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Thursday, April 18, 2013

operation coconut ...Bond in Brunei

To the mallu ( malayalee of Kerala ) coconut is indispensable .
from the fronds ,the bark the husk the flowers the whiteflesh the tender sweet water the oil is used by him day in and day out for ages .
.kera means coconut and land of cocnuts is Kerala .
The mallu ladies need to see scraped coconuts in abundance in thier kitchen and coconut oil anointing thier skins and hair to be satisfied
So there was no surprise when my lady started showing signs of acute coconut deficiency syndrome which is a sort of withdrawal symptom when coconut is not available .
this is an impossiblity in India of course and for last many years when we were in the Gulf coconuts in all forms were available as the gulp is packed with mallus .
having landed in Brunei recently we were pleasantly surprised to see it dotted with coconut palms swaying gently in the breeze ,we knew we were in the right place with plenty of fresh coconuts but were we wrong !!
coconut milk and some coconut powedr were available in tins fromAustralia of all places and no fresh coconuts !!! sob sob
most of the groceries were owned by Tamils who like in nearby Malasyia were here in adequate numbers ,and they were not fastidious about coconut .
neither were the Bruneians themselves .
Wife started becoming panicky of how to live a life without coconuts ,
she explored and found out that there was one market called Senguran which was open till afternoon where one could get fresh coconut peeled into  bits by machine ,
so we drove the 10 km to this place only to find acute scarcity and was told the available ones had already been booked by others !!
well cinema /railway booking fine but first time iam hearing of coconut booking .

We were told if we could come on a weekday by 2pm we stood a chance .
so wife gave me a task to  go there during lunch hour  and get it  !
no arguments

i did that
I managed to reach the market
roads were excellent
 the sun suddenly disappeared into a cloud and rain fell in buckets as it often did in Brunei by the time I was in the market it was sunny again green and bright .
I walked through the open market full of vegetables fruits and fish and to the far corner where i saw a couple of shops with coconuts
now I dont know a word of Malaya and none there knew English which is generally well spoken in Brunei .
The amiable cheerful guy knew I wanted scraped coconuts ,so propmtyl started peeling a tender coconut !
 oh no no i dont want that i want a mature coconut
he just smiled and went about his task  ,
I caught his arm.... stop stop please i want a grown coconut and i started miming my best
dont know how to depict a mature cocnut do you ?
I felt like mohanlal did in movie  Thenmaavinkombathu when he was asking for valli ( vazhi ) in kannada speaking in a forest area and finally says disgustedly po veliyamme vazheelukuthirikkade (get lost) .

 I walked off to a far off shop where a  young guy with some coconuts was sitting and managed to convey what i wanted he came back to the other shop owner and explained in the lingo .
 finally realisation dawned and with a wide grin he dehusked a couple of mature coconuts and scraped it for me in a jiffy
I returned victoriuosly back to hospital in time for work

1 comment:

Maddy said...

Hey Hari..
Hope you have a nice time in Brunei..
tell us about the place as well in the upcoming blogs...

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