Now that I may have sometime at hand in God’s Own Country-Kerala, I might as well look at reliving some of the childhood.
It’s still God’s Own Country, thanks to the nature and appreciating tourists and relative tolerance. There are so many other things hidden and surviving scarcely.
Right now I have three things in mind to bring back from memory.
1. Cheruthen- the stingless bee honey.
We had them building their homes in the cracks of the granite compound walls of the house. They’re safe as we were obviously not allowed to break the walls in search of honey.
But we had a method of using the dark earthen pots covered with cloth with a carefully made hole on the side and hang it in the open but under shade. A small portion of the wax from the wall cracks along with some bees is kept inside the pot before covering with cloth. The dozen or so bees trapped inside then find out the hole and get out. Instead of escaping they communicate with others in the group and start building their home inside the pot, as if it’s their dream home.
First they wax seal the cloth cover and make a small tubular wax entrance through the hole. People familiar with knowledge of knowing when the beehive is ready and full with honey will tell you when to open and collect the honey. Leaving something behind will ensure a new cycle.
This honey is precious with so many dream benefits.
2. Vettipazham- Aporosa Lindleyana
Vettipazham is golden and glowing beery growing in thousands on medium sized hard wooded trees. Childhood memories include climbing the friendly tree with favorites (definition of cute friends of opposite sex). The only problem was that you get to eat hardly anything as the idea is to pass on your collection to the favorites.
3. Kothumullu Pazham.
This is fruits of thorny plants. When raw the small berries protected by sharp thorns are pleasantly sour, a taste favored again by the favorites. The ripe ones are sweet. But the real sweetness is in wading through the hostile thorns, getting badly bruised and coming out wounded, just to see her blushing face when you give the berries with a heroic smile.
To get these near extinct species back to life…… may be possible.
But to get the scenes with favorites enacted…… Priceless……