AAM KI GUTHLI….life lessons savoring the fruit

Every year the mango season brings with it loads of memories. Though I enjoy the fruit every season, these memories are not very recent; actually I can’t seem to recall anything special in the past 10 years (from when I have become a permanent resident of anywhere but my home :-P). All memories are starkly from my childhood.

Coming back from school, a plate of mangoes would be ready for me before I eat my lunch. If I were to go out for a party, I would generally skip the desert for the sweetest, chilled mangoes would be waiting for me when I come home! :-) :-) :-). My father would bring ‘crates’ (not kidding) of different varieties of mangoes — the Dussehris, Alphonsos, Langdas and Banarasis- and the entire family would come together for the special occasion of eating them! There was only one answer to midnight hunger pangs- MANGOES.

Image Courtesy- indiatv.com……(not kidding :P)

Though mango, the most cherished tropical fruit in India, has been a constant in my life; the experience of eating it has changed over the years. If I were to seriously reflect on it, there has been a dramatic shift.

As a child, I would always ask and crave for the piece of mango with the kernel or GUTHLI as we like to call it here. Eating GUTHLI was a different experience altogether. Generally at home, we would scoop out the mango with the spoon but with the GUTHLI you could not do that. You had to allow your face, your hands (up until your elbows) to be smeared all over to savor the fruit!!! With the GUTHLI you could continue enjoying the taste of mango as long as you liked, long after you had eaten practically everything that there was to be eaten and could see the kernel shining in off-white. Only if the GUTHLI slipped from my hands was when I would be willing to give up on it. I so vividly remember getting a sort of rash for a full two weeks because of my unabashed love for mangoes and the GUTHLI (greed…I tell you!). Back then, anyone at home could get any piece as long as it was not the GUTHLI!

As I grew older, the mango experience went through a transition.

Gradually, from being content with ’n’ GUTHLIS, to two, to one, I started avoiding it. In fact, I became ready to trade mine with a normal piece which could be eaten easily with the spoon. Even more, wasn’t it better that someone just cut the fruit for me, ready in a bowl rather than me going through all that ‘fuss’ myself!!! The GUTHLI now seemed way too messy and cumbersome to be giving it all that attention.

Just a week before, I happened to realize the change which triggered a series of thoughts.

Was it me becoming more sophisticated or was it me trying to avoid the discomfort of messy hands and save time? Did it, albeit in a subtle way, signal me becoming more guarded, seeking comfort, choosing to traverse ‘easy and clean’ paths or had I started measuring efficiency (in this case of time) in almost everything or worst of all, was it me just trying to find some (any) meaning out of anything (nothing)!

I DIDN’T KNOW.

Asked a few of my friends who just like me have become busy in the corporate rush with little time for…..may be…..getting their hands dirty!

My once favorite AAM KI GUTHLI had started giving me life lessons now…

CHAOS AND DISCOMFORT IS SOMETIMES NECESSARY FOR IT KEEPS THE SPIRIT ALIVE AND BREEDS DISRUPTION.

Don’t become so busy or too comfortable with status-quo that you stop enjoying the little things of life. Venture out and don’t be afraid to get your hands messy for that will in true sense bring liberation of the mind.”

It felt as if my favorite fruit in the world was now giving me GYAN (words of wisdom).

Too often, we get strangled in those invisible ties around us (in the mind) that prohibit us from truly relishing the AAM KI GUTHLI aka LIFE because we are scared or uncomfortable or just lazy to clean our own mess. We get so involved in measuring the pros and cons, the practicality, the efficiency, the time consumed, for everything that we forget to listen to the heart as often as we should. Instead of enjoying the little things, we even make recreation a project of sorts! Remember the mad rush the last time you were on a vacation- maximum amount of places that you tried to cover in the minimum possible time with absolute highest levels of cost efficiency and ’n’ number of social media updates to prove that you actually enjoyed!

I can go on and on; as deriving connotations is a never ending journey (as far as the mind can take you).

So today, before writing this article, I picked up the mango, peeled the skin, forgot that a spoon ever existed, and relished the whole of it with my hands including my, yet again a favorite, AAM KI GUTHLI! (feelings of bliss :-). God!, I had been missing it for so long…

How long has it been for YOU? What is it that YOU miss the most? How long have YOU not enjoyed AAM (life) the way it ought to be enjoyed? It is never too late..

GrAb A bITe!

Do it this weekend…. (I know u gotch work…practicality still exists :P )

and share your experience!