The trouble with staying in housing colonies of Tatas is
that some obvious things just do not strike you. You are laughed at by people
or they consider you very snobbish. With a good garden around my home, bungalow
to be precise, and with Papaya and Peru trees planted at the fence, you never
buy a papaya or a Peru. Peru? Yes, a guava. When we moved out, it suddenly
struck me that I have to buy papaya and guavas. It felt strange to buy those
Then I met Mr DG Gokhale who was a Civil Contractor. He had
a 50 acre farm near Karjat. He had planted at least ten different varieties of
Guava! For me it was a treat. I see car owners stopping on the highway when
travelling to Mumbai from Pune to buy fruits. Some prefer the ‘Lal Peru.’ But it
is singularly tasteless.
The guava should never be bought. It should ideally be
stolen from a neighbour’s garden. As a young boy I followed this insight till I
saw a green thing moving on the tree. It was a green snake! It is called ‘Harantol’
in Marathi. The Green Vine snake! My ‘well-informed’ friends had told me that the
green snake jumps long distance, and that if a Harantol licks your scalp, you
My father told me not to believe my friends, and that the
snake was non-poisonous. I should not be afraid of a Harantol, it was harmless.
He was telling a scientific fact to his son who was like a scared chicken!
Fear and reason are like snake and mongoose! What say you?
Vivek S Patwardhan
Labels: Guava, memories, Nostalgia