Mango Tree tall and big evokes a strong sense of nostalgia in me, for much of my life in childhood was spent under the precincts of big mango trees. We were fortunate to have neighbors who had 5 big mango trees with lithe branches in their garden providing much succor and shade to near by roads and houses.
Kids of Chottupura (our locality) virtually grew up under the shades of mango trees. Our evenings were spent under these giant trees. The galli cricket or table tennis or just chit chat the avenue always was facilitated in the shades of mango tree. Come summer the mango trees provided an anodyne milieu for starting our game in sultry heat at 2pm. The Mango Trees have witnessed it all, the thrilling cricket matches played with much verve and passion, the little skirmishes off the field and who can forget the Chottupura slapgate? The Bully Proto slapped the innocuous Natraj under the mango tree. The slapgate of Chottupura snow-balled to a big controversy and was settled out again under the Mango Tree. I vividly remember the outrageous parents and neighbors of Natraj protesting and walking to Proto’s house to tame the bully. Unfortunately the bully never had compunction of his deeds. Stalemate prevailed and no action took place on the field for next couple of days, Proto was unofficially banned. But then things cooled down and back were the boys for action and fun under the mango tree. Summer was also the time of mangoes raw and ripe. Miscreants attacked the mango trees with stones and aimed high at the perching mangoes. Passer by had torrid time evading stones falling on their head or mangoes falling on their heads. We bore the brunt as an old house with tiled roofs the tiles broke when the stone fell on them. But it was all taken in stride because having mango trees burgeoning over the roof outweighed these small hardships.
I was really lucky to have access to mangoes high on the branches by just a grasp of hands from my terrace. Have a look at this picture.
Raw mangoes cut into slices peppered with salt – a real mouth watery stuff. Later part of my year during graduation and post graduation mango tree played a major part in my studies providing a bevy of convenience and a comfortable study arena. During study holidays early mornings and much of the evenings were spent in the terrace under the shade of mango tree reading and working on the subjects. It was as if the Mango Trees providing a cornucopia of energy and inspiration to slog out long hours.
Ok, why these entire mango talk now? Is it just that summer is bringing in the mango memories, well No! When I moved to my apartment in Hyderabad, we had a mango sapling at one of the corners of our compound; it was reminiscent of the giant mango trees which I was used to, infact like a stripling of those grand daddies. I was ecstatic; I was dreaming of the days when it would bloom out and become tall and strong providing the shade and comfort. I was waiting for the day in which raw mangoes would be borne out of it and I can pluck those to revisit the good old days of eating raw mango peppered with salt. Till yesterday it was there on the corner growing more than 12ft high and daily I would check its progress. Alas! today its no more, the lust and greed of human mind has cut its life short. With a stroke of axe it has fallen and rooted out and I have given it a poignant farewell. All this for building a shed for drivers, oh! Man you just could have sat on the shades of Mango Tree rather than under an abestos sheet. But in today’s world there is hardly any sense prevailing…..for such magnificent trees to survive.
Hopefully someday I too will own a piece of land and plant a mango tree!