Tales of the Rainwood

Since when I have lived here, in Goa, Panjim, this behemoth of a creature has stood its ground firmly. It always would sway in the wind, as if made of foam and yet seem so sturdy. The gargantuan of a tree, Rainwood would be right in front of one’s face when they looked out of my window.

  When asked about its origins, most of them would just shrug and smile because they never considered as a tree. It had always been there and that fact had rendered it an obvious part of the environment.

I remember as a kid being fascinated by trees and plants and might I add, there were not few but instead many in Panjim. The whole city had its streets lined with trees. Shrubs and bushes of unknown species dotted the hidden alleys and roads as if trying to defy the existence of man-made urbanisation. Flowering trees adorn the heart of Goa to this day and is the most hauntingly beautiful scene I have ever seen.

This particular tree was the first tree of its size that I had seen. From the window of the living room, this tree would call out to me by the rustling of its leaves. I was a short kid back then, and seeing that I was not allowed to leave the home alone, I would stare out the windows all day whilst imagining a great space battle—all on the huge tree.
And the weird thing about the tree was that it was a complex network of branches. The huge trunk, at least a few feet wide, had branches of all shapes and sizes sprouting out of it. It reminds me of that kurkure commercial ‘Tedha hai par mera haiiiiinnn‘ (yes in that weird tune).

The branches itself had been designed in such a way that each one had a different type of fungi growing on or out of it. Mushrooms of queer smells and colors; moss covering the branches and twigs like a carpet of green velvet; insects of strange yet beautiful sorts, crawling in the niches of the wood…

As the monsoon would hit, the tree would glow. Literally, GLOW. The leaves would be greener. The moss covering the wood would be a hundred folds greater. Birds would take shelter of the thing, as if the thing was their mother, protecting it. And I swear to God, the tree would grow more as the rain would pelt it.

As the years flew by, the monsoon grew fiercer. Storms, rains and thundering grew ten fold. Winds of great speeds would sway the thing as if it were made of foam. I wondered about it, always. Then I would realize that the trunk was hollow. That was the speciality of these Rainwood trees. They were hollow, yet looking sturdy; huge yet comfortingly small; rustling loudly yet pleasantly.
Maybe or maybe not but the tree would make the environment cooler. Panjim would be smouldering hot in summers and this tree would make it a lot less so. And it would also become fresher.

And the cherry on the cake?

I realized when I grew up that it wasn’t the only tree there. The whole street was lined with Rainwood trees (although smaller) and each was an exact copy of the other. They guarded either side of the Road like an army of statues.

The rain could not kill them, the wind could not make them fall. They were surely very strong.

In closing, I would like to say that this tree has been my own support in its own weird way. How a tree could be a source of so many childhood memories, I will never know!!!! But it still stands grandly, waving at each new kid that lives in the building.

Hey Bleedsters!
After a long time, I am writing this post on a tree outside the house where I grew up in. Why about a tree?
Well, someone asked me to. This is more of an essay of sorts than a normal post. Tell me if you like it!
Love,
Kunal.

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The Fondest Mango Memories!

Copyright© AllCanCook

Mango Pieces Copyright© AllCanCook

Hey Bleedsters!
Here is a post about mangoes and all my childhood memories related to them. Seeing that Summer is already here, it seemed fitting to write about one of the best fruits on this planet!!!

Hope you enjoy this one! Write down in the comments below, if you have YOUR own mango memories! 😀
Love,
Kunal

The moment I saw the crate of mangoes, my mind dived into the hitherto unknown realm of memories.

It is funny how a simple image or the thing you see can trigger an onslaught of memories, good or bad. And that crate of mangoes, that particular one exactly, reminded me one of the fondest memories of my childhood. Funnily enough though, this memory in particular had been deeply suppressed in the back of my mind because of my busy schedule of exams. And that crate had brought it all out.

I remember stepping inside the apartment, that beautiful and wide apartment in Goa that my granny lived in, in which had been most of my childhood vacations. It always used to be the same way: I would step in and would immediately be met with the sweet relish of the fragrance from those mangoes. Then I would proceed to dump my bags in that room after the exhausting flight and immediately spot the crate of–you, guessed it right– mangoes laying in the corner. These were not any mangoes, these were mangoes either handpicked by my dozens of relatives (bless them!) from the personal backyards of their homes or bought freshly from the farmer’s market by my gran!

Then would start a vacation filled with Mango Sasav (a very innovative curry dish), the famous Aamras, Mango Lassi, Raw Mango Udad Methi and more! (Source: AllCanCook)

Aamras- Copyright© AllCanCook

Aamras– Copyright© AllCanCook

 

And let me tell you one thing, I NEVER GREW TIRED OF THOSE MANGOES! It was one thing to see the mangoes, smell the mangoes, a whole other to experience them through taste and touch.

When, as a little kid, I would ask her how these Mango dishes would turn out to be so great, everyone would always voice the typical (and partially truthful) reason: Because Granny made it with love. But I knew that my granny (and my mom, because of that) was a great cook. And still is. She is the most amazing cook I have ever met in my life!

And another thing that made the Mango Feast special was the ambiance. Heat, coupled with the casually random breezes and the vast openness of the city of Panjim was a pleasant place to feast on some mangoes! Having lived in the busiest, most crowded and noisy cities in India (Mumbai), Panjim seems like a peaceful, ‘collect-your-thoughts’ kind of place. The change in scenery of people and places out of my window after coming to Goa was always enough to please me!

And finally, there was the company. Having mangoes is incomplete without your brothers and sisters. Cousins, a whole army of them, would gather around the table and fight over who gets the largest mangoes. I, being one of the youngest, would always be left with the small ones. But it was fun. The best thing about eating mangoes with them was that you could eat them anyhow. You didn’t need a fork or a spoon (God knows who eats mangoes with a spoon and fork but its not unheard of). My mum always warned us to not spill a drop of awesomeness from the mangoes on our attires. Of course, that never turned out to be so.

As I sit here, all these years later, I realize how times have changed. Cousins have grown up, brothers have left for jobs, engineering exams are an obstacle for my visit to Goa in this Summer…… But the one thing that has remained constant is that crate of mangoes, freshly delivered from Goa by my granny.

I love you, my dear Mummy Aji. You rock!

Mangoes, mangoes everywhere!

So before I go, let me ask you, DO YOU LIKE MANGOES? VOTE DOWN BELOW!!

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