The Anchor: Prathap Suthan on 7 reasons why mango is the Emperor of Fruitland

27 Jun,2012

By Prathap Suthan


Honestly, I am yet to stumble on to someone who doesn’t rage after this fruit. In fact, if I do meet him or her, it just might be a fickle pretense.


Take lush mango away from the menu of pleasures, and you’d dread the emptiness that stares at you from the fruit bowl.


I mean everything that’s left inside, including moldy grapes, obese melons, and squishy jackfruit, is one mediocre disappointment after another.


You’d be truly blessed if you ever had an orgasmic experience with a guava. One errant seed raking up screaming havoc in an old dental cavity notwithstanding.


In all my years as a devoted single fruit pilgrim, no one really asked me if any other fruit deserved the altar. But now that I have to defend my icon, allow me 2 non-noodle minutes.


Thankfully, I didn’t have to invent any of the reasons why Mango will reign undisputed. They have always existed. I just had to put them in no particular order.


1. Mango, the great Equalizer

No matter who you are, where you live, or what you like, you are a subject of this awesome fruit of plenty. If you aren’t an eternal slave of its yumminess to the nth degree, dude you have no clue what you are missing. Regardless of our faiths, beliefs, geographies, physical differences, skin colours, hairstyles, fashion skews, cultural peccadilloes, bank balances, and even sexual orientation, the mango is not mere king.


It’s a great leveler. We are all equal victims. Unless some of us are lashed by daily nightmares of man-eating mangoes, snorting rhinos can’t wrench most of us away from slobbering over its spell. It’s worthy of leading a new age religion. Or at least a dozen political parties aligned along gourmet tastebuds.


2. Mango, the winning Politician

I am often pushed into vague corners by sour men and women who poke holes at India Shining. But then, little do they consider the mango side of it. If it wasn’t for that campaign, aam aadmi as an expression wouldn’t have been brought to the fore. The ordinary men and women of our country wouldn’t have found such a powerful public idiom. Come to think of it, there nothing else unites us so tastefully across all socio-economic definitions. Considering that we grew up in a country where every neighbourhood has at least one mango tree, and every one us would have either plucked or thrown down a mango. Centuries from now, mango people will be linked to the history of the 2004 elections. As the little big people who torpedoed a government’s feel good carrier.


3. Mango, the giver of Words

I am yet to lick an apple, salivate over a plump orange, drool at a spiky pineapple, or go anywhere oral near a banana. Yuck. On the other sticky hand, I can’t wait to get cozy with a juicy mango, unpeel its skin, and allow my tongue to plunder its curves. Every word that’s been designed to bring out osculatory pleasure makes ample sense and effective relevance. Go on, close your eyes. You can bite a mango, you can slurp a mango, you can nibble a mango, you can kiss a mango, you can moan a mango, and oh yes, you can suck a mango. I doubt if there’s a wildest word you cannot do to a mango.


4. Mango, the Cultural Fountain

Undoubtedly, inspiration isn’t just limited to pushing and expanding the frontiers of vocal expression. The mango has undoubtedly aided the growth and profusion of our aesthetics. If it hasn’t stimulated us enough, I think we have been fools to overlook the cornucopia it unleashes. From paisley that makes huge contributions to the clothes of men and women – neckties to sarees, I am sure mango has pandered itself to aspiring writers of novels and poetry. There’s much hidden in the gush of its juices, the allure of its nectar, the softness of its body, and the blush of its colours. I certainly cannot see glorious muskmelon or splendid kiwi goading me to spill my ink. I might suffer from permanent drought. If I am not entirely mistaken, the fertile mango has already spawned fashion, books, taxis, beverages, radio stations etc. There’s so much more possible.


5. Mango, the natural Aphrodisiac

Here’s a quickie. Whenever you two decide to bathe each other’s teeth, grab a nice handful of Alphonso. Or any common mango from the fridge. With so much of passion held inside its ripe and near gossamer thin skin, it does give human chemistry a bit of a goosebumpy spur. Add a little dose of imagination, and the humble mango could be quite an experimental grenade while rolling in the hay. While there could be unexplored magic potion and endless ginseng within pears, peaches, and pomegranates, I’d still bet that they offer precious zilch to help you better Vatsya’s magnum opus. The mango is the undoubted king and queen in bed – as much as it’s on the dining table, in the living room, under a moonlight night, in the bathroom, under the staircase, and just about everywhere both of you want to come and go.


6. Mango, the sensitive humanist

Mango may have a large nut. But maybe there’s a thumping heart inside. Perhaps that’s the way one should read that.Look at it this way. Why do you think mangoes come in all sorts of shapes? And sizes. And colours. And even price ranges? They mirror us. They do their best to become like us. They understand us better than most other fruit. Unlike plebian chikoo, jamun, plums, and even rambutan which have negligible variety. Almost one size fits all. On the other hand, consider the benevolence of the Gods. The great mango has just as many rich variations as us – tall, short, squat, stocky, beautiful, small, lean, thin, overweight and so on. Long mangoes. Short mangoes. Big mangoes. Small mangoes. Pointy mangoes. Round mangoes. Fat mangoes. Thin mangoes. Green mangoes. Red mangoes. Blue mangoes. White mangoes. Sweet mangoes. Sour mangoes.

For every distinct physical and even mental trait, there are mangoes that have evolved to characterize people. Just how more awesome can this true monarch be?


7. Mango, the incredible Indian

With so many different varieties that you might know, here are a few you wouldn’t have heard of. All harvested across the corners of our country. Kishenbhog, Jamadar, Fazli, Gulabkhas, Badami, Raspuri, Zardalu, Pairi, Malkurad, Beneshan, Bangalora, Jehangir, Suvarnarekha, Mulgoa, Himayuddin and Samar Behest Chausa. Ignore them if you like to lead a poor life. While all of them represent the mosaic India is, with the hottest summers giving you the sweetest mangoes, the mango is no longer a seasonal protege. With the koel as its raucous herald. Today, science and ingenuity has helped mango mutate into anything you think of. And most of them brim with the essence of its inherent mischief. You can have them as shakes, aam ras, aam panna, sherbet, squashes, nectar, juices, drinks, candy, jams, jellies, preserves, chutneys, curries and achaar. Until civilization declares similar lust for any other fruit from the planet’s orchards, the mango will remain raja. And me and you its besotted praja.


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One response to “The Anchor: Prathap Suthan on 7 reasons why mango is the Emperor of Fruitland”

  1. Sjdghgdsh says:

    Huh!! I didnt know till now that there are so many facets of Mango