Last Tuesday, 07th of May 2013, while I was skyping my cousin’s husband “Mr.X”, he asked his children “pudiya pannu katira makkale”? (Children, did you all show the new fruit?). I was wondering what was this new fruit not known to me (I am a fruit freak & will eat any fruit including durang as long as it is edible & sweet)!! The girls showed me the fruits in different positions & asking me to guess what it was. It had the colour of a dragon fruit but the shape was different, had the shape of an apple but the skin texture was different, too many guesses & then I gave up. They finally said its a Guava… arrey wahhh!!…. ‘How come I never had the privilege of seeing it till now?’ was my thought… so I asked how much was it? I was told Rs350 & they had picked up 2 kgs paying Rs.700 for the precious fruits & started giggling…. moodiya… tolekate yen maduva? (girls what else they will do but giggle…. yeh?)
My cousin Mrs.X was visiting namma Bengaluru with her husband & daughters. Mr.X opted to stay home to avoid driving in the mad traffic & my daughter Cau was the chauffeur.. all the four ladies did their shopping & finally it was time to go home… Cau went with one of the daughters to get the car which was parked about 100 mtrs away & Mrs.X and the other daughter were standing near Safina Plaza and they noticed a fruit vendor there. He had a shop set up with a lot of variety of fruits & the shop seemed to be bustling with customers. Then they noticed a thermocol box sitting there. The vendor was opening it just a little (as if it was the most precious possession & he didn’t want the hot air to get in!) and pulling out fruits from it- individual fruits. Each fruit was bright pink & it was individually wrapped in transparent plastic wrap. You could see that the box was full of ice surrounding the fruits. There were even tiny dried leaves in the plastic wrapped fruits, perhaps to give the ‘natural’ look!! So Mrs.X went n asked what it was, and the vendor said that they were pink guavas that had just arrived from Thailand!! When she inquired about the price, he said 350 Rupees(Rs) per kg. Normally guava rate is about 50-60 rupees, the best ones!! Also, there are these 1-kg guavas available in the market, costing around 100 plus Rs per kg (i.e. per guava 😉 ). In Coorg it is free as it grows in their own home, and that too its organic hum. So this was quite a price he was quoting. Meanwhile there was another customer there, who had just bought 2 kilos of this pink guava, and he also told Mrs.X ” see madam, my boss placed order for this & i’m picking it up! Very nice madam, very sweet!”. The vendor also egged on.. that if it was not sweet, he would return the money (perhaps he knew Mrs.X was out of town & was never going to come back all the way just to return it?). Soon the car was there & it was a no parking zone so eventually Mrs.X got convinced & ended up buying 2 kilos of the bright pink fruit!! When he packed it, he again gave it in a thermocol box, with ice surrounding the fruits.
On arriving home, every one excitedly opened up the box, pulled out the fruits & cut open their plastic packing. That’s when the bubble burst & to their dismay, on a closer look, it was clear that the guava had been peeled clean. The outer skin of the fruit was gone. Still, it was pink! So they then cut one open, and to their disbelief, it was only the outer skin that was pink; you could notice that it was some kind of colored dye or sugar syrup (may be gelatin was also added), that the fruit had been left in. Had the skin not been removed, the fruit would have not soaked in the colored dye, and that was possibly why the skin had been removed. The peeled guava had absorbed the color and the sugar (plus what God alone know?) had formed a thin film of coating which could fool one’s eye like a complete fruit. So there was a layer of pink dye around the fruit -pink guava!! On biting into it, that pink layer was really, really sweet…so the dye was the sweet-guarantee!!! It was all falling into place now. They had been fooled 😦 so badly!! The guava was peeled so artistically & evenly it’s very easy to get fooled, the ability of the vendor is high appreciable!!! And my cousin realized that the “customer” who was buying along with them was probably a friend of the vendor, helping him add some credibility!
The irony is that Mrs.X did her studies in Bangalore, has seen the world & one can confidently say, has good of the authority on plants, flowers & fruits. All her 50 years she has lived in Coorg. She has personally grown practically every kind of fruit at home, even knowing most of their botanical names! So how did she get fooled?…The packaging? (It was in deed quite deceptive) The marketing? The hurry-burry?.. or the vender is too smart? All I can say is that if she could be fooled, anyone could be fooled!! So if any one you got fooled by this treachery don’t be sad.. 😉
Now I know the answer to how Osama Bin Laden’s finance network works: It’s the ability of his followers to raise funds like knife in butter… so I have decided to name this pink guava as “The Bin Laden” in his honour.
Now I need a favour: Anyone visiting Safina Plaza (before the vendor is arrested or disappears), or if you see the pink guava somewhere, please try to get me some nice picture of the vendor!