Summer Of Love – A Poem


 

The sapling you planted
near the pond in the courtyard
has blossomed
The lusty boughs of your mango tree
are laden with pale green; ambrosia
is fragrant on the southern wind
The black bees flock to the nectar filled
mango blossom and fill the
pleasure garden with their songs
From a high branch a cuckoo
calls his mate, his song piercing
the shadows across my heart
Below, the sun flirts with the
water lilies as it warms
the cool waters of the pond
The swing, unused now,
moves gently when caressed by
even the lightest breeze
The days have lengthened
since the blossoming of our love
and summer is lonelier than ever
My hammock sways to music
I cannot hear, as I recall
Those fragrant, leisured days
Our joyful laughter and games,
our feet soothed by the
waters of the lotus pond
Twigs and flowers in our hair from
guilty afternoon naps in the grass,
books left upturned on our bellies
Seasons quickly change,
luscious fruits, long summer
evenings filled with birdsong
The blossoming of our love
in the pleasure garden
our first kiss, lying side by side
And then came the season for grief,
we parted in silence in the early morning
before the sun had dried the dew
Years passed and we were apart, but this year
the lane that leads to our garden
is fragrant with love
The lotus pond is brimming with pink buds
the courtyard is carpeted with golden petals
the air is filled with the cuckoo’s call
Won’t you come my love

From ‘Collection Of Chaos‘ my debut poetry book. You can buy the book from any online bookseller including amazon. Do check out my new collection ‘Wayfaring – Poems By Tikuli‘ that is available for pre-order now.

Getting to know about Mangoes


Mango tree

India has a long history of worshiping trees, plants and for the ancient Aryans nature was revered. Many trees like Ashoka, Peepal, Banyan Tree, Bael tree, Neem and Sandalwood tree, Bamboo, banana, coconut and most of all Mango trees are some of the most significant ones. Mostly all these trees have medicinal properties as well as socio-religious significance. All of them are large shady trees and perennials.

Hot summer day. A rope swing on the strong branch of a lush green mango tree, intoxicating fragrance of the mango flowers and the delicious fruit makes the Mango tree is one of the most loved trees in India.

Smooth luscious, velvety and juicy that’s a mango, the king of all fruits as far as India is concerned. This tropical fruit lives up to its name. The mango tree is thick and shady therefore excellent for planting in avenues parks etc. Everything from this tree is used in one form or the other.It has a religious importance as well as medicinal one. Mango is our National fruit and rightly so for it has a whole culture of mango eating associated with it.

In north India the land owners who harvested mangoes took pride in their crop.Mango festivals and mango eating sessions and contests were held all through the summers. Big drums of water were filled and ripe mangoes were soaked in them to cool. The families gathered and amidst fun and laughter sucked the mango pulp and juice directly from the fruit by rubbing the ripe mangos with hands loosening the flesh. The dripping juices the sweet taste and the intoxicating aroma were all part of the ritual. It is still fun to eat mango like that instead of cutting and eating it with fork or spoon. They were the connoisseurs of the fruits. Baskets of the best ripe mangoes were exchanged as gifts.

The mango has been cultivated in India for over 4,000 years and is an important part of the Indian heritage and culture. It is almost an object of veneration in Hindu households. It is also considered a symbol of love and fertility.

During the long hot summers mangoes are relished all over India especially in the North. We have hundreds of varieties with exquisite flavors, exotic names and unmatched deliciousness. There is dashahree, langra, tota pari, safeda, alfanso and neelam all known for there distinct flavor, shape and color.

Religious significance

In the Hindu religion, mango tree has a lot of importance. To the Hindus, it is a symbol of the Lord of all creatures. The twigs are used as toothbrushes and the leaves as spoons for the pouring of libations. The rooms in which marriage ceremonies are held are festooned with Mango leaves. It is considered auspicious.

The wood is also considered as sacred because it is included in funeral pyres. Hindus also dedicate the flowers of the tree to the Moon on the second day of the month of Maagh.

The flowering and the fruit-bearing species symbolizes reproduction as they don’t stop growing.

Other uses of the tree

Apart from the delicacy of the fruit, the tree has some other valuable properties as well. The timber of this tree is kiln-dried or seasoned in saltwater. It is quite soft and durable and thus very good for planking and making packing cases and tea boxes. It is gray or greenish-brown, coarse-textured, hard, easy to work and finishes well. In India, it is used for raft making, window frames, agricultural implements, for boats and boxes, including for making crates for shipping. The wood makes excellent charcoal.

The bark possesses 16% to 20% tannin and is used for tanning hides. It yields a yellow dye or when mixed with turmeric and lime, a bright rose-pink. The bark produces a somewhat resinous, red-brown gum that is used in medicine.

Medicinal Uses:

Dried mango flowers, contain 15% tannin and serve as astringents in cases of diarrhea, chronic dysentery and many other ailments. The resinous gum from the trunk is applied on cracks in the skin of the feet. Various parts of the tree are used to stop bleeding and prescribed in cases of snakebite and scorpion-sting as well. The immature fruit is used to treat certain eye ailments and some people believe that a tonic prepared from the ripe fruit can be proved good for the liver.

Mango kernel concoction and powder are used as astringents in hemorrhages and bleeding hemorrhoids. A combined concoction of mango and other leaves is taken after childbirth.

Nutrients

It is a rich source of vitamin A C D and has only 70 calories per 100 grams, despite its powerful sweet taste. Mango also contains beta carotene, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9, a lot of vitamin C, and some traces of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, lot of antioxidants.

Both raw and ripe mango is used in various food preparations as appetizers, fruit smoothies, deserts, salads, jams squashes and also used in main dishes . Raw fruits are used for making chutney, pickles and juices. Sun dried raw mango slices are powdered and used in Indian cooking.

Source: Trees of India

Mango Tree Very Pretty : Some Pix


I observed that many of my readers  are ardent mango lovers so here is a picture of our mango tree. This tree is of dashehri mangoes and yeilds a good crop every year.

One day I found my previous maid bitting into juicy mangoes in the park near my home. After exchanging some pleasantories I asked her if we could grow a plant from the seed. She burried the seed and  now we all enjoy the fruits of her labor .these days the tree is in full bloom and when you stand under it the intoxicating aroma of the flowers fill your senses. A feeling only mango lovers can imagine.

It’s just so beautiful to see the tree alive with the sound of birds tweeting merrily among the yellow blossoms.

Waiting eagerly for the fruits to appear.

Mango Dreams : A Poem


Lusty boughs

thick with blossoms

creamy-white profusions

sweeter than perfume

wildly intoxicating…

spring to life.

The Koel sings

somewhere from deep within

green parrots nestle

for close comfort.

Lazily I catch the

glimpses of drifting clouds

and blue sky

the sunlight filters through

the tender green

and makes a pattern of my face.

My hammock sways in tune

with the dancing branches

Mango dreams fill my heart

reminders of childhood joys

the swings, the luscious fruits

licking the dripping juice

flowing along the tiny bare arms.

Climbing and hiding

in the thick foliage

dozing cuddled together

with books upturned on bellies.

And then the days of youth

lying in each others arms

watching the bees gather the nectar

wondering what is more seductive

your love or the mild fragrance drifting

in the air around.

Today again, I sit under your shade

waiting in anticipation of a call

from a love who is far away

I close my eyes and wander down

the memory lane of mango dreams.

Pregnant with the hope of things to be

Your loveliness O mango blossoms

is too much

for this summer evening.