"Aai.. whats for lunch today??"
"Arre, ive made ur fav Aamras... take it from the fridge"...
As i opened the fridge, my eyes literally began to glow... the golden coloured aamras truely appeared like molten Gold kept in the vessel..
My taste buds couldnt control their desire.. a stong current went through my mouth... they were telling me.. Parag, what are u waiting for buddy?? Plz feed us with this delicacy.. we've waited too long..
And as i placed the spoon filled with the chilled aamras in my mouth, i started getting goose-bumps... yeah.. waited soo long.. a year...
Mangoes have always been special to me right from my childhood..
Maybe because their season begins when we used to have our school vacations..
Or maybe just because my Bday is in may, that i can relate to it...
I remember the time when i was a school kid.. when i was in primary school..
My aai used to tell me, that mangoes come in May only to celebrate my birthday... and that I'm a prince--a to-be-king, just like mango is the king of the fruits.
My aji still tells me tales, when as a 3 yr old, id nibbled on an entire dozen full of mangoes that she'd bought once, just like a rat nibbles on the food..
Yes,.. Mangoes hold special importance to me.. they bring back those old childhood memories.. those memories which i always cherished..the most happiest times of my life.. the times when i was innocent, carefree and had no obligations or responsibilities..
I was supposed to do only one thing... HAVE FUN!!!
I still remember, during the early nineties when i was in primary.. when mangoes were dirt cheap.. about Rs.75-80/dozen...Aai used to buy entire "petis" of mangoes.. each containing about 4-5dozen..
The entire morning of the summer vacation used to go playin around the neighbourhood.. and then after coming home, helping myself to a huge bowlfull of chilled Aamras with puris, reading Tinkle , Indrajal comics and Famous five books, and watching Funtime, with giant robot, fraggle rock and Heman on DD...
And then there used to be huge fights with my dearest sister, over who gets the larger share of the Aamras!! :D
On my birthday, Aai used to serve me Aamras-puri and batata bhaji in a silver plate and silver Wati,with a silver spoon and glass!!! Boy, i really felt like a King then!!
Relishing on Haapus Mangoes was a totally different experience... I used to make a complete mess of myself.. my face, hands and even my clothes smeared with mango juice that i used to spill all over.. and then get a big bad scolding from Aai..
And then there was "Aam panna"... how can i forget that???
Nothing ever used to freshen me up from a gruelling cricket match under the scorching may sun than aam panna..
We used to fully utilise the thrown away "petis" (a peti is a wooden box filled with mangoes stacked in hay in layers.. now u dont get those, they ve been replaced by cardboard boxes)
We used to make homes for the puppies with the wooden boxes... and they hay was used to make ourselves a nice comfortable seating place for the machans we used to construct... though i used to end up coming home scratching all over my back and u-know-where... ;)
Now, A dozen mangoes are priced at the rate at which we used to get a "peti" during those days.. around 350-400 Rs..
The childhood enthusiasm has been lost forever.. but my taste buds still remember the sweet taste of the mangoes id eaten in my childhood..