Where I grew up, there was a massive, enormously fertile mango garden right in front of our house. Every summer the trees would get laden with lots and lots of mangoes and children would start hovering over to steal and fill their stomach with its sour-sweet flavor escaping their lunch. The branches hung low and welcomed everyone gracefully to come and get a taste of what it had to offer… it welcomed everyone in its cool shade and gave them memories to cherish a lifetime! I remember spending the hottest summer afternoon lingering around the garden with my sisters and brother. We wholeheartedly gave them the adoration they deserved.
My mother would collect loads of mangoes in the morning while sending us off during the morning school. It was a routine to get up early (around 4:00 am) and get ready as soon as possible so that we could help mom collect them. We would count it as big achievements holding the morning picks in our small palms. Simple joys of life! I remember, mom sitting in the afternoon, escaping her afternoon nap, cutting mangoes in cubes and then making them into pickles. There were huge glass jars, which she pampered like infants and we were always prohibited from touching them. But, how much ever she tried, we would always open the jar lids and gobble the pickle as soon as it was kept in the sun…
Every afternoon, mango-mint chutney was a must. The sweet mango pickle she used to make was my all time favorite. The aam-panna which was made by cooking raw mango in firewood in the evening, was a drink we always looked forward to in the summers. No guest would be allowed to leave before drinking the refreshing sherbat.
And when the mangoes ripen, there would be someone or else who would come from the village with sacks full of mangoes and those would be stored neatly over newly placed hay on the floor. It was the mango season and all we did was eat, drink, play and cherish THE MANGO! Ah… good old childhood days!!
Back to the present. I can’t run around in the mango grooves anymore as there are none around my house. That’s why me and my husband are content eating this aam ki phirni for today 🙂 🙂
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and the rain and not to forget the magnificent AAM. Kyunki aam ka season baar-baar nahi aata 😉 😉 🙂