The King of Summer

Summer is the best time of the year. Anyone who disagrees must be imprisoned without a trial. As a child, summer was all about vacations. School was done and all we had to do was just sit and watch our favourite cartoons and TV shows. We could play whatever and however long we wanted. My mother has always blamed my dusky tone on extended playtime during the scorching summer months (However I suspect my father’s genes have more to do with it than anything else).

Hours and hours of rabid fun, oh, what joy it was not knowing one day my knees would protest a thirty-minute walk. Many of us would go to our native places, make new friends and get absolutely smothered with affection by our grandparents. I’d get to lie to the locals about having met Bollywood celebrities and they would be content overcharging me for renting their bicycles and bats. Pre internet propaganda was genuinely something else.

As an adult, I can’t watch any cartoons even if I am high and I definitely can’t play team sports in my colony. Hell, I am not afforded a vacation without permission! But even today, when my idea of ‘on the rocks’ has changed considerably no summer is complete without the king – Mango. Whether you are at home, with your grandparents or on vacation, it was mango season, all day, every day! Today, as I am sitting helplessly while an incompetent Government snatches a second consecutive summer from me, I seek comfort in the arms of the only loyal summer companion.

Truth be told, the highlight of this summer will be letting the Government stab you with an injection so that they can stop treating you like a caged animal. The only respite for me as a Maharashtrian, the best mangoes reach me faster than most! A golden fruit, it is proof that God loves mankind. Doesn’t matter the occasion, a mango is always welcome. Whether it’s a drink or an ice cream, mango flavour is never wrong! Oh, what a delicious gift.

In 2021, the mango is more than a fruit. It is a reminder that a hard shell is capable of holding together pure delight. Filled with nostalgia and hope, it is my water in this desert of despair.

It is my way to remember, that life is sweet. We just need to wait for the right season.

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