We've had inspired entries for the blogathon and after sharing some delicious aamras (friends of Tulika *hint*) with us at work, Sandhya shares her mango story...
Mangoes always remind of my little cousin – who is now not so little anymore. When we were growing up in seventies Madras, our backyard was full of mango trees. Smooth banganapalli, delicious eaten green, scrumptious eaten golden yellow.
|Me when I was 15|
The fruits would lie piled up on hay in the store room, with our grandmother checking on them every day, turning them this way and that, rescuing the ones at the bottom, bringing them up for air.
During school time, we cousins lived in our own homes. Come the summer holidays, our cousins from abroad would visit and all of us congregated at our home to do ‘dingana’ as my dad would say. But whatever we did, wherever we went, the time after lunch was always spent at home, upstairs. And the time after lunch was always for mangoes.
My little cousin, all of five, and then six, seven was deputed every year to serve us our mangorial repast. And was she proud!
|My little cousin|
First, she’d go to the kitchen and pick up a small round plate. Then she’d go to the store room and pick out two ripe mangoes. Then she’d wash them clean, place them on the plate, and carry them carefully all the way up to present to cousin number one. With a pussy cat smile on her face.
Then she’d go back downstairs to the kitchen, pick up a plate. The store room, pick out two ripe numbers. Wash them. Clean them. Carry them. Carefully, all the way up to cousin number two.
Cousins one and two would then compare and contrast. They had to all be the same size or down she’d go again, balancing the rejected fruits, to pick out fresh, new ones of a size! And so, one by one, there’d be a plate with two mangoes for each.
Sometimes there’d be six of us, sometimes more. Never less.
And after the smiling service, my little cousin would sit down, push back her frock and sink her teeth into her own two banganapallis. She truly earned them.
Every day. All through the summer vacation.