed whole. Sheath the fish ( I prefer fresh mackerel ) with salt, freshly ground pepper and this green mysterious chutney 😉 and then, wrap it up in a section of banana leaf to be steamed in a pressure cooker. Weekend lunches are therefore something I look forward to.

It is very important though that the banana leaf section should be surreptitiously removed from the tree when the neighbour isn’t looking.

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4 Responses to The 360º Project | Happy Banana Leaves at 1º

  1. Rajesh February 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Nice. I classify trees as happy trees & unhappy trees based on their effect on me.Drumstick trees with their small leaves interpersed yellow and light green is classified a happy tree. Tamarind trees are also happy trees. Lemon trees appear to brood. Coconut trees are lazy and chilled out happy trees. Mango trees if with dark green leaves appear sad.but when it starts to flower or when the new light coloured leaves sprout, even mango trees turn happy.
    What do you think ?

    • Soni Somarajan February 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Oh yes, Rajesh, I do agree with the characterization you have mentioned. Apt observations. There is this aloofness that I associate with coconut trees too. Then, there is this negativity – a streak of gloomy darkness – that I associate with mahogany trees. Mango trees are about memories since my ancestral home is dotted with them. Plus, each time one of the elders depart for the beyond, a mango tree is felled for the cremation; in a sense, the memory allusion does work there too, alle! Thank you for coming around, mate.

  2. Byju February 9, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    The very thought of being surrounded by lush banana plants is salubrious enough. Those “yahoo colored mortars” has fragile little flowers that produces delicious nectar ! Reaching up and savoring it is so nostalgic that it is a favorite ritual in many Malayalam movie songs scenes 🙂

    Enjoyed reading your post man. Talk to your cook and please send me the pressure cooker fish recipe.


    • Soni Somarajan February 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

      Of course, Byju! Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, a ubiquitous scene in most Mollywood songs and the quintessential longing-for-home image from Kerala. The recipe is in the mail.

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