Monday, June 04, 2012

The Sweetest Mango

I recently participated in a blogathon held by Tulika books on mangoes and my post was declared one of the winning entries. My prize :  A copy of this book.

Pic courtesy
The Sweetest Mango
Written by Malavika Shetty
Illustrated by Ajanta Guhathakurta
Published by Tulika books
Ages 4-8 yrs

Do you remember that when you were a child, you probably had a very close buddy (a friend or a sibling) who you hung out with, with whom you shared every little secret, and who was your partner-in-crime for all the mischief that you got into? With whom you shared absolutely everything?

But sometimes you had something really tasty. You hoarded it, hid it from everybody, even your closest buddy and ate it bit by bit, all by yourself? Didn't want to share it with ANYONE?

I would do that. My mother would give me some guL-shengdaNe (jaggery and peanuts - a really yummy combination that I loved. You split open the peanut, and stuffed some jaggery between the halves, and then popped it into your mouth. Yum!) and I would be loath to share it with anyone. I would keep it in a box in a secret place, and eat it surreptiously throughout the day, making it really last. I was reminded of that as I read this book.

Suma is a little girl who loves mangoes in any form. There was, of course, the delicious, juicy fruit, but there were also the pickles and curries made at home that she relished.

Now, Suma has a bosom buddy, Jyothi. The two girls were neighbours in a village near Udupi, a coastal town on the mango belt near the western coast of India. The village had many mango and coconut trees, and there were some around their houses. Summer meant a surfeit of mangoes, and of course, they had to be got by climbing the trees, and eaten freshly picked from the branches.

There was a particular mango tree, the mundappa mango, that grew behind Suma's house. It grew huge, round and sweet mangoes. One day, Suma spots a really big specimen, bigger than a coconut.

'But it was still raw, and it would be a few days before it ripened to sweetness. 
Suma couldn't wait to eat it. "I won't tell Jyothi," she thought. "I'll eat it all by myself."

So what happens next? How does she get through the few days of waiting? Does she get to eat it? All by herself? What about Jyothi?

A book about the joys of friendship, and the carefree innocence of childhood. A drool-worthy book, with warm, summery illustrations by Ajantha Guhathakurtha matching the yumminess of the text.

A read the book within ten minutes of its arrival at home, and was smiling as she finished it. I suppose she, too, was thinking of the way she is often loath to share some of the goodies she gets from her grandparents' place when we visit. And how we sometimes enjoy them better when shared!


sathish said...

lovely. I used to hide eatables from my brother!

utbtkids said...

Hot off the press!! Woo-hoo S.

Choxbox said...

Lovely. Guess who is popping in tomorrow to pick it up?!

p.s.: Who asked you to write such a nice review eh?!

wordjunkie said...

Yum. Nice review, and that book looks good enough to eat.

Sheela said...

Congrats, Sandhya, and thanks for sharing your prize book here! Suma sounds like me - a mango-lover, not just the juicy fruits but the raw ones, pickled or brined!

Sue said...

I was soooo surprised to read the word 'Mundappa Mangoes' My mum is from Mangalore and my grandfather had two mundappa and one Kalapadi tree in the compound and everyone has memories of eating the fruits from the trees some time while growing up.

Recently, my husband and I visited Mangalore/ Udupi during our India trip... He too fell in love with the Mundappas or moon-daps as our family calls it :)

Thank you for kindling the fond childhood memories :)

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