Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mangoes,Mangoes and Mangoes_ _ _!

When I was a kid, before the beginning of every summer vacation,my father would take his diary out and start noting down the plans for our summer vacation,that was travel to a new nice place.He would ask each of us(4 of us) where we wanted to go for this summer vacation.After a few times we knew that the plan would only stay in the diary ,it will never turn out to be real and till this date my father never broke that promise( :)Every year we would end up going to our village to see grandparents .Now that I think back and try to recall my grandparents I am glad my father never took us anywhere other than to our grandparents .We have so many nice memories of spending summer vacation with them that no amount of time spent in Kanya Kumari and Kashmir can match that.One of them was spending time in our huge mango orchard with my grandfather and mango  trees full of mangoes hanging right and left.

Before the mango season would start my grandfather would build a temporary hut with just the roof,a  temporary wooden bed .It was just enough to save from  rain ,mild storm and small crawling creature on the ground.There was a big earthen pot of water  and a steel glass just next to the hut which always had water at the right temperature and best tasting we ever had it.So the hut itself was very airy as you can imagine,on top of that in the middle of the mango orchard with birds twittering,sweet jamun falling from the tree.What can be better than that.Every day around afternoon just after having lunch we would leave for the orchard with a sharp knife,some black salt ,a towel and a big bed sheet.At that time our village had no electricity so around noon our house used to get very hot and the only way to cool your self down was to fan your self.That became tiring and boring very quickly.Moreover we kids were full of energy ,we would rather like to spend time in the orchard than taking a nap fighting with with the summer heat and house flies.Inside that hut in the orchard it did not even feel like it was summer.
Fast forwarding all  that by the time we would go to our village the mangoes in the tree were half ripe some were even raw.Those raw mangoes tasted sweet and sour just right for us kids tongue.We would pluck the mango ,which ever we would like and my grandfather would peel it .Then all four of us would get  a little salt on a piece of paper and pieces of mangoes .That mango tasted heavenly.I cant recall tasting mangoes better than that.By evening we would be back home.

Mangoes were in so abundance that every thing,every meal had to have mangoes in it.Breakfast used be something with mango,lunch used be something with mango,snack used to be completely mango and of course dinner also used be something with mango.By the end of our vacation mango season used to be at its end  and so did our appetite for mangoes .However one thing we were sure of that we would not eat mangoes for next several years.

Just to give you an idea about the frustration we had to go through when we were served mangoes for every meal here is the menu:-
Breakfast:-  Chapati ,milk and mango puree or Corn Chapati ,cream and mango puree

Lunch:--- Rice ,lentil soup with lots of sour mango,mango curd and vegetables

Snacks-- Sliced ripe mangoes ,or mango panna and crackers

Dinner:--- Chapati,ripe pieces of mango mixed in milk,or chapati,vegetables and sliced mango

You got the idea  :)

As if that was not enough,some times in the evening our grand mother would hand over one or two big ripe mango and ask us to peel and eat,nothing bad with that except that our face would be covered with mango juice ,juice dripping from our elbow and chin itching like a big insect bite.Not only that since mangoes were in so abundance that they would start rotting very soon because of the lack of a refrigerator(no electricity sigh :(  )so sometimes mangoes would be full of blemishes.After a while we would refuse to take any mango saying that in order to save today's blemished mango why are you people rotting tomorrows mango too.Ideally we would never given  a spotless mango .We just wanted one spotless mango.Again you got the picture.

Fast-forwarding all that, vacation good or bad,mangoes good or bad it had to end .We would come back to our place with the burden of not finishing our summer holiday home work.Topping that off just after few days we would start craving for those mangoes again for which we had to wait for next year summer vacation.And the story kept repeating till my elder brother wrote his board exam.After that  almost every alternative year one of  us had to write the board exam and we became serious towards our studies,no more summer vacation and no more those rotten but lovely Grandmother's mangoes .

(This is for  Tulika Summer Blogathon)