“True Love isn’t Romeo and Juliet. It’s Grandma and Grandchild who grew old together, and watered the banana plantation together.”
I have watched my grandma roasting the banana leaf, steaming and folding at an optimum temperature on the gas stove. This routine and unique culinary style elevated my curiosity and I asked her: “Dadi, why you roast and pack the food with banana leaf? You got a fresh wrappers as well.”
“Roasting the food into banana leaf reflects a special aroma, my child”, she intrigued pumping the inhaler into her deteriorating lungs. Deep down, she’d make a special coconut chutney and packed it safely before I leave for work.
After a month or two, my company transferred me to another city. It was really heart breaking to leave my lovely grandma. And after that, I had heard her only through phone calls and on my demand video calls.
On phones, she used to essayed about how her little banana plantation has grown green and gradually turning towards the sun. For every intricate handloom woven sarees and Kurtis, she used to video called me to evident that her age is just a number.
Our voice chats on WhatsApp were the nitty gritty to alleviate all my pains and stress. Somehow I think, social media had played out an imperative role in connecting us heart-to-heart.
It was late in October when I heard that my lovely grandma had tripped off the stairs hauling her oxygen machine behind her. No blood, no scars but the weight of machine bowed her down the god.
I went numb and traumatised. For the first time, I spoke to silence in my head. I immediately rushed to my home town to get the glimpse of my lovely grandma for one last time.
During her funeral, I realized that there were lot of people who’d gather to mourn her death. I wondered how intensely and immensely her neighbours were adoring her. Everyone kept garlands and bouquets before she was buried.
During that time, I cognised that I am missing something special — Yeah! Banana Plantation. I ran to the plant, watered it and promised to keep it alive till the final twitch.
I cut a banana leaf, roasted it silently in the kitchen and packed the most favourite meal of my grandma. Before she was laid down the grave, I safely kept that meal beside her arms, but sadly for one last time. I wish to wear the shoes of my grandma. Love you Grandma!