On the eve of my (much neglected) blog's sixteenth birthday, I share with you, gentle readers, some mango musings.
The spouse and I usually share one mango as dessert, after lunch, during the season. Our mango season lasts from April, with the advent of Alphonso and Kesar varieties, continuing with, as the summer progresses, Safeda, Dussehri, Langda and Chousa, well into August. (This year we didn't get any Banganapalli mango, for reasons unknown). For the last few weeks now, we are only getting Chausa, giant fruit weighing about half a kilo each, so our dessert is truly fruitful!
For various reasons, our fruit and vegetables have, over the last few months, been sourced exclusively from the colony shop, the door of which is often manned by a large tabby. This cat seems to be the shop's lucky mascot, the de facto owner, fed large helpings of paneer three times a day. The shop has a very clever marketing strategy: no prices are marked on any of the goods. You have to ask the salesperson manning the counter. If something seems atrociously expensive, as tomatoes have been recently, you either don't buy that item, or buy less of it, or just buy what you want/need, and to hell with the price. I know that I have budgeted enough and more in my younger days. Mostly I don't bother, just pile up the purchases in my basket and take it to the billing counter. It's only when I get the bill and see the total that realization dawns! It is mildly shocking on most days, because no fruit or vegetable is cheap, and very shocking on days when prices have taken a quantum leap since the last purchase, as happened with the mangoes.
"This is it," I declared to the spouse."These are the last two mangoes of this season. They are now just too expensive."
And so we very mindfully ate our last two mangoes of the season, yesterday and today, a little sadly, yet hopeful of more deliciousness next year.
I thought of Life itself as a mango season, how we enthusiastically and carelessly and exuberantly live in our youth, with its joys, sorrows, passions all stretching out into the distant, unknown future. We don't even consciously think that this season of Life will end, unless we are sadly reminded of its finitude. Only in later years do the reminders of mortality seem more pressing. We try to savour each one of our precious joys, thankful for their sweetness. Life is good, but Life is finite. Let's see how long this season lasts!