Disappearing Bananas

I wrote only yesterday that fruits and vegetables were disappearing from shelves and carts in India. This afternoon I went for a post-lunch helping of fruit and found that the banana-vendor whom I patronize everyday had sold out his entire supply in a few minutes. I used to buy a banana for Rs 3 each. A case of the disappearing bananas.

There was a time when a dozen bananas cost, well; you know what I am going to say. So? Today I pay for one banana what I used to pay for a dozen of the green tempter of a fruit, still I can’t get one. Ultimately I had to buy an apple, today, an expensive one at that, at, hold your breath while I clear my throat, Rs 20 an apple.

I will not go into that bit about how I bought, yes, you guessed it… In those sepia-toned, halcyon-esque, nostalgia-drunk days, which is now just a dream, a dozen apples cost Rs 20 each. So also are the days when all the entertainment I could get was “Wednesday Special”, “Saturday Date” and “Sweet Hot and Blues” on Bombay A. Bombay A as in All India Radio’s Bombay A channel with presenters such as John Israel and Natasha Mathews (I have this tendency to remember names that somehow have bits and parts of my own [anyone who remember these people, please, please, write to me.). The only entertainment on television was “What’s the Good Word (wassat?),” hosted by a rather severe Sabira Merchant and the funny “Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi” that made a star out of Satish Shah. I am actually removing cob-webs from grey cells.

I got carried away. Sorry. I was discussing bananas and apples. I don’t know what’s happening. I really don’t. Just as I don’t understand much of what is happening in today’s world. Is it the big retailers walking rough-shod over the poor “bhajiwala bhaiyas (no pejorative here)” or is it the genetically modified (GM) crop lobby trying to take over the food chain?

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