Monday, January 12, 2009

What makes my heart sing

If you look for variety in the fruits you eat, you would have seen them all. The all-pervasive, available round the year ones like apples. And the seasonal ones like strawberries and sitaphal that pop in for a few days each year. Then there are some that are neither grown nor exported to India so you don't even expect to ever see blueberries on your store shelves.

And then there is one fruit grown right here but so elusive that buying it every single time feels like an adventure or a stroke of luck. I am talking of mulberries.

In Delhi winter, you sometimes spot an old woman selling mulberries by the roadside. You might even get a choice between the dainty green and the juicy red berries if you are lucky. But nothing of that sort happens in warmer Mumbai. And because they are so delicate and have such a short shelf life, no one thinks of shipping them your way even when they grow as close to the city as Mahabaleshwar.

Then, all of a sudden, I pass by a fruit seller and there sits one finely packed box of mulberries. Just one solitary box, all by itself. I tell the guy to open it, for how do I know what state they are in after the ordeal of traveling from Mahabaleshwar. And there they are, perfect red berries, nested in a bed of mulberry leaves.

My first taste of mulberries this year, and more than enough to make me happy. I know I will go back to that fruit stall every weekend for the next month, but finding them again - that would require a miracle!

9 comments:

Sunshinemom said...

We had mulberry tree in Barriely, and our dresses would get stained with the juice during this season. Miss it now! You are really lucky to have found this fellow - I hope he comes there every weekend!

Rachel said...

I 've had quite a lot of mulberries plucked right of trees during my yonder days...miss those days....

Soma said...

don't know if i ever ate mulberries.. may be we call it soemthing else. Why didn't u post a pic ? :-(

Vaishali said...

I don't think I ever tasted mulberries in Bombay. Nice post, Simran.

Bharti said...

I have never tasted a mulberry I thin. I'm glad you got your heart's desire.

Simran said...

Soma - I did want to post a picture but temptation took over and they finished too soon.

And everyone who doesn't know mulberries - they are called shahtoots in hindi so you might have heard that name. It looks like a blackberry on a diet, and is very very soft.

sanjai said...

Shahtoot and Bareilly - brings back childhood memories - memories that play like a classic movie reel in my mind. I remember going to the mandir (anand ashram) in Bareilly which had a few shahtoot trees; we would scour the ground for green shahtoot and devour them - yes - picked fresh off the ground, foreign objects dusted off!! I don't think I've found mulberries anywhere since. If you've ever bought Blackberries thinking that they were mulberries, one bite will rudely clear up that notion...

DEESHA said...

I love mulberries too. its been ages since I had them

notyet100 said...

even i love them,..specially from our village,..we use to collect them from oour village garden when we were kids,..ur post md eme nostalgic,..:-) but felt good too brough bck old memories,..