Monday, June 2, 2014

Mango Mania!

Summer is almost on its way out and so are a number of things that summer brings. Summer vacations are nearly over and most schools (barring schools with the International Baccaluareate syllabus) are all set to reopen this week, or have already reopened. The Mango season too is at its fag end and come monsoon …….and you’ll have everyone warning you against the perils of monsoon mangoes. I am not sure if it’s because of the late arrival of mangoes this season or that our household has suddenly cut back on the sugar intake, we didn’t seem to relish as many mangoes as we used to during the previous summers. No worries, our attendance at Rangashankara’s annual Mango party yesterday has most certainly made up for our ‘mango’less summer!
Dressed in yellow and green, and like last year, we went in with one kilo mangoes per head and savoured as many different varieties of mangoes as we could lay our hands on! 


While we couldn't stay on for the Mango story contest and other allied activities due to a family related event later in the evening, I had a book just for the occasion!  Following on the National Book Trust  reads on Onestoryaday, we read "Mad Mango" a  publication   NBT by A.N. Pednekar and illustrated by Manjula Padmanabhan. This is a story of the daredevil mango tree! 

Though a tad long, this is a 'breaking-barriers' story centered around a mango tree and has many elements, life lessons, environment and public service message packed into it.  The Mango tree resents being stuck to one place, and is sick and tired of being pelted with stones by village urchins. Enamoured with the stories narrated by  travelers from far-off lands resting in its shade, he decides to explore the world! The other trees can't seem to understand as to how and why would a tree want to uproot itself only to encounter danger while out in the open!   The Mango tree offers to take his two friends, the Jackfruit tree and Tamarind tree along but instead they make fun of him and call him “The Mad Mango”!  The sudden fall of the  Jackfruit tree owing heavy rains has Mango tree all the more determined to go out and see the marvels of the world.  So the Mango tree sets about ….pulling out his roots from the ground.  Along the way,  he is perplexed by the ways of the world, almost crashes into a car on the road, scares people who attribute a walking tree to the work of a ghost, and also helps a poor family with its juicy mangoes only to be threatened to be cut down by the same family  for fuel! As he unknowingly moves into a reserved forest area, he finds a  number plate 5879  pinned on to his trunk signifying government property protected from deforestation. Even as he misses the luxury of being provided with sustenance standing in one place,  the mango tree  is in no mood to belong to anyone and decides to fend for itself and goes in search of water.  As he reaches the river, he feels refreshed and slides into the stream, embarking on another adventure to meet the sea and soon Mad Mango is seen become one with the river! Thus it is said that this madness and spirit of adventure will always be a part of the mango....just like an adventurous Sunday spent at Rangashankara devouring mangoes after mangoes...!:-)

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