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Thursday, 3 June 2010

The mango people

I am never fashionably different. Many people may and will disagree, but the fact remains, that my unconventional takes on certain matters, are ... unconventional only due to reasons that are well grounded and justified. At least, they make sense to me. Be it loathing firms like Microsoft and Apple, being a motor head and still not liking Lamborghini, being a metal lover and still not swearing by Metallica. Being a Bengali and still not being into football. You get it, right?

so what? the skeptic interjects.

No. Nothing. Just that I suddenly remembered another of these things which falls in the same category.

It's mangoes this time.



Yeah, you saw and heard it right. Mangoes. The fruit, whose absence will probably incapacitate half of this country's population. The fruit which a considerable fraction of this nation lusts after. Swears by. And the fruit that gets on my nerves every summer in the most agonisingly irritating manner.

ducks as random stuff is thrown at him
when projectiles cease, gets up looks around for any more antagonistic gestures
rubs his blackened eye and lump on the head

Yeah, so as I was saying. It's not that I don't like mangoes. I do like them (what a lie) ... what I really don't like are the associated acts. The near religious frenzy this (insignificant) fruit arouses its users into. For as I maintain, "eat" is an understatement, considering the degree of activity a mango user engages himself in, to relish this fruit to the fullest. (After all, you have Apple users, so why not Mango users?)

So to continue. A mango's journey from the shop to the insides of a patriotic mango user, does make one heck of a tale. First, the haggling over the price. Warning the insolent hawker that if he doesn't lower the price by another rupee, he'll lose a customer (and at the same time, silently wishing that he doesn't). Finally buying it. Then walking through the market ensuring that a tiny portion of one mango sticks out over the top of the shopping bag ... letting the whole world know that there are mangoes in it. So beware. Then entering home. The squeals of joy that result when the inmates see mangoes. Emptying of bags follow. All other fruits and vegetables neglected. All eyes on mangoes. Touching, fingering, fondling, smelling ... all sorts of (shady) activities.

Then comes the preparation before eating. The peeling part. As this process goes underway, the people involved stand all around ... waiting eagerly. Saliva dripping from their mango deprived tongues like that of (rabid dogs) connoisseurs of fine taste,

Ahem ahem.

Then the eating part. That alone forms a separate story, so won't get diverted and shall proceed with that which I had in mind when I started this post.

This was one fear I had about being in Calcutta in summer. Though my mum's earnest concern whether I am eating mangoes in Pilani or not had been communicated to me thanks to advancements in cellular and long distance communication, I had chosen to be silent on that matter. But here in Cal ... it's a carnage.

All versus me. One mission. Feed the poor old, mango deprived boy from Rajasthan ... with mangoes. Mangoes. And more mangoes. I had just reached home. Had lunch and was hitting the bed. Suddenly, my ever smiling granny comes forward and hands me a bowl of ... no points for guessing .... mangoes. A (gruesome) shade of yellow and orange. Peeled and all. Not that I didn't like it at first. I do like it when they first appear. So that day, I ate like a nice boy. Careful not to drop the yellow juice on my clothes and the bed cover, and the day ended in peace.

Alas, for the other days. And no, I am not totally to blame. Consider. You wake up, and see mangoes being peeled. You have breakfast, and then someone shoves a plate of mangoes into your face (well, essentially), which you reject. Then, you are chatting with somebody and presto ... the same plate appears ... and you sourly turn it down again. Then lunch ... it gets over, and an ultimatum ... "If you do not eat this now ... " the condition remains untold. You grumpily consume it. Like amoeba consume food balls. Spoiling all the wonderful delicacies that your stomach is still digesting. After it gets over, you heave a sigh, bask in the glory of the fact that you wont be irritated again for this one day, and start a new movie.

All of a sudden. Another of those hellish bowls. Filled with mangoes. You freak out. Mum freaks out. Day goes to the dogs. You end up losing the battle, with yellow drops and stains in the wrong places and a grotesque expression on your face.

The king of fruits they call it. King it is no doubt. A monstrous tyrannical one at that. Who rules with an iron rod.

Mango. te odio.


PS: thats Spanish for Mango, I hate you.
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