It has been that time of the year. Despite doomsday predictions about a poor crop, from unseasonal rain, hail or wind, the local markets were awash with all sorts of mangoes. Topping the list of the king of fruits in Chennai was the Banganapalle. The mellow yellow skin that glistens and beckons is like a beacon of taste. Over the years I have become adept at spotting the good ones without really touching or smelling them. I was driving past a pyramid-shaped cart full of them recently when something told me these were sweet ones! Hurriedly I pulled over, taking a motorcyclist by surprise, for a change, till I pointed to the mangoes — which had a surprisingly calming effect on the rider. A relative was hoping to time her visit to India from the United States to sample her fair share of the seasonal offer. She was sounding low at the prospect that the whole season may pass her by; the Mexican mangoes back home were such an apology for the real ones here! We then discussed how we ought to start a mango export business so that a whole lot of people could get their rightful share. She also told me each one is priced at almost $6 and is considered exotic. In America, the Brazilian bananas rule the roost. I thought standardization of taste in the name of safety could be making people short tempered. There is some culinary science to be explored there. A friend advised me to hurriedly freeze some for her as it was quite likely that the best would soon be gone. It was sad, the urgency in her voice, as the frozen mango loses much when unfrozen. My daughter was not answering my phone calls so I messaged her there would be no mangoes for her if she continued to avoid my calls. Promptly she messaged back about being busy with this and that and how when I come to see her could I please smuggle a few mangoes past Customs? She told me there were mangoes in Hawaii, where she is, that rot and fall to the ground but people still buy only from the supermarkets. She and a friend gathered some of the fallen fruit surreptitiously from under a neighbor’s tree hoping not to be shooed away. They made mango pulp that was delicious.
source: The Hindu Editorial
Doomsday(noun) : कयामत का दिन
Meaning: the last day of the world’s existence.
Synonym: destiny, fate
Antonym: time off
Glistens(verb) : चमकना
Meaning: (of something wet or greasy) shine with sparkling light.
Synonym: shine, sparkle
Antonym: dim, dull
Beckons(verb) : इशारा करना
Meaning: appear attractive or inviting.
Synonym: entice, invite
Antonym: repel, turn off
Beacon(noun) : प्रकाश
Meaning: a light or other visible object serving as a signal, warning, or guide at sea, on an airfield, etc.
Synonym: bonfire, smoke
Antonym: blacken, darken
Exotic(adjective) : विदेशी
Meaning: originating in or characteristic of a distant foreign country.
Synonym: foreign, non-native
Antonym: native, familiar
Culinary(adjective) : खाना बनाने के लिए
Meaning: of or for cooking.
Surreptitiously(adverb) : चुपके से
Meaning:in a way that attempts to avoid notice or attention; secretively.
Synonym: restricted, hidden
Antonym: open, overt
Shooed(verb) : डराकर भगाना
Meaning: make (a person or animal) go away by waving one’s arms at them, saying ‘shoo’, or otherwise acting in a discouraging manner.