Spring is in the air! We have a mango tree in the courtyard of this house we’re renting and it is in full bloom these days. I’d almost forgotten that the mango also blooms. So much in life we tend to overlook or just pass by. At my primary school, we had over a dozen mango trees, and when they burst out with flowers, we knew winters were finally behind us and we could throw away the pullovers and blazers and look forward to playing outside a bit longer. The mango blossoms give out a faint sweetish odour, another thing I’d almost forgotten. It’s said that the sense of smell is the most primitive and therefore the most evocative. Think about it. How often you smell something and remember some days long gone by. Coffee and cigarettes might remind you of those lazy sundays in the hostel, frying pakoras might remind you of monsoon and your mom’s kitchen, so many wonderful memories often come flooding back with just a smell, a whiff of old times!
For me, the mango blooms bring back happy childhood memories. Rushing to school, playing with friends, the warm-cool weather, the soft, velvety moss on the school wall that we loved to touch and run our cheeks against, the lantana clusters with their own sharp, almost minty odour, the huge peepal giving out new leaves, all this from just a plain old tree in the backyard that has come into bloom!
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