I was staring out into an open field while the rest were negotiating prices for teachers file cabinets for the school in Tamil Nadu. I had always wondered what sea coconuts Borassus flabellifer tasted like… sure enough, the few men that were harvesting the sea coconuts from about more than 50 m away waved at me. I decided, why not.. so I made my way down and soon was feasting on the sea coconuts. There’s a special way of eating them and you need to use your thumb to scoop up the kernel. Its aromatic and subtly sweet. Very juicy and great for the 38-40 degree celcius heat we were experiencing. They were really generous and they even gave us a basketful for our students to eat.
It was just one occasion of many in Tamil Nadu’s friendliness I encountered. Another was across the road from a teashop where I was observing a shopkeeper making tea. Soon enough they noticed me and waved at me to go. I was a bit reluctant this time cos my stomach wasn’t up to it after a roadside limejuice I had a few days back. But in all you could really make friends there by just taking an interest.