Mangoes

Bring back those summers
When a wooden box arrived home
And the sweet scent of fruit
Wafted through the air
And settled all over
An invisible blanket
Making our mouths water
We waited patiently
As mother counted
The number of people
And picked the ripe ones
Bright orange, wrinkled, Hapus
Aaji cut them into pieces
Two for each one of us
The core for the favourite child

Mom, masi, mami sat in a circle
A ‘ladies only’ kitchen soirée
Chatting and squeezing out aamras
Their fingers coated in sunset hues
Messy, beautiful, young
Today, there are six mangoes
Sitting in the fruit tray
But I don’t touch them
For there’s no one to fight
And no one to share
Mango, the king of fruits
That brings back our childhood
From the innocent summers

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