Sunday, June 12, 2011

The King of Fruits

Despite the recent aging processes I have been going through due to which I am quickly turning into a spectacularly boring old fella, I still retain a childlike enthusiasm for certain things in life. Window seats and mangoes being the two which come to mind instantly.

I hadn't partied or imbibed the spirits for a while, and the Saturday night plan at a friend's place seemed just like what I wanted after a tiring, travel-filled month. Just as I'd settled down and was waiting to open a beer bottle, she announced that she had some mangoes and maybe we could have a snack before we got started. And that was that. A huge, stupid smile covered my face as she got them out. I tucked into them with an enthusiasm rarely seen for anything else, and within 15 minutes, all my grand plans of having a fun night with the usual gang had turned into a sleepy evening with a fruit-filled belly. I lay back on the sofa, a content smile on my face. The booze seemed boring now, something that would ruin the taste in my mouth. It was supposed to be a party, so I tried. But after just a few drinks, I was done. All those mangoes were making me feel distinctly sleepy. They'd kinda ruined my party, but then, there's no way I'd choose anything else over them. Mangoes, you see, are my weak point.

There's a deep, emotional connect between Maharashtrian Brahmin families and the yellow fruit. Atleast with the ones who originate from Kokan, that spectacular coastal strip of land second only to Kerala in peninsular India. We really dig into the stuff. Come mango season, and we'll have them chopped, depeeled and whole, in semi-solid form with chapatis in meal (something which really stumps other people), in milk-shakes and what not. Of course, it's not just any mango, but the alphonso, the king of the king of fruits. It's quite inexplicable, this obsession. The darn thing is, one, costly as hell. Two, its as fragile as any fruit can be, and can find a variety of silly reasons to turn overnight into a ghastly black mess. Even more annoyingly, this often does not manifest itself on the exterior, so you need to have a prayer on your lips if you're pulping a plural number of mangoes into a common container. Three, they are fattening, more than the choicest dairy products put together. Now this isn't a concern for me, thankfully, but even I notice a perceptible bulge in the tummy region a few weeks into mango season. Four, they produce enough body heat to ensure that you enjoy all the ill-effects of teenage times without the associated joys - namely, boils and pimples, large, ghastly, yellow coloured ones. Despite this, there is an irrational obsession with the darn fruit amongst us, and I take this to a completely new level.

Show me a bunch of good, quality alphonso mangoes - heck, even mediocre quality ones - and watch me go week-kneed with sheer anticipation and delight. It's.. a bit creepy, I think, that I should feel this kind of attraction for a.... fruit. It's quite funny. In my new place in Mumbai, my roommate got a 2 dozen pack of the choicest alphonsoes as a gift from somebody. One look at the box and it was love at first sight. The box said that it shouldn't be opened till 3 days from then, and I spent those days in a mixture of agony and anticipation which drove me up the wall. And then, when the moment arrived, I opened it... and I think I don't quite remembered what happened after that! Oh dear. I think I am going to have to keep the darn corporate jobs for a while just to feed this rather expensive taste. The non-profits will have to wait for a while. Unless that's an additional component to my CTC!

I dread the day when my arch-enemy decides to send a hot chick to seduce me for some ulterior gain (the arch-enemy part is essential because part two of the above sentence ain't happening out of any lady's free will - other than the one that love has made blind, of course). No, I will shout, I shall not cheat on the love of my life. Nothing shall make me do that, least not a pretty young thing in a teeny-weeny. And that shall be the moment when I see the evil glint in her eyes, as she fumbles with her large backpack. I will recoil in horror as I realize the magnitude of evil that resides in my arch-enemy. I make a run for it, but before I am out of nose-shot, the heavenly aroma of the choicest, 'A'-grade alphonso mangoes reaches my olfactory glands. And then... I can always claim I don't remember what happened afterwards!


KnightRider said...

hahaha! all hail the king of the king of fruits. I havent come across a post about Mangoes that was so passionately written. Being a KoBra myself I can totally understand your plight :)

Nahush Sathe said...

I haven't come across a post on Mangoes that was so passionately written. All hail the king of king of fruits! being a KoBra myself I can understand your plight :)

Eddel29 said...

if that was the king of fruits, mangosteen is the queen of fruits. :)