As a kid I reckon eating jamuns straight from the trees. So when I last saw ten pieces of Jamun for 50Rs in Mumbai, I was in a state of culinary and monetary shock. My desire of celebrating to the purple sweetness faded. And I and my daughter, standing next to the vendor, waited for our turn for our limited source of joys.
A locale with her daughter inquired the rate and looked at the jamuns thoughtfully. Her daughter was about six years old. Like my daughter, her daughter had also pulled her to the vendor. Mumbai shopping culture is not very bargain friendly, so the delay in purchase convinced me, that the lady was short of money. She looked at her daughter who was still admiring the purple beauties. Just like my daughter. For a moment I thought to share ours. But the vendor agreed to give a few pieces for ten Rupees. The little girl carefully cupped the berries and smiled content.
I wanted to write so, but in fact the vendor offered something in Marathi, the lady denied and before I could offer, the lady and the girl where lost in the crowd. Those I bought that day where the most bitter jamuns of my life.
That whole evening I only wondered about my childhood and the beautiful trees around our house. Amrood, imli, Ganga Imli, aam, jamun; we had grown up with them. I reckon, we never bought Amrood or Ganga Imli from market. They were just next door. And aam was always stolen. It was a popular belief that stolen and parrot bitten mangoes are the sweetest.
How can a childhood exist without these sweet pleasures of nature. Shouldn’t Such joys be uninhibited……… Free?
Trees are sources of livelihoods and not business growth modules. We don’t need to be great social workers to provide happiness to our kids. But our passive attitude towards deforestation is limiting lives. Fruits from a mall can never inculcate nature love. Only one who has spent himself in the shades of a mango tree and sucked the heavenly yellows right from the tree can understand the precious ness of these trees. Lets bring back trees to childhood. Let them have them for free. The decor plants or Palm trees alone can never serve the purpose. Let’s bring jamun, Amrood, Aam back for our kids. Let’s do it!