Yesterday it was a windy evening… that cool evening breeze was full of seducing mango flower smell. Aaie said in the morning while sipping her tea.. “baba, ondu aambe soglle futleat (chovorleat) moore poddona zalear pik borem mevtole”…
Whenever I come out in the gallery of the gym… inspite of the loud gym music I can still hear ” pois ambeacher kogul gaita”.. I get pleasantly distracted. My mind goes back to sweet seventies… the days of those massive mango trees spreading all over Muddavadi.
Every evening I would just disappear after having tea… Aayi would soon notice my absence ..she would tell my siblings…”to Coutinha’lea Cullassa (the name of the mango tree) ponda astolo… teka sang fattik povlyo bandun ghora yo”… povlyo were arika nut thick leaves used by fisher woman to display “nisteache vaate”.. I don’t know how she got that idea of protection armour from her cane attack!!
Those days collecting the fallen zhad picklele aambe was our passion. There were big famous mango trees around Muddavadi to keep us on our feet.
Coutinho’s culhas, Serravalo Mancurad, Nunesa’lo Mushaarat..Tia gello correl… Porke gelo (aunt of Dr. Wilfred D’Souza) Fernan and Payri.. Muniza gelo Bishop… then there were Hudge, Chimoot, Mangilal.. lot nameless varieties we called “foont”… but those were great mango days for all of us “aam bhurguim”…
We would mark our areas, “mango falls in my area is mine!”. End of the day, I would get atleast 10 mangoes… running from one tree to another. My uncle was “rendkar” there were enough ripe mangoes of Mancurad at home in “mudo”… but excitement of running for that prized-catch mango along with another five kids was big fun. By late eighties most of those giant mango trees were cut down, one next to “mestale ghor” was my favourite one as we had good play area around the tree. Soon after coming from school I would run to the tree, we would play our marble games, tondko -bal, kabbadi… football under this tree.. even on a heavy rainy day this tree would protect us.. one January evening as usual I ran to my favourite tree after coming from school and saw it was being cut by 10 labourers.. small flowers and tiny mangoes were lying all over.. tears came to my eyes, I ran home and told my mum. She too felt bad… she said it was a sin to cut that tree at the flowering time…
Most of those massive mango trees disappeared. Some were bought by Calangutkars to make “vodyo”.. some for fire wood… some were cleared for new construction… some may be owners found them too big as “mango garfaa” age came .
Coutinho’s Cullas is still surviving, God knows when the axe will fall… sometimes those cool breezy evenings I remember the old mango days and now I enjoy the last of delights that come with those massive mango trees.
– Written By Ramesh Ghadi, a true Goan at heart,
Fitness & Nutritionist (ICS USA)
Proprietor, Ghadi Fitness, Saligao