Hot summers, cold treats

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A little girl was given a glass of something. Her mother wanted to take away the glass after a few sips, but the girl clenched the glass with her teeth and did not leave it until she finished everything in the glass. That little girl was me and I tasted mango juice for the first time.

The beauty of nature is that it provides the best fruits in the hot summers. In India, Mango is considered as the king of fruits. Growing up, I ate two kinds of mangoes, Banganapalli and Rasalu.

Banganapalli was cut into pieces and eaten in a refined manner, along with the skin. Whereas, eating the Rasalu, was messier and more fun. You bite the top of the fruit and suck the juice, after that the seed is licked until it is dry. The sweet sticky juice often ran down until the elbows and had to be licked clean. The kids are usually made to eat on the floor in their underpants so that the mess can be dealt with easily.

The other two delicious fruits of the summer are watermelons and palmyra fruit.

My best memory of eating watermelon was when I was a kid. My mother brought a watermelon. One of my uncles was visiting. My mom was not at home. My uncle asked me if I wanted to eat the watermelon. I replied, 'yes'. He cut the water melon into big chunks. We sat at the table and devoured the whole watermelon. Our tummies were full and we were happy.

The Palmyra fruit is the fruit of the palm tree. Whenever we traveled to Hyderabad, we passed by villages, where the vendors sold the palmyra fruit by the roadside. We purchased the fruits and ate them at home.

The outside of the fruit is covered with a thin skin that can be peeled off. The inside is soft and translucent. When you bite into the fruit, the watery juice flows out. As usual, the first step is always to take a bite and suck out the juices and then eat the mushy fruit. My grandmother used to make a curry, with the skin and I disliked that part because it tasted acrid.

Eating a summer fruit was an event. Sometimes eating a fruit took a whole afternoon and that was completely okay because I had nothing else to do. There was limited entertainment on TV and phones were roped to the wall. All my childhood summers were filled with leisure.

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