#11

This time of the year is the mango season back home. Dessert, snack, pickles, kutcha, salad – they should be everywhere now. Because now is their time of fame.

Smooth skin, bright red colour typical of the ‘mangue maison rouge’, juicy orange-yellowish flesh and the smell, oh the sweet smell of ripe mango tickling the nostrils, how Anya misses them all!

Checking out for new ripe mangoes on the tree everyday had been a daily december mission, and bagging the biggest and ripest one had been the challenge. She recalled how the mangoes used to be kept in the wooden bowl on the kitchen table, with an invisible circle of bright light hovering over it.

Her elder sister ate mangoes the most religiously of all, and it was quite fascinating watching her attacking the fruit. She would gently poke and smell each and every mango collected to identify the perfect one, neither too green nor too ripe. Then she would wash it before skilfully peeling it, something which Anya didn’t usually do because she just loved chewing on the skin after eating the pulp. After that would come the slicing of the two ‘cheeks’ from the seed, and off she would go to her date with her book with the plate of treasure, all smiles.

Anya had a dream last night. In it there was this girl sitting on familiar brown-tiled floor holding a big piece of mango, with juice dripping down her elbows, mango fibers stuck in between her teeth and a cheeky smile. Anya woke up with a big knot in the throat, and she was reminded that the simple pleasures of life nurture bliss.

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