Monday, September 22, 2008

The Banana Seller

And a more methodical man could not be found. Every night, he arrives like clockwork to take stock of his fruit…..how many customers has he satisfied today? He stops his cart right below the street lamp near my house. He tempts passersby with the few remaining wares...they gleam golden in the sodium lamps. After a wait of about half an hour, he begins the long process of safety wrapping up the left over fruit in netting. 
First, he un-wraps a substantial length of rope and lays it out in a zig-zag pattern. This enables him to pull it at will without causing tangles. Then, out comes the netting.  It is made of porous material which helps the fruit breathe even though it is wrapped under several layers.This, he spreads evenly over his cart, gently folding the corners, as if tucking in a child in bed. He stands back to admire his effort and once satisfied, lays on the rope with the expertise of a fisherman casting a net. A sharp tug ensures that one end is secure. Then he throws the other end over and over…till it is all fixed.
Sometimes in the middle of the pack up session, longing souls linger by the cart— terribly hunger students going home from the thousand and ten classes they attend..the bananas will sustain them till dinner, couples out for a walk struck with the last minute idea of having bananas for breakfast, old folks who can have heaps of the yellow fruit without having to bother about teeth, …..the fruit lures them all. Bananas are the most wholesome fruit, I think— filling, sweet, no seeds..just peel-eat-throw.
Ungrudging, as always, the man fulfills everyone’s desires. He returns to his task once more. Finally, he is done and ready to go home.
One more day on this earth is snugly wrapped up thus.