Mango, the King of Fruits! Juicy, aromatic, delicious!
And messy too! Especially, if you suck the small ripe ones whole, after poking a hole at one end, softening the fruit from all sides, and then squeezing out the pulp, as if out of a juice box. In the old days, our elders say, it was best shared around a bucket, with the mangoes chilling in cold water. Ice also works very well. Now-a-days you can (at)tempt yourself to eat it in a tub. Just Kidding😉 Too messy, Too cold!
Amb (umb) is the north Indian word for mango. And ambi is the baby mango: green, raw, and sour! Healthy and more sour than any sour candy/toffee I have ever known. It can also be had salty and red peppery. Sour and Spicy!
Come May, we kids used to go hunting for mangoes, wrap the spices in paper, a knife for cutting and sharing slices, and loads of chattering. Pure joys delighted us … especially the time a farmer yelled, chased, and we got away from an orchard near my grandparents home.
After that we always had a mango tree in one or the other friends/ family homes. Most of the time, we loved the musical Koyal bird, that filled the summer air around the huge child-friendly, mango trees. It was easy to succumb to temptations n suck umb, literally ‘hanging around’ the tree with friends.