20th February 2023 Kala and Beena
Hello everyone. Today, I wish to write about bananas, yes, bananas😉😉😉 when I saw this painting by Kala of the banana vendor. In India, especially in Kerala, bananas are essential for daily consumption. We have a wide variety of bananas in Kerala for different purposes. We eat the unripe type as chips and other savoury dishes. We eat the ripened version as a fruit, made into sweet dishes like payasam and many more varied versions that only a Keralite can fathom😂😂😂. Do you know we have a breakfast dish called banana stew, it’s so yummy and comforting.
Here, there is a variety called Keling bananas. The direct translation means Indian banana. It has become a bit sensitive as Keling/ Kling is used to describe Indians in a derogatory way😒😂😂. However, with the “woke” culture since 2017, people have become more sensitive to the use of such words. Historically, the term originated from the Kalinga Kingdom that had ruled over this region.
I looked at this from a different perspective. It is a word used to describe one of the best-tasting bananas here. Now how can that be so bad🤔🤔? The bottom line is the way one would use that word. So I will tell the vendor I want that “keling” bananas as they are the best and would watch his face break into a smile. He would agree, and we will have a short conversation, and I will go home with a bunch of delicious bananas and share them with my gals, who are very picky about bananas😂😋😋😋. They, too, want the best😊😊.
Well, that was my banana story. I would like to know if you can find this type of banana elsewhere and how it is named. Do let me know in your comments🙏😆.
To see more of Kala’s art, visit: www.instagram.com/kalapohlstudio