Friday, April 08, 2005

'Aam' Baat

This would be my second post on Mango. The season is round the corner, and soon we will have this lovely delicacy in our plates. Like most of us, it's my favourite and much awaited fruit too. A lot of my fonder memories are associated with it.

The King of Fruits is special for variety of reasons. It has a lovely taste, sweet aroma, and a beautifully shape. To add to that, what a interesting name it has - Phal Itna 'Khaas' Hai, Per Naam Iska 'Aam' Hai.

It has so many uses. Not only it is eaten when it's ripe, but also when it's raw. A raw Mango is used to make pickles(Achaar); it can be dried(Khatai) and used in pulses for giving the sour taste. Amchur is also used for same purpose. Amras a sweet meat made by Mango juice.

Chausa, a variety, can be eaten in raw form beacause it is so sweet( I used to do that till it would started bleeding from my nose). And of course, to beat the heat of plains, who can forget yummy Pana and Jaljeera. There is a saying -

Daal Arhar Ki , Khatai Aam Ki
Toley Bhar Ghee, Rasoi Raam Ki

(Pulse of Arhar with some Khatai and loads of Ghee makes a perfect dish)

The fruit has so many varieties that no other fruit can boast of. Dussehri, Langda, Safeda, Chausa, Lakhnaua, Johari, Amrapali, Husna Ara, Pukhraj, Japhrani, Ramkela, Tota Pari, Sudha Ras, Rasna Vilas etc.

Sagar Siddaqi says about Langada,
Ai Aam Yeh Teri Khush Naseebi Hai
Werna Langdon Per Kaun Marta Hai

Zareeb Lakhnawai has written,
Taimur Ne Kasdan Kabhi Langada Na Mangaya
Langdey Ke Saamney Kabhi Langda Na Aaya

Kadra Kakorwi remembers,
Aam Ke Bagon Mein Woh Pina Pilana Yaad Hai
Muddatein Gujarin Hain Per Woh Jamana Yaad Hai

Once, a friend taunted Ghalib "Dekho Gadha Bhi Nahin Khata Aam", to which Ghalib retorted "Haan, Gadha Hee To Hai".

But for me, the King of Mangos is Dussehri. It's taste and flavour is unparallel. Lucknow region and thereabouts is a goldmine of Dussehri and most of above mentioned varieties.

I have spent many a afternoon in my own Mango orchard at my ancestral village. There are some 160 trees which were planted by my father about 19 years ago. They have outgrown me now, and one day they will outlive me aswell. The hot & sultry summer winds metamorphoses into gentle, cool breeze once you are inside it. A perfect place to enjoy the nature.

Interestingly, all the variety of Mango don't have the same season, therefore it has one of the longest season among the fruits. Even as, one variety of Mango is finished, another one is ready to ripe, keeping mango lovers hooked.

Above facts justify that for people there are not only Aam Ke Aam, but Guthlion Ke Daam too.

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