Friday, April 22, 2011

Where the rains never stop

One look at the mango tree, and I knew that I had found gold. Branches hung low with the weight of tumescent mangoes, its flesh itching to break the boundaries dictated by the raw green hide. Birds chewed away happily at the prettier mangoes and this tugged my heart as jealousy at their insouciance and annoyance at their impudence reared their heads together, but then I remembered what the earth goddess Georgianna Lane had said as a caption to an image in one of her first posts: 'Cherries from our tree, before the birds ate them all. Oh well, we can get them at the store and the birds can't.' And then I quieted down and enjoyed their song.

But then my father's friends, the house help whom he had also gone to school with, Pappu, and another buddy, Janardhanan (JD), came along, and they promptly climbed on the garage roof and brought down enough mangoes for a feast or two.

Some were for brining for a later day, while others were to be made into one of my favourite things in the world - 'Kaduku Manga', translated roughly to 'Mustard Mango'.

And an itinerant one was destined to sit pensively on a patch of moss in the shade of the nutmeg trees.

The name 'Kaduku Manga' hardly does justice to what it is because this is dish is 'delicious gloriousness' redefined. It is an innocuous side to rice and anything else you please, made of chopped up mangoes, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and loads and loads of chilli powder. And this is what it looks like.

I was so happy after we made it that I kissed the chef and ate the whole thing in one sitting. This is what the forlorn vessel looked like bereft of its beloved mangoes.

Ok. Just kidding. This is what happened.

This is not me, in case you're wondering. This is the chef.
And for the record, the most I've eaten of this in one sitting is a bottle and I regretted this for days post that. But I did eat around 4 tablespoons of it, which is much more than what a normal person would eat, which is more like a teaspoon. The stuff is spicy I tell you! But I'm sure that you can make that out from the picture.

Then we went to my other house nearby which is in the middle of a rubber plantation and that's where I helped manufacture the rubber that your erasers are made of. (Think about the magnificence and the prodigiousness of it all! Without me, you would not have any erasers! Whenever I feel that my sense of self is ebbing, I think about this fact and I'm back to being a megalomaniac! And then all's well with the world.)

This is the house.

This house will be my inheritance after I pay my dad the price he's asked for it. And the payment according to him, is due homage. I don't know how I am ever going to accomplish that! And he says that the bugs, snakes and the ghosts that haunt come free of cost.

But getting back to my livelihood which is rubber production, it goes like this.

1. Rubber flows down from these incisions on the trees and collect in these halved coconut shells.

2. Then they are taken out and poured into these large cans.

3. Then I say 'Abracadabra' and 'Hey Presto' and 'Mambo Italiano' and lo behold, it transforms itself to rubber dough. Rubber dough is much like play doh. You can fashion it in any way you want and use it to suit your need. It's a undoubtedly a very 'flexible' produce (pun intended!).

Visit me for a more detailed tutorial.

777, The Rubber Plantation,
Middle of Nowhere,
The Universe.

After that, we went back to my other house by the river and that's where I encountered all these pretty flowers and they totally rocked my day.

Here are the lilies, in stages of birth, life, dying and death.

Now do you know why I have such a deep, philosophical understanding of living and dying and other metaphysical concepts? It's because I have these lilies to learn from. That, and because I read 'Sophie's World' as a child, and later, 'Philosophy for Dummies'. (Who's the dummy now. huh?)

Then I sat and meditated by this hibiscus.

The red hue tempted me and lured me into a web of deceit and cunning. And that's where I learned about temptation and sin and redemption and also about Adam's Folly with Eve.

Try it yourself. Stare at the red with all your mind and body and observe what happens 20 days later. Just don't blink in between. And be sure to let me know your experiences with this experiment.

Then I meditated by the heart shaped hydrangeas.

They taught me that love has no beginning and no end but if you do not nurture it by buying expensive gifts for the women in your life, this love might wither and die. (I dedicate this revelation / finding to all the men in my life.)

And then I sat below the papaya tree and the nutmeg tree and stared up at it for the longest time.

Man! Staring up at these trees in a still posture not only forces your mind to transcend to a level of consciousness that is rarely achieved, but it also makes you stark raving hungry! I did not enjoy that towards the end.

And then the rain started.

And it poured. And poured. And it poured some more. And then it played out like it did in 'The Sound of Music' when Maria and the children say this to each other.

Maria: The lightning talks to the thunder, and the thunder answers back. 
Von Trapp Child: But the lightning must be nasty.
Maria: Not really.
Von Trapp Child: Why does the thunder get so angry? It makes me want to cry. 

And then they burst into song and dance about a few of their favourite things.

This didn't happen in my case but the conversation did occur between myself and me and I.

This is when I started looking through the images in my camera and marveled at how pretty everything was and wished for the hundredth time that I could fly down Georgianna Lane and make her do a photo shoot of every nook and corner of my pretty house and my pretty village and my pretty district and my pretty state...well, of everything. It's like everything the Midas woman touches turns to gold. I just can't get over her images. They are so stunning and breathtaking and magical and spirit filled. When Maria sang about her favourite things, she sure did miss out on Georgianna Lane's world. And that's where I win over Maria!


  1. Lovely, delicious and luscious post! I'm honored to be part of it, thank you!! It would be great fun to photograph your part of the world. :) Wishing you a weekend of delights. xo – g

  2. These posts have been so beautiful. And that rain! I could look at those pictures of that rain all day. It soothes my soul as I wither away in the WRETCHED DESERT!

  3. G - I hope you will get to, one day :)

    Megs - Thank you so much! I'm sending you telepathic thoughts of raindrops falling on your head alright... And maybe you just gotta come to India sometime...


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