#15 The greatest fruit in the world
Twas thirteen years ago that I last ate an alphonso mango.
Twas thirteen years ago I left India for the United States.
I poke my pointy nose into the cardboard carton and take one long sniff (the fragrance of this fruit is unlike any other) and I aah with the pleasure. I grab the squishiest and the yellowest of the mangoes, wash it, and bite into it ravenously. I strip off its skin inch by inch until I behold the whole mango in the grip of my fingers, naked, nectarious and lusty — it’s shape-size is that of a human heart and it is dripping slurpy sweet juice down my fingers that I lick and onto the steel plate that I lap. Finally I plunge into the fruit’s juicy orange flesh and it’s pure epicurean ecstasy.
I am a sweet-tooth and a dessert freak but nay: no dessert that I have eaten, neither apple pies nor cheese cakes, neither macaroons nor pot-de-cremes, neither gelatos nor tiramisus, neither roshagullas nor malai chom choms, neither alfajores nor tres leche cakes have ever given me such sweet pleasure, such delectable satisfaction as this king of fruits harvested (only) in soils of the neighboring district of Ratnagiri and available (only) in the blistering months of April and May.
I have been eating two mangoes a day everyday this summer for the past week or so, and every time at the end of it, while lapping up the mango juice on my plate, I think to myself: Boy! Am I glad to be back home.