The unsung tale of monsoon mangoes

Monsoons are unarguably one of the most beautiful treats in the Gods Own Country. They have carved out a major niche of my memories. Back in childhood we used to play cricket in the tiny plot of paddy field in front of my house. After the harvesting, these paddy fields are left barren, waiting for the refreshing monsoons to enrich its ground water storage and make it ready for the next plantations. During this period, we utilize them ‘wisely’ and give them company. Initially, we were also the victim of the dominance of cricket, which has unfortunately diminished the popularity of all other sports in the country to a notable extent. The play starts at the warm hours of evening and in monsoons, within minutes after the start, the atmosphere gets cooler as dark clouds loom around the sky.

Cricket and monsoons was the favorite combo of my life. However, there was an unprecedented member that added fervor to the scene – the grandma mango tree. Being the most famed trees of its kind in our area, she stands head high about 120 meter towards the Eastern side of our playground in our neighbors plot. The family which owns her was a sound Christian family and they were kind of social human beings and I mean it. Mostly people preserve the yummy mangoes for themselves and those who trespasses the boundary will be treated well. While humans can mark the boundary in on earth, the grandma mango tree had its special consideration towards us that over 40 percent of the branches of her was looming outside the fence way above.

As the monsoons arrive with strong winds, we will run towards her to collect her sweet offerings. When the strong wind hits her, due to her old age, she swings hard towards each side. Her leaves will fall down in more numbers than the mangoes. Once the sound of the collision of her branches will intensify, making a strong hopeful music for us, we slowly tilt our heads low and sharpen the ears to identify the place where the mango falls. She has no restrain for making us happy and gives us 10-15 mangoes to satisfy our tummy.  After grabbing all the mangoes and sharing apart, we will start tasting the offerings. By then the rain will arrive and refreshes us. As the first drops falls in the earth, a typical smell arises from the surface which becomes the perfect combo for having a yummy mango.

Holding it in our hands, we will peal it with our teeth and have it. The essence of the mango will slowly slide over the hands and fall on our dresses. Some of my friends might also stock the fairly big mangoes in their pocket to implement a cunning strategy later at home. When they reach home late in the twilight, mostly their parents will be ready with a cane to scold them for being late. But if they find out that their child has bought the grandma mango, they will certainly melt their heart and pour ice over their anger. Such is the value of those grandma mangoes.

As families separated due to complexities of life the plots where divided and the grandma mango tree faced the friction of axes, which she could not withstand. The newer generation will never know she existed and neither do they want to hear the tale of her yummy offerings. Probably, the younger generation might be passing through the area to catch any wild Pokemon running all the way. But they doesn’t know how obliged she was in gifting us her offerings.

Sitting at my office in this chaotic metropolitan city and watching the monsoons lashing outside through the window, opening concerns over dengue and plague, I am realizing the truth that those days were the best monsoon days of my life and I will never get them back. I am realizing that the unconditional love like that of the grandma mango tree is no more prevailing in the world. I am realizing that nothing is unconditional in this world. Even a newly born baby needs to cry for milk. In a world where money rules and manipulates human behaviors, even after understanding there are slightest of chances, I still believe that we will regain unconditional love once again to spread happiness in the world!

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