Stopping by the fruit market stall with my small calico bag ready to fill with bananas, I was greeted by a young woman (of perhaps Indian descent) who asked me if I wanted some bananas.
‘Yes’, I answered, ‘I’m about to buy some.’
‘Here’, said the stranger, ‘I have some bananas for you,’ and she proffered a bag full of lovely bananas.
‘Oh, no’, I said, 'You can’t give me your bananas.’
‘But I have bought them for you,’ she said. ‘Here, see, this is the receipt to show I have just bought them.’
I protested again, ‘But you can't give me your bananas. I am just about to buy some.’
The stranger took a breath and said, ‘I really want you to have these bananas.’ And she went on to explain that, every week, she bought something just to give away and today she had bought bananas and she wished me to have them.
I must have looked totally confused, but she further explained that she was from overseas and, even though she had a husband and children here in Australia, she missed the rest of her family very much.
She said that to regularly give something away made her feel connected to her new home - and she again asked me (begged, almost) to take the offered bananas.
After listening to her story, I was a little overwhelmed and was feeling a little teary. I accepted the bananas and it was then that she asked if she could ‘have a hug’.
I more than willingly obliged and gave her a big hug. Then I looked closely at her and asked, ‘Do I remind you of your mother?’
‘Oh yes,’ she answered, tears welling in her eyes.
Another mutual hug ensued as I told her what a lovely, thoughtful person she was to give something away every week.
After both of us, blinking back further tears and me with lots of thankyous, there was not much more that we could say to each other.
As I held on to the gift of 2 kgs of bananas, we parted, neither knowing each other’s names nor sharing any other contact information.
They were beautiful bananas.
Later that day I made a banana cake for my grandson. My husband and I ate the remaining bananas over the following days, thanking our generous mystery donor with each bite.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.