The Ripe Time for Mango Moods by Mamta Joshi SignUp
Boloji.com

Channels

In Focus

 
Analysis
Cartoons
Education
Environment
Opinion
Photo Essays
 
 

Columns

 
A Bystander's Diary
Business
Random Thoughts
 
 

Our Heritage

 
Architecture
Astrology
Ayurveda
Buddhism
Cinema
Culture
Festivals
Hinduism
History
People
Places
Sikhism
Spirituality
 
 

Society & Lifestyle

 
Health
Parenting
Perspective
Recipes
Society
Teens
Women
 
 

Creative Writings

 
Book Reviews
Computing
Ghalib's Corner
Humor
Individuality
Literary Shelf
Love Letters
Memoirs
Quotes
Stories
Travelogues
Workshop
 
 
Random Thoughts Share This Page
The Ripe Time for Mango Moods
by Mamta Joshi Bookmark and Share

In the backyard of our house, two ancient mango trees are covered with tiny mango fruits. We are already tense about what is in store for us in the coming few months if the mango crop is bumper. Tiny little girls, with sweet sour dreams in their eyes, will beg for a few mangoes; the tangier, the better. The rough boys will throw stones, gather the booty and scurry before we can catch them; the parrots will screech happily all summer, like connoisseurs, pecking at the very best of the lot. Sigh! The mangoes are definitely greener and make life less complicated on the other side of the fence.

Gone are the days when I could have given my most precious possession in exchange for a few raw mangoes, sliced and sprinkled with salt and chill flakes. Oh, to savour their tangy taste while turning the pages of a novel. With sensitive teeth, a shudder goes down my jawline when I spot someone crunching blissfully on the raw fruit.

I am transported back in time when summer holidays and mango season were juxtaposed. Summer vacation meant having relatives staying for long, without the host or guest worrying about return tickets. Throughout the long summer days the gaggle of children of assorted age groups would run riot, men discussed politics while women engaged themselves in supervising meals, altering clothes and stitching, match making or planning future weddings.

While reading about the king of fruits, I found that Mango is a verb, meaning 'to pickle'. The name is derived from Manga, in Malayalam. Centuries past, mangoes had to be pickled because of sweltering heat of the tropics and short shelf life, mostly due to lack of refrigeration.

Our childhood too was devoid of the luxury of a fridge. The ripe mangoes were soaked in buckets overnight to let out their heat. If we had too many of them, we would either keep rushing to the toilet or were covered with painful blisters.

Raw mangoes were mostly pickled after the first summer shower. After preparing and feeding an entire platoon, my mother emerged with a retinue of volunteers in the corner of a huge courtyard where they would toil throughout the long muggy afternoon.

The large pile of mangoes would be graded, sorted, sliced evenly with a cutter (usually borrowed) mixed with the fragrant spices and filled into huge stone jars. The rich yellowish - green mix would then be submerged in golden mustard oil. These vats, many in number, would be kept in the sun for long, testing our patience. What resulted was not just pickle but a work of art!

The copious supply of pickle transformed our insipid breakfast, lunch and dinner into gourmet meal, all the year round. As the relatives left, they also carried with them a jar or two. The pickle thus served to cement relationships, connecting one generation of cousins to the next, without making any financial investments. It was dinned into us that whatever is cheaper need not be inferior and vice-versa.

The tiny ready-made pickle bottles that are displayed on my kitchen shelf today are a sad reminder of our shrinking investments in reciprocity, thoughtfulness and togetherness.

The mango season brings different flavours but the one that I relished in the past,with its lack of adulteration and artifice,is the one that clings on, refusing to leave.

Share This:
03-Apr-2016
More by :  Mamta Joshi
 
Views: 484      Comments: 2

Comments on this Article

Comment I remember in my school days, there were half a dozen mango trees in school compound. We used to catch the mangoes when they were not ripe by throwing stones on mango tree. they were taken home to make pickle. Ripe mangoes were purchased by chhakara to count. Ripe mangoes were sucked or used to make juice and apadam (to be used in other seasons) with variyali . but i liked to suck them. Even
purchased canned mango juice and use with chapati , and some time with rice
Sucking them is better way to use them. It is usually in Summer Season. Some time we go to river and sit there on it kinara-boulder and suck the mango. I believe mango is king of fruits

pranlal sheth
04/06/2016 17:38 PM

Comment Another masterpiece from you dear Mamta... What a beautiful narration.

gita.pant
04/05/2016 12:25 PM




Name *
Email ID
 (will not be published)
Comment *
Characters
Verification Code*
Can't read? Reload
Please fill the above code for verification.
 
Top | Random Thoughts



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018 All Rights Reserved
 
No part of this Internet site may be reproduced without prior written permission of the copyright holder
.