It’s May! School is out. It stays closed through the end of June. It’s too hot. We don’t have air-conditioning either at school nor at home, and our teachers don’t want to risk kids falling like flies to heatstrokes. As the temperature rises to 40oC (over 100oF) , we stay indoors with our windows shut and curtains drawn to keep the house cool. Everyone is napping. Well, we are all supposed to have a siesta to rest up before the cooler hours of the evenings to make whatever we all have to do a little easier. The heat is killing, but with this tremendous heat comes the most delicious fruit – fragrant, sweet and a little tart, and hundreds of species that are native to India – mangoes! Just like the cherry season here, the mango season, too, is very short and is about to reach it’s peak in June. But, so much has changed since I was that little girl sneaking out in the hottest hour of the day when I was supposed to nap to get some mangoes from the tree in our yard instead.
This year, I have to let go of that memory, because I am sure that the tree that gave me so many years of joy and deliciousness has been uprooted like so many others due to hurricane Amphan. This will be a bleak summer, as people shelter in place due to COVID19 and can’t even find solace in the deliciousness of that amazing fruit – that we eat, suck on, pickle, preserve and make innumerable things out of.
My heart is broken – just like those majestic tropical trees that are now strewn all over the ground.