The path to ecstasy

….For Mango Lovers only!

A sweltering mid summer afternoon in a tropical country. One lives within the confines of a relatively cool room, with the blinds raised to allow light in. The open windows provide a view of the wide world outside. The heat and glare glaze everything in vision, in a whitish hue making them appear a few shades paler than their true colour. The ensuing monsoon rains have the task of perking up nature that is wilting and drying in the blistering heat. The man made structures are most likely to stay faded. The Humidity, heat and dust affect the mood, making one dejected and listless.

Look within the home and the Mango beckons. The tropical delight. The luscious golden yellow with hint of orange amply indicate the juicy pulp within, irrespective of the variety of the fruit, and there are many. Just within the thin outer skin, lies a sweet, soft, creamy, melt in the mouth mush that words cannot describe.

Heaped in the fruit basket, the sight would make a delectable still life subject for an artist. I don’t remember seeing such a painting, though. Painting of bananas, apples and pears yes, Mangoes no. Not surprising, the king of fruits most likely ended within somebody’s digestive system even in the course of being set up for portraiture.

Eating a Mango whole, not just in quantity, but literally, without using a knife to cut it into neat pieces, is not what one does in full public view. Party etiquette is the other end of the spectrum. A mendicant shifts residence to a hill top for solitude. Being alone to consume a mango in the most rustic of methods, is similar in need. Both bring about the same desired result — sheer bliss!

Here is the recipe for instant enlightenment! [The only other method is the one practised by the yogis of yore — a lifetime of penance standing on one leg, for years, with creepers clinging on, as if to a tree, hoping for some divine acknowledgment of one’s effort. And that is too tedious..]

I have seen paradise many times. Heaven too. The heights of ecstasy I have experienced, give me some authority to recommend the path.

Pick up a ripe mango, wash it and lower yourself into cozy seat with a bowl in hand, thats what I do. I know that what happens next, I’ve done this before.

Bite into the outer layer at one end of the mango and rip a portion of the skin away from the fruit and discard it into the bowl. Bite or suck into the pulp. I don’t need to provide any guidance hereon…and neither will you need it. For those of you who do not have a mango readily available and still want to know more, please read on…Though, I must warn you that you are unlikely to get any closer to the heavens with just reading this piece. Eat a Mango you must.

You will find that your eyes shut themselves involuntarily. Looking inward just became easier! As the mango melts into the mouth and flows down the throat and moves further on, you will experience what you only thought were words that only a mystic would utter, which are……

“…Take your time. Take your own time. You will become aware of your breathing. It will become slow and steady. …”

You will become aware of your senses. All your senses.

Your tongue will smile in joy. [Actually, your tongue has attained nirvana already]

Your heart will taste the fruit. [A hundred yogi years achieved in a few seconds. This is exactly what the goal is — that all the senses should blend, thus making the physical body irrelevant]

Your thoughts will cool down bringing a pleasant hydrated feeling to the throat. [This is probably just the juice and drool flowing down from the sides of your mouth. As for the thoughts, it is just an assumption that you are still a thinking individual]

Your nose smelt the mango just once, during the first bite. The delicious smells gradually pervades your whole body, right upto the tips of your toes.

Your fingers move the rest of the mango to your mouth for more of the same action, at periodic intervals. [By now your mind is quiet. Your hand is thinking now. The juice beginning to ooze out of the mango and collecting in your palms, and flowing down your wrist. It needs to be licked up.]

Your by-now orange tongue will joyfully jump out to lick the trickling juice, from elbow to wrist.

And so it goes on till all of the pulp is consumed. You are left with your fingers holding the seed with some pulp left over.

This is when you will open your eyes to survey the carnage.

Your eyes will hunger for the left over pulp and instruct your hand to move towards your mouth. [Please note that your eyes are now thinking and provoking bodily movement]

Your eyes close again as the mango nears your mouth and your teeth sink into the strands on the seed. This repeated movement on all sides of the mango seed is therapeutic. You will forget all your worries.

“…Take your time. Take your own time..…”

Sit there with your now soaked palm, resting in the bowl. You become aware that the region around your mouth and chin are wet. A pleasant sensation seeps through your skin enhancing the feeling of exhilaration.

Slowly open your eyes and look out of the window.

It will dawn to you that the uncomfortable heat and humidity will bring in the rain clouds soon. As the first rains wet the parched land, cool breezes and fresh air will be here to stay.

You will smile at the thought that good times are never far away! And that is ecstasy, isn’t it?