It isn’t a daily occurrence to see a fruit step out of its comfort zone to address some opinions and views people have about it. Are you confused? Allow us to clarify. We have with us today the very versatile chakkapazham to talk about living with Malayalis since the dawn of time.
So, let’s listen to the chronicles of Chakkapazham!
Chakkapazham, how would you describe the origins of your bond with Malayalis?
I think we have known the soils of Kerala and the taste of Malayalis for ages. We have been specialised to grow in almost all kinds of soil variants of this beautiful place. I bet that you wouldn’t see many houses here that don’t own a plav (chuckles). We are omnipresent on this land. And history talks of how helpful we have been in times of need. The number of dishes that could be curated using us is insanely amazing and astonishing; I’ve honestly lost count. The leaves of plav are fodder for goats. Historically, the wood from the branches was also a vital part of cooking!
And if you ever doubt our importance in Kerala, Google “the official fruit of Kerala”. You’ll see! Also, don’t forget that we have been found to help in curing various diseases, including cancer. And we’ve been proven to be effective for weight loss too!
What is your opinion of “Chakka veenu moyalu chathu”?
Well, we don’t endorse this saying to be honest. We are just a bunch of healthy and happy fruits. Allow me to share something that we find interesting about our existence.
We denote life.The spiky outer cover in us shows that life might seem hard when you try to hold onto things too tight, it might become painful too. But in the end, when you try to explore the depths, sweetness comes your way, your hunger gets satisfied. And then you get the seeds, which denotes the essence of life- birth. The legacy continues.
So, technically we don’t kill – be it rabbits or people! We just satiate hunger. (smirks)
(Interviewer’s note: Quite interesting philosophy to come from a Chakkapazham, right?)
What is your experience with millennials? Do you think they realise the importance of Chakkapazham as their ancestors do?
(Chakkapazham couldn’t stop grinning)
Don’t take us wrong but millennials confuse us. They try to be healthy by eating unhealthy food. They want to be fit yet they follow the lifestyle that does everything but. We don’t judge anyone! All have their own likes and dislikes when it comes to food and taste. We respect that. Many millennials choose fast food over us. But the fandom that we have can’t be brought down with just some ‘dislikes’.
You see, our algorithm is older than most that social media platforms have right now, and so our trend will go strong as it always has. You know why? Because we provide original and healthy content. The followers we have, love us in spite of the tight competition in the market.
Corona has changed the way people see you. You have become a social sensation during lockdown, your comments on that?
We heard of it too. Lockdown made people go back to their roots. Well, I guess some went back due to their needs and others because they were bored, we do understand there is a difference. Starting with the ‘Chakkakuru shake’, which was very surprising; what can I say, we are more versatile than we think we are! From burgers to lasagna, people are trying to make us more and more acceptable among all the age groups.
And did you see that crazy trend where people were making chappals out of our husk? That was a bit crazy but I guess most trends are crazy. I hear we are in the vegan meat sector too! Our future is quite bright and we believe it is because of the multitude of ways we are able to serve people.
As we conclude, do you have any message to your readers?
(Will people listen to a talking fruit? It asked me.We will know that in the comment section for sure!)
Then here it is. We are fat fruits. Do we look desirable? No, right? Are we sad about the way we are? Not even a bit!
We are full of spikes and when you cut us open, the white glue textured liquid can make a huge mess around. Also, you need to struggle a bit to get to the sweet portion within us. It is not easy to be us. There are many fruits which look better than us, have fancy names and are easy to have. Are we jealous of them? Never! We are just a bunch of unapologetically weird looking fruits with a lot of confidence and love in us. If that gives you a message then we agree that you were made with some intelligence by the universe!