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Mangoes

In my backyard, we have two mango trees. Together, they yield almost 300 unripe mangoes a year, and my whole family is involved in the process of collecting them. The process itself has two main parts to it. One, the person who cuts the mango down from the far reaches of the tree, the other, the person who catches the mango so it doesn't fall to the ground and explode.

Commercially though, the process is usually constrained to one person who wields a long stick with a hook-like protrusion at the end and a small basket attached just below it, both cutting the mango down and catching it with one stroke. At home, we use a long, crudely fashioned pole made of miscellaneous planks of wood tied together using coir.


I usually take care of the relatively low-hanging mangoes while my grandpa catches them, and my dad sits up on the roof and cuts downs the mangoes at the top of the tree, while my grandpa and I stand below, holding a spread blanket and trying to predict where the mango will fall.


The mangoes are then split into two groups: those to be eaten unripe, and those to be ripened. Some of those mangoes are then shared with our neighbors, and we have a lot of them. Although we don't sell our mangoes, the whole process of determining who to give the mangoes to, packaging the mangoes, and delivering them to the houses really does seem very reminiscent of some apps we all use.


I think the real joy of mango-picking comes from the unity it creates in my family. My father steps away from work, I set aside my laptop, my mother puts down her book, and we are all involved in an activity requiring concentration, dedication, and most importantly, depth-perception, unless you want to end up with a mango-sized dent in your head.

I'm constantly amazed by the way the symbiotic nature of the relationship between man and plant creates such a sense of elation in me. I mean, not only do I get the rush of diving to catch that last falling mango, but also the arm work out from trying to handle that long, makeshift pole, and, of course, tasty, juicy, gorgeous mangoes.


If you haven't planted a seedling or sapling yet, consider a mango tree! It's a very fun process, so look it up online!

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