Sunday, February 09, 2014

Banana Stem Meditations

Bombay usually energises me but this time I was just exhausted. I left as I arrived - with a headache. In between there were more people than I thought I'd meet though there was less conversation than I imagined.

I have been sleeping. I have been postponing the yoga with an odd kind of guilt I have not felt in years. Like I have a duty to the time and to the pose - whichever one it is that has caught my fancy.

I cut banana stem for my mother who says it's hard on her fingers. This replaces for me, for today, the meditation of holding a pose. I slice one circle off, pull the fiber around a finger and then slip it off like a ring. Knife, slice, wind, ring, pick up knife again. The bowl of buttermilk is clear on the top. I swirl a finger in it, drown the slices so they don't get brown.

Peace in repetition, in knowing this is a pose - yes, pose - with a clear end in sight. When these four lengths of stem are cut. Steadily beating heart, no particular thought that needs handholding. I must insist on being the one to cut the banana stem. Like I have claimed for myself the task of grating coconut. These domesticities are where I feel at home.


km said...

As them Buddhists say, "chop wood and carry water". The import of that line can hit really hard sometimes.

??! said...

I had to go look up banana stems and how they're used. I must have eaten them before in a dish, but I didn't realise they were used.

Which makes me realise how little I know of classic, traditional regional foods. Eating, yes. Cooking, not so much.