Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mangoes and nostalgia

Ate the first aam of the season .

One whiff itself of it was enough for me to go all maudlin and sentimental and take me down a lane full of half forgotten memories

... of blissful, long, lazy, summer holidays at my grandmothers house in Goa..

..of idyllic, untainted childhood….

…of cousins and companionship ….

.... of eager anticipation of the mango season …

…of expectant, almost uncontainable excitement at seeing the truck full of mangoes coming home from the orchards in the ancestral village..

.... of a roomful of raw mangoes stacked up in hay (so that they could ripen slowly)….

.... the room pervaded with that sour-sweet heady smell of heaven...

... of furtively sneaking to the mango room in the afternoons (when all grown-ups were having their siesta), and pinching them, and tip-toeing out to the shaded verandah while my eldest (very soft-hearted) unmarried aunt, pretended not to see us..

...of hushed conferences and whispered conspiracies– who will dig out the rawest, khatta kairi ( green mangoes) ? Who would get the chili powder and salt from the kitchen ....

…of feigning outraged indignation at mango-stealing accusations, while surreptitiously wiping our hands on the back of our clothes …

...of climbing the wall and sneaking to neighbor’s house to pinch the mangoes and guavas from their trees (which were always so much sweeter, no matter, how many mangoes we had at a home)...

...of cricket played in the hot sun and glass panes broken, to come back to semi-exasperated-semi- amused scolding and cool mango shakes ...

…of beaming, satiated, sticky small cousins with golden mango pulp all over their faces ….

...of debating the relative merits of mankurad versus alphonso versus musrad...

..of seeing who could eat the maximum and eating so many ( mangoes as well as imli and cocum) that we couldn’t stand the sight of them anymore...

Those were the days before...
...we realized that mangoes were fattening and thus to be rationed ...

...before summer holidays ceased to be with college and work taking over ...


They don’t make childhood like that anymore!

Posted in April 2004, still feel like that. Second nostalgic post in a month - but its summer and i am overworked and underpaid and pining for summer holidays!

16 comments:

Epiphany said...

One thing more...Drying the mangoes in the sun... to make "aam ka achar" :)

Nandini Vishwanath said...

…of beaming, satiated, sticky small cousins with golden mango pulp all over their faces ….

You mean -unsatiated? :)

Sigh, in this country, mangoes are hardly seen and if seen, are very expensive and not even worth it :( I miss it all too, sooooo much. Great post, Cyn. Empathise with it totally!

Artful Badger said...

can i have a mango please? all this talk is making me very hungry.

Drenched said...

Beautiful post! :) Just yesterday I was thinking about how nostalgic mangoes turn a person into. Their slightest whiff simply transports me to Nani's place. Endless vacations and mangoes, mangoes everywhere.
Amm ka achar and aam panna are additions in my list, btw. :D

shub said...

lovely! and I reading this just after wondering if I should chop up the totapuri and pack it along with lunch, upset tummy not withstanding :D

And mangoes are fattening?!! Noooo way!

Reemas from PrivateMarriage said...

mmmm nothing matches to my Indian Malgoba's - what a reminder - where will I find them now in US.

narendra shenoy said...

Masterfully written. Nothing like a mango to make man go, what. Or woman, for that matter. It is really powerful medicine. Even the word mango makes one salivate. Luckily, I have a few fine natives of Ratnagiri in the fruit basket here, which I am now going to navigate through the alimentary canal. Cheers! Great post as usual.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

epiphany - dont think the aam outside survived for too long so dont remember this so much

nandini - how much MESS those kids made aiyo. you based in amrika the land of no mangoes is it?

artful badger - have two!

drenched - i guess its the combination of mangoes and summers which are so intrinsically linked in our memories ( and of course the taste? ) maybe thats why its always nostalgic - a good place and good times

Cynic in Wonderland said...

shub - mangoes HELP tummies dont think - EAT

reema - hmmmmm... import em?

naren - ah i seem to have managed to make everyone go and eat mangoes. hmm wish i could get paid for doing that

AmitL said...

Hi,Cyn...nice memories of the juicy fruit.:)But,no further comment-I'm on a diet,and,mangoes are defi on the restricted list.:)

shub said...

eating a slice right now! And fruits are healthy in my book, so the f-word doesn't figure anywhere close to them! :P

Rada said...

Reading your post was almost like reliving my own chilhood vacations in a village near Palghat in Kerala..

Hot, humid with cousins and mangoes for company...

Definitely touched a chord.

Thanks.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

amitl - sigh for me too.and post jaundice i CANT have too many - start falling sick. :(

shub - they are healthy and fattening hehe

rada - i am sure a lot of us who grew up before malls and multiplexes have memories like this. ah well. old age

Gypsy said...

aaahh!! What wouldnt I do for a lovely juicy mango thats slowly ripening to perfection in my store room back in Kerala!! And to think the only ones blessed to enjoy these short cuts to heaven are the crows and my dog! :(

vEENs said...

ohh... we ha dthis BIG garden thing maintained by a guard uncle... we had a secret passage via swimming pool in the afternoon... wen we were sure he will be sleeping!

and then jumping up and dwn

sme guys climbing... getting frocks full of mangoes... an RUNNING... OMG! it was soooooooo much more FUN!

ohh i miss those days :(

Cynic in Wonderland said...

gypsy - go there to kerala NOW


veens - yus. stealing mangoes you too!!!