Mango Memories !

Mango has always been my first love in fruit or  dessert category. Though I am not a person who keeps habits for long as I get bored very soon with routines but my love for mangoes has been consistent for last five plus decades and still continuing. 

I was born and brought up in Haryana in North - Western India. My earliest memories of mangoes goes back to myself and my sister in under frock, called shameez in those times and a bucket full of  mangoes dipped in water which were eaten by sucking and not by cutting. I used to be mesmerized by the fragrance of those small golden beauties . They were dipped in the water for few hours before consumption so that their hot effect (गर्म तासीर) is neautralized. The age old traditional wisdom at work. There was no limit on the number of mangoes. I used to eat them till my stomach filled to the brim (read upto neck)☺️. And the long hours of those afternoon sleep was bliss. 
We used to live in a university campus which was on the out skirts of the city. There were no vegetable or fruit thelas/ vendors which come to the doorsteps to sell except the university produce. The university was an agricultural university. So mainly to procure fruits and vegetables, papa and others used to go to city's sabzi mandi. It's only sensible  to buy larger quantities of full boxes of fruits and vegetables instead of buying smaller quantities from mandees, many  uncles used to collaborate together  as the complete box was much more than for afamily to consume. So it's divided among all uncle's. Bananas were never bought by numbers like 6 or a dozen. They were bought in full produce of a tree known as चरखी  in local language. It used to have 50..60 or more bananas. Such large number can not be consumed by a single family. This was a win win situation for every one. Fresh fruits at less than market price. 
Similarly, mangoes in my family were never bought by 1..2 kilos but by boxes. Boxes in those days were big... Really big of 15kg or more. In those days, fridges were small, so these also need to be shared. Again many families collaborate. 
Many a times, we children were taken along just to teach us the bargaining and selecting quality products and other nuances of fruit and vegetable shopping. It used to be like an early morning picnics. Going out at 6 am in summers and feeling cold wind against our cheeks while pillion riding our father's Vespa scooter on almost empty roads and shouting "bye bye" while overtaking any uncle was fun. Coming back with the large haul and then sitting together at our or any one else's bunglow's back garden, it was time to divide the shopping. Mummy and other aunties used  to bring in the tea and the collaborated breakfast with cups of teas for the elders and milkshakes for us children (cold drinks were not so popular in those days and that's why our teeth are still going strong). The whole process used to go till noon. 
Once everyone goes back to their place with their ware, it was time to take bath and do what you want to do. If tired, we used to sleep after freshening up. Or reach out to books to finish school's homeworkso that evening is free for play and meeting friends. 
Popular mangoes in those days were Dushehri, langda, kalmi, safeda, pichkoo (those sucking mango चूसने वाले) etc. Though I do not believe in dividing mangoes by their caste and creed as I see them as mangoes only. How I wish, we see everyone as only human beings and not by the cast or creed. The world would be much better place to live in. 
In the year, 2002, I had a chance of staying in Gujarat. Here, mango season started earlier than the in North India. The local brand available were Kesar and Alphonso of Maharashtra. With the advent of big departmental stores, I was introduced to many other varieties of southern states also. 
My preferred taste of any fruit is khatta meetha. I am not a lover of only sweet taste. Dushehri is sweeter than Kesar or langda or even kalmi. So, I fell in love  as I tasted them. Safeda is known as Badam mango in Ahmedabad. Safeda is mostly used in making mango shake of mango drink. I prefer to eat mangoes as mangoes. 
As children, I remember eating poori with mango. When I went to have Gujarati thali for the first time, it was mango season and they serve aam ras. It's divine. 
I love everything about mangoes. Mango chutney, mango achar, mango shake, aam ras.... 
In mango season, I have bed mango instead of bed tea. I can have mangoes between meals or after meals. If I am upset about anything, it's mango which comes to my rescue and boosts my mood. If for some reason, sleep is delayed, I have my mango therapy to induce sleep. 
I may gain or may not gain a few kilograms and few inches here and there in mango season , but no one can shake my love for this golden beauty. 
Being a Hindu, I will be cremated but had I been buried , I would have loved to have a plaque on my grave .. "The Golden Mango Girl " !


  1. Ha ha.... like that ..... "The Golden Mango Girl "
    Well written. All said and done we had our belly full this season, maybe because of the lockdown there was enough time to relish it.

    1. Thanks ! Filling bellies with mangoes is the best way. I am sure belly is saying thank you. :)


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