I love coconut trees, and having born and brought up in Kerala, there was no dearth of coconut trees around. The word ‘Kerala’ combines the sound and meaning of two words, kera (coconut palm tree) and alam(land/ location/ abode) to form the word Keralam, which means ‘Coconut land’. During vacations spent in grand parents' place, all of us cousins would roam around in the compound with many types of trees. It was fun making chains with tapioca leaves, flutes with papaya stalks and to watch with great fascination how coconut leaves were converted to sheets for thatching roofs.
I loved to observe ropes being made with the fibers from coconut husks. The smell of fresh coconut oil, oh God, I used to go crazy applying it on my hand and keeping on smelling it. Since our coconut oil supply was from grand parents, we never stopped its use. During those years, (paid) doctors were publishing volumes of research that painted coconut oil as causing health problems and prompted people to buy vanaspathi (Dalda).
Coconut leaves in the moonlight
When we shifted to the house that my parents built, my room was on the first floor and in those days I could sleep with the windows open. What a blissful sight it was to look at the coconut leaves in the moon light, outside the window! They had a special effect on me as I was dreaming of the person I was going to marry. During the eight months between our engagement and marriage, I was preparing my mind to live without coconut trees in future. He was from the north where coconut trees were absent and we planned to set up our dental practice in his home town.
Destiny had other plans
As it so happened, we went with the flow of destiny and instead of setting up practice, got into teaching and finally settled in a place where we could plant coconut trees in our compound. As I lie down on my bed and listen to the rustling of coconut leaves, my heart gets filled with gratitude to that Universal force that made this possible. The sound of rustling coconut leaves is so conducive for sleep!
It doesn’t end here. My husband got interested in plants and he gets cold pressed coconut oil for our use. After my mother’s demise, I thought that then on I will have to buy coconut oil from the market as she used to supply my stock. The whole world is now acknowledging the miraculous health benefits of coconut oil, and oil pulling with virgin coconut oil is so popular!