There she sits on the side of the road. Her cart is full of the best bananas I've seen in Bangalore, so what can I do but stop, right? So I do. The first time I bought some, she priced them at 20 Rs for five.
The next day, it was 10 Rs for five. Ok, I thought, maybe yesterday she just made a mistake. She is rather old and she dozes most of the day, so ok. Then, the other day, she grinned at me with her paan-reddened teeth and informed me that the bananas were 10 Rs for three. Eh? I said. Three for ten rupees, she said firmly. I didn't want her to suddenly come out of her stupor and start beating me with bunches of perfectly good bananas, so I bought them.
I think it was yesterday that I approached her wondering what the price would be- like a little stock exchange of its own, I could lose my life savings if I don't play wisely. Twenty rupees for four, she said. Er, I said. They were ten rupees for three yesterday, I said. No, she said, those teeth flashing. Twenty for four. So I sighed and paid up.
Then when I got home, I saw she'd given me six. Twenty for six, then. I can hardly wait to buy from her tomorrow. Each time I eat a banana now, I marvel at the complex economics behind that humble fruit- what tangled matrices must she weave, to come up with the perfect price for me each day? I am no longer blase about banana buying. But, excuse me while I go look up prices online for the banana shares today, so the banana mafia doesn't hoodwink me again.