NaPoWriMo Day 24

Today’s prompt is a fairly simple one: to write about a particular fruit – your choice. But I’d like you to describe this fruit as closely as possible. Perhaps your poem could attempt to tell the reader some (or all!) of the following about your chosen fruit: What does it look like, how does it feel, how does it smell, what does it taste like, where did you find it, do you need to thump it to know if it’s ripe, how do you get into it (peeling, a knife, your teeth), do you need to spit out the seeds, should you bake it, can you make jam with it, do you have to fight the birds for it, when is it available, do you need a ladder to pick it, what is your favorite memory of eating it, if you threw it at someone’s head would it splatter them or knock them out, is it expensive . . . As you may have realized from this list, there’s honestly an awful lot you can write about a fruit!


 

Mango-A Divinity

 

A ‘Super fruit’, ‘King of the fruits’ or the ‘National fruit’

Whatever high honour you accord to this succulent drupe

No vanity or bitterness can touch its roots

For it’s the sweetest gift of the evergreen Mangifera indica

Five thousand years ago, grown in India

 

 

Oh what sugary ambrosial childhood memories

Plucking the divine fruit dangling enticingly from its branches

A small incision at the top and squeezing the fruit gently to suck its nectar, deliciously

What a heavenly feeling when the sweetness sanctifies your tongue

You even lick the juice that trickles down your wrist

 

 

Pieces cut in fine shape or blend it into a smoothie

Pickle, jam, juice, cakes, ice cream, desserts or lassi

Relish it in as many ways, to grow your culinary skills

There’s no dearth of mangoes on Earth,

There are more than a thousand varieties

 

 

Yes, a thousand; you heard me right

And when you’ll listen to the names, you’ll crave for a bite

Dasheri. Langra, Chausa, Alphonso

Kesar, Totapuri, Neelam, Amrapali

Ataulfo, Haden, Kent and Tommy Atkins- Oh, what a wide variety!

 

 

Exotic and delectable with hues of yellow, orange and green

The luscious fruit incited even Lord Buddha under its tree

Rich in vitamins- A, B, C, K, potassium and Folate

The curvaceous figure ‘Aam’, as called in Hindi

An antioxidant that lowers cholesterol and boosts immunity

 

 

The royal fruit allured Emperors and kings

And even inspired the great bards of poetry

When legendary poet Mirza Ghalib,

Wrote Dar sifat-e-ambaah, to glorify its allure

And called mango, a delicious wine from heaven above

 

 

Ah! My wait for mangoes is over, as summer is finally here

And yes, mango is sacred; don’t disgrace by throwing it at someone!

 

 

                                                                                    ©Vandana Bhasin

                                                                                                24.04.2020

 

Here’s the poem of Mirza Ghalib that I mentioned above. 

The legendary Urdu poet and mango connoisseur Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869) summed up the allure of the mango in a poem titled Dar sifat-e-ambaah (On the attributes of mangoes):

mujhse poochho, tumheñ khabar kya hai
aam ke aage neyshakar kya hai…
ya ye hoga ke fart-e rafa’at se

baagh-baano
ñ ne baagh-e jannat se
angabee
ñ ke, ba hukm-e rabb-in-naas
bhar ke bheje hai
ñ sar-ba-mohr gilaas

 

English Translation: 
Ask me! for what do you know?
a mango is far sweeter than sugarcane…
perhaps from the great heights above
the gardeners of heaven’s orchards
have sent, by the order of God
wine filled in sealed glasses

 

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