“Life can only be understood backwards , but it must be lived forwards. ” -Soren Kierkegaard.
At times we live forward but cannot stop ourselves from thinking backwards, and it is so peaceful at times, it makes us feel so lively and complete, strengthens us and takes us away from loneliness.
Sharing our nostalgic moments makes us connected and warmer towards a person.
Flowering in mango trees and arrival of Summers make me nostalgic and takes me back to my childhood at my grandparents place, my grandfather, whom we fondly call “daddy”, reading his newspaper ,under the shade of the mango tree on his reclining chair and in between generously welcoming all the visitors, who just drop-in to have a cup of tea and sit for hours in the veranda discussing day to day happenings and worldwide events.
A sprawling house in the hill region, but with abundant mango trees around due to its topography, a place where as a child I spent my summer vacations.
The site of mango trees takes me down the memory lane and makes me a five year old girl, watching closely and enthusiastically my grandparents milking their buffaloes under the shade of the tree.
Sometimes, I can feel the safety of their touch or their intense and serious conversations, but now, daddy sits alone missing his partner of lifetime , as she is nowhere to be seen but can only be felt through her memories, as the Summer has again set in with sweet smell of mango trees, I again revisit those fond memories.
It was a world , where there were clocks that did not chime unlike now when time moniters everything and every thing is rushed up without any ease or fun.
Time flies so soon but back there in that world of good old memories, where day began with warmth, no worries to hurry up, no set of rules or instructions.
Sleeping under the open skies on a star lit night or gazing the twinkling stars all night with mesmerising fragrance of the mango blooms . During the day playing hide and seek under the mango groves meant the world to us.
Days when ordinary and simple things meant the world.
The mango trees still bring so much joy and happiness as they are not only a visual delight but the incomparable taste and flavour of the fruit which can be eaten in copious amounts , makes us a child again.
Even if it’s a wild tree, it is generous with its juicy fruit- also called “the nectar of the Gods”, “King of fruits”, it acts as a oasis in the midst of the dry and arid land.
My grandparents proudly displayed their mango orchard with variety of mangoes and taught us to identify and distinguish between “langra” and “totapur” as well as, alphanso and “dusshehri” mangoes. When elders of the house would enjoy their afternoon siesta, we children would climb the mango trees, hang on the branches like monkeys and at times throw pebbles at each-other.
During monsoons daddy use to plant young mango trees near the house and used the mango wood for havans, the leaves of the tree hung beautifully on the entrance door for religious and auspicious occassions.
Listening to folk tales revolving around the mango trees was our favorite pastime, but what grabbed our attention the most was the tedious and long process of mango pickle making by the ladies of the house-hold which they did with so much ease.
Today mangoes are available throughout the year, all thanks to technology but the sweetness is lost somewhere.
Those days of care and fun which even made the scorching heat of summer bearable are lost somewhere giving way to artificial things, whether it is the lost childhood games or the natural flavor of mangoes everything is being contaminated by the pests present in our society or pesticides used for ripening of fruits.
So there is nothing like the good old days spent in the cost comforts of elders.
Wish our children are also that lucky to have such cherished