Mangos = Love!

I am sure no one disagrees with me on this. Even as a child, when I was asked at multiple occasions about my favourite fruit, the answer was always Mango and still is! I love them so much that last time around this time I ended up writing a piece of fiction on mangoes! My madness for mangos started at a very tender age when it was introduced to me for the first time. The distinctly remember that the first Mango I had was from our own Mango Orchard. Then we had at least 10 different varieties of mangos in our orchard. The farm was passed down as a family heritage to my grandpa.

Grandpa used to tell me stories from his past and the life he has seen. I heard many stories about lifestyle, culture, raja’s, freedom struggle, independence, politics and even elephants & horses our family had. But my favourite remains to be the story about the mango orchard and the variants it used to bear.

Grandpa used to say, ‘We had as many as 40 varieties and over 50 trees when I was young.’

Banganapalli mangoes in a carton layered with dry grass in between.

Though not much of it is left now, we still get a produced that is sufficient to our family now. But, this year had been a nasty one. A little bit of flowering we saw at the start of the year was lost because of the unseasonal rains! To make the situation even worse, COVID19 came into the picture, and none of our family could go and attend to what so ever fruits the currently remaining trees endured.

I was the one who felt most dishearten! I was and still am not very used to eat fruits brought from the market, especially the ones sold here in Hyderabad. Most of them are loaded with calcium carbide. There are only a few farms that do not take the aid of calcium carbide to ripe the fruits. But, this time, my options were close to none because of the pandemic imposed lockdown. That is because most such sources sell fruits at a specific place like a Sunday farmers market. Neither were such collaborations being conducted nor could I go out and get the mangoes during the lockdown. To put it in a nutshell, I missed that exquisite and tempting feeling of having a well ripened and deliciously sweet Mangoes!

Well, of course, the mango season did not end in such deep blues for me as I thought it would.

“When you really desire something from the heart and soul, all the universe conspires you to achieve it.”

-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Paulo Saab ne kahan tha but usko filmy twist nahin denge toh dil nahi barta! So here it goes…

‘Kehte hai agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho…toh poori kainaath use tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai!’

It is kind of filmy way to express, but that’s what happened!

Banganapalli mangoes in a carton from hitha farms.

I was introduced to Hitha Farms when I was on the verge of losing all that hope that was left in me to experience that sweet scent of Mango and its delicious taste. That being said, I did not dive on to the option I found, out of desperation without proper research.

Let me tell you more about the mangoes I received!

I had just gone out to get some groceries when the mangoes were delivered. As per my mom (who received the parcel), they followed all the protocols to achieve a no contact delivery. By the time I got home, the box was sanitised a couple of times by my mom before getting it inside. None of my family opened the carton as they envisioned I would create a drama around it for not being the first to open the box of mangoes (that is was desperately waiting for). My heart was filled with anxiety, curiosity and what not. I couldn’t help myself feel otherwise as I rushed back home!

I stared at the box for a couple of minutes with a cluster of thoughts;

What if the mangoes do not turn out as thought they would?
What if they don’t taste good?
What if I feel disappointed?

What if THIS and what if THAT! Ugh!

My mom felt pestered by me. ‘Are you going to open it or not?’, she said.

Banganapalli mangoes in a carton from hitha farms.

Well, I did open it after some starring, retrospection and curiosity. As soon as I opened the carton, the living room was filled with the sweet scent of mangoes! Banganapalli mangoes, the most commonly available variant of mangoes down south, were beautifully stacked between the layers of dry grass. The aroma was so satisfying that we couldn’t wait to slice into one of the Mango to check it out! Unlike the carbide loaded mangoes that I was getting used to seeing from the nearby fruit vendor, these were through and through ripe with bright yellowish-orange colour that tinted my eyes! It was like Love at first sight!

The scent of mangoes made me forget all those ‘missed feelings’ I experienced this whole summer and took me on a nostalgic ride of my memories from the past and the stories of my grandpa.

Hitha Farms, with their motto, ‘Healthy is not a way of life, health is life’, is indeed committed to delivering the best quality food that is grown naturally in nature’s lap with NO use of chemicals and harsh fertilisers. I would recommend them to all of you who bestow an unconditional Love for mangoes. Do check out their website and to know about their journey and the care they take to deliver the best quality to their customers.

I went ahead a made ‘Mango Kheer’ using a few of these mangoes! I will share the recipe soon enough. Until then, stay connected and stay safe!

Mango Kheer made from banganapalli mangoes.

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