I am amazed at nature. At my mango tree actually. Now, this is a tree my mother planted in 1975 or so and I never realised how it grew and what it was about until recently. Yes, it did give out a lot of fruits and we may have enjoyed them then, but I don't remember anything except watering it on mom's instructions. And then only recently I am noticing that this tree, now constrained by space thanks to the vertical rise of our building and the one behind, still finds ways to fulfil its life purpose - of giving out delicious mangoes by the hundreds every year.
|Forced to reach for the stars|
Much of its sideward growth has been chopped off and it has grown taller and then found its way through the gap between our buildings into space where it can get some sun. And in these precariously grown branches come the flowers in March and then in April come the fruit. Rasalu, and that too, pedda rasalu, of a large size and a sweetness that one cannot compare.
|The stump saddens me immensely - must have been sacrificed when building, but it finds a way, and reaches out to the sun sideward|
For the last few years, our mango tree has become the tree that people all around eye for its fruit - my next-door neighbour, a lady, continuously steals from it, my neighbours from the house behind claim ownership because one of the branches leans over into their house, and the house next to their has manufactured long poles that help them take away the fruit. The other day two ladies came and asked if they could get a few -I told them that they cannot because the fruit was not yet ripe upon which they apparently went to the house behind to gain access from their side.
Sensing that the fruit was already in danger, several had been picked already by neighbours and random boys stealing under our noses, our maid Lakshmi told me to do something bout it. 'I will ask the boy who lives behind to pluck,' she said. I told her to ask the boy to come and he did. He said he would help. I also asked Vasu who loves climbing trees and plucking fruit to join if he wished and he came by (with some lovely egg puffs).
And so we got down to the job and climbed on to the terrace and picked from this side and from that side too because Chandu was walking along the tree with the ease of a monkey. The neighbours from the house behind got offended that we were plucking fruit from their side too and we mollified them by offering them a few. A lady came from another house and she asked us to pluck this fruit and that.
Overall, after an hour of dealing with people who felt very possessive about this tree, we ended up with a few bags. Some had grown to a good size,e some were still small. I counted the lot after giving away some 40 mangoes to Chandu and the lady behind - they were about 200. I can hardly believe it. For nothing but some water, this amazing tree gives us this bounty, these sweetest of mangoes and each one reminds me of my mom and her sweetness. Of course, like the tree, I propose to spread the sweetness too and give it to some of our friends and family.
This tree will teach me a lot of lessons I feel. But right now I am both in awe and in love with it.