Mango Monologues

The narrow road was deserted. Not a single soul in sight. We had to squint our eyes when we looked out at the front yard. Everything looked golden. Then, when your eyes adjusted to the glare of the noon sun, you saw the greens and the reds and the violets. Mostly greens. The red earth contrasted with the foliage. Violet flowers exploded out of the greens.

He sat listlessly on the veranda. Plump hands propped on elbows, supported atop a pair of podgy knees. They were bare because he was wearing shorts that rode up when he sat. His hair fell across his forehead and his plump fingers covered his cheeks. His eyes shone of five–year–old innocence. They were half-open, half-closed. He was drowsy but he would not nap.

She played with some dry twigs, not so far away. Her curly hair fell all over her face as she buried her face deep into her bundle of leaves and twigs. Her mouth was half open in absent-minded concentration. Her body language was anything but lethargic. She rared to run around in the lawn for a good measure of time. Her tiny slippers were tossed about. She sat barefoot, revealing orange heels.

I sat watching the coconut trees sway in the April breeze. If it were night, I would have been scared for sure. The cement felt cool beneath me. To take advantage of it, I extended my crossed legs, making an ‘L’ with my back against the wall. My pink skirt had a life of its own and I battled with it, while ‘Nimmi’, the pet cat, napped on my lap.

THUD.

We three ran towards the mango tree. A frantic search for the freshly fallen mango began. Nimmi, irritated and jolted, joined us. We found broken glass bangles. We found tiny coconuts that fell off much before it grew. We found a rusty old knife. We found an old wallet. We even found an abandoned snakeskin. Rustling in the dried leaves, we searched for the fallen booty. But the search party had to abort their mission.

“Monae! Moley!” Valyamma was calling out for us. He groaned that he didn’t want to nap. This he said with his eyes drooping heavy with sleep. She ran away with panther pace. I had found the mango. Succulent and ripe. Enticing and delicious. I picked it up only to find one side of the fruit intact. The other side of the mango was eaten away by some crow. Fleshy pulp exposed. Stony seed revealed. I threw it away and walked off with the glass bangle pieces.

Nimmi and I resumed our earlier position on the cement floor, waiting for the next thud. The other two were being put off to a reluctant, yet much-needed, afternoon nap.

*Valyamma = Paternal Aunt

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Mango Monologues

  1. Hi! Came here from Ammeys’ blog n for some time after this page opened I was thinkin … did I forget to click on the profile link? The template is so similar that I thought I was still at Ammeys’ blog :)GBUArti

  2. Hmmm…u didnt need the nap?!?! Y not..?!?!

  3. A Childhood in Malabar,Kamala DasTranslated from the Malayalam by Gita Krishnankutty, Penguin India, p.217, Rs. 200. :))

  4. shhh. leens, she didnt nap, she was busy blogging.nice feelings worked out, pritztherez some he/she/i mixing up, possibly due to the reader’s confusion, at first.anyways when i was a kid, i used to run like this for mangoes. the others who run with me were grown up girls and they never were asked to take a nap hmmm..

  5. Ahhhhh…..gotcha rocksea..!! The he/she/i referred to am guessing is the 3 of them…her bro, sis, n her….she jsut got them moving all over the place…!!

  6. Arti, Thanks, come again! GBU2!!Thulasi, will try to get hold of this book. I need to ensure that I dot sound like any other established author. I believe in originality!Rocksea and Leens, he = brother, she = sister, i = me :PI wanted to only have one name in it — my Nimmi!I never napped in the afternoons… until age caught up! Now, Sat afternoons are meant to be lazy.

  7. you shud nap more. you seriously need it :D

  8. Nice work here…I did very little of my schooling in Kuwait..I was there before the war, which would be my LKG, UKG and my 1st ;-) and I was there for my 5th standard as well..Jabriya Indian School..lol, but I guess I could well and truly say that I was brought up in Trivandrum… :-) My dad works in kuwait, and we used to go there for our summer hols every year, and so I’ve kept in touch with a few friends…

  9. Ya pritz….seems like u need that afternoon nap more n more w each passing day…better putting it into ur schedule of daily to do things :)

  10. Shivranjini Krishnamurthy

    If somebody I knew could collect moments and carefully store them away (for future use) in muslin satchels and pull the drawstring close lest they fly away…it is you. Beautious yet again. :-)

  11. hmm. bringing back old memories :-(

  12. Thank you, Saj!Amit, sounds more or less like my story! I was from United Indian School!Shiv, sometimes, I feel that is what I am here on Earth for!JithU, sad about your old memories, or just brimming with nostalgia?Mind Curry, Lol! nice way of putting things!

  13. and again… beautifully written…

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