Let us walk you on a special trail today; One that's very close to our Konkani hearts, the Jamun Fruit memories.
Colours colours everywhere, is the song of the season! We are greeted by nature's quaint rangoli as far as the sight goes. Streetside trees, play parks, tourist spots, or chilled lazy nights, all shine up with an added brightness as the temperature rises up. Summer markets too are a big fascination to the eyes! Streets are crowded with mangoes, jackfruits, Jamun and local berries' vendors. Picking a few favourites from that display becomes very difficult in such times. So you secretly plan to grab them all and somehow preserve them, for the longest time possible! It feels like some fascination or tickling anxiety to consume the "season's fresh" but it doesn't fulfil our definition of 'season's fresh' anyways!
'Season's fresh' to us is what you see, smell and pluck directly from trees (or greedily gather the ripened jewels fallen beneath the trees). Do you know what's an excursion to a Konkani heart? Ask any of those kids whose hands and feet aren't locked in some gadget today. Run with them through the hills. Snatch on the way some big size leaves and trek up to the top where you'll nervously start searching your way back amongst the berry shrubs. That's where you ignore your fears and start filling your mouths first, then tummies; and then pack a few hands full in those leaf bowls. These too would be naughtily labelled as stale ones for those back home who couldn't trek with you. Now think of the journey these street berries would have travelled through, before meeting your eyes and tummy!
Freshness is one perspective and the adventure is another! We longed for summer vacations for similarly thrilling Konkan excursions. Rising up before the Sun never sounded like punishment in those days. We would get ready, well dressed, all propped up with caps, kerchiefs, slippers, long sticks, mugs, etc well before the elders in the house. Who's who never mattered, anyone who is not a trip spoiler could be a part of the team. Elders who made us drink milk before starting, who instructed us not to wander much on open sunny plateaus, and those who warned us to be back before lunch, would unanimously be categorised as rude heartless jailors. Nothing could spoil our spirits or hurt us, not even the thorny bruises, rocky trails, mid-day burns, nothing!
The only thing that has spoiled it all is… our age! Even the thought of going out on a sunny day feels tiresome now! But the tongue is not ready to compromise with the taste. Nose and eyes know what is 'fresh'. Hands find it difficult to select a few grams of good ones from the stock, yet you mechanically do it for your children. Because they need to know that this is our wealth, this is our heredity, this is what marks our soil special, our country.
We have an idea. Why not visit Konkan this summer, and plan a heritage walk through the woods? Plan early morning treks to collect the fresh Jamuns and cashews. Participate in the feni-making process. Go fishing along with local help. Plan a barbecue in the typical Konkani yard. Choose a homestay.
Sounds Exciting? Great! Stay Connected with us for more memories from Konkan.