Bananas that Impregnate and Other Food Myths


Bananas that Impregnate and Other Food Myths

Illustration: Shivali Devalkar


ast week, a friend delivered a healthy baby girl, who as it turns out, was born with a head full of hair. While the mother insisted (quite naturally) that the baby was the cutest she had ever seen, the rest of us didn’t quite agree. Let’s face it, some babies get smacked with the ugly stick on their way out. This bundle of joy had merely scraped through.

Anyway, while pictures were taken and Facebook statuses about feeling blessed were updated, as if it were Christ’s Second Coming in a non-patriarchal God-is-a-guy way, in walked the mother-in-law, calling dibs on holding the infant. She let out a deep gasp on observing the curly wisps of black hair on the infant’s noggin. The rest of us we’re ushered out and we could hear the words “sour”, “pickle” and “processed”. Turns out, saasu maa was chiding my friend for her love of all things sour, which included pickles, sausage, and salami, while having a bun in the oven. Her cravings it seems were “responsible for the baby being born with hair”. The other thing responsible for that head full of hair was apparently the heartburn the mother experienced during her pregnancy, as if her gastric juices were natural hair-growth elixirs.