Who says life is always an easy affair; hearts get wounded, droughts last
for years, imbroglios abound, there may be deals to be brokered, controversies to be defused, then there’s sadness, disappointments, trials, depression, bafflement. But please, please do wait before you draw the curtains of conclusion...
I’m no magician, I possess no antidote, but let me eulogize this open secret that’ll work as an elixir, for as long as the sweet, positive intoxication lasts. It’s not Tawny port, the Blue or Gold Label or your local liquor, yet the dark ivies of sorrow will disappear, the humdrum blues will translate into phantoms of delight, your depleted stocks of passion and pleasure will be relinquished by the Merry Gods.
Lovers of life, I am talking of grand fragments of heaven, of juicy mandarins, luscious avocadoes, heavenly pineapples, satiny bananas, sensual plums, well-endowed jackfruits, lavish raspberries, and gorgeous passion fruit! The list is endless, but don’t you agree with me that the constellation of heavenly fresh fruits lure you with their extravagant, extremely magnificent colors, and don’t the aromatic excesses of fruits bewilder you and make you feel blessed? Don’t the array of melodious honeyed tastes give you that refreshing, revitalising, raw string of creativity, and don’t the allegros of the falling fruits make you feel connected with Mother Nature? When you chop those lovely rock melons or crush boysenberries with your hands for your pie or for your gourmet salad do not feel like me, do you not hear Al Jarreau, Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald deep down in your soul? Are you not filled with wonder, the wonders of fruit?
Fruit trees themselves are celebrations of fertility, of bountifulness, of impassioned verses. I grew up with a lemon tree; she wasn’t fair of face but when the seasons ripened, her gentle, mellow crimson flowers gave away some enchanting aroma that I woke up to every morning! Did she imbibe that seed of my aggrandized aromatic obsession? Well, you could say that! And when she gifted us those sun-colored lemons, my young heart would be filled with childish delight and wonder! Then there was that majestic guava tree who possessed a heart of sparkling tiaras and had a very giving heart. She gave herself unselfishly, unconditionally to us, the people, the guests, the neighbors, the family friends, the relatives, the beggars and to the birds, to everyone with a crystal heart. The birds would forget their destinies and lose their way home, for they’d sit on the tree, enjoying the fruits and singing like people sing in chapels, or like Elvis Presley sang, out of sheer bliss and pure rapture! Their passionate adagios would disturb our dogs a bit too often, but nevertheless, the guava drama would screen till the seasons ended. My favorite tree, however was the demure plum, for when she blossomed those faintly pink, delicate flowers helped me dramatize my sentiments and facilitated my artistic expressions. The tree that’s recently been taking center stage is the not-so-fancy avocado. He isn’t a Casanova, no Don Juan, but he wears that bold, brazen confidence and maybe his brass, sassy attitude attracts those birds of ballads like Brad Pitt attracts amorous fans. I haven’t heard Je t’ aime hymns, but somehow their mad fervor for his fruits gives me company when the lights are out. Let me be a little more honest, I love those rich avocadoes on brown bread with raisins, topped with cheese, and lately I have realized that Nature’s bounty also make excellent gifts to neighbors!
Though fruits are alluring any season, I love graceful spring the best. A chilled lime smoothie, a kiwi smoothie, a banana smoothie shared with a loved one under the tree, in a hammock with that opium breeze and that froth of fruit blossoms falling in the hair is my idea of transforming negative energy into positive. A Friday afternoon by the pool with a bunch of like-minded pals with Handel’s water suites playing in the background, with liquors of all hues, accompanied by eclectic tastes and a generous flow of sensual mocktails—isn’t the imagination of life itself and fresh fruits intertwined just so forbiddingly beautiful?
Don’t you reckon that fruits as food are equally nice to fill your heart with love, kindness and humility? Pleasant, opulent fruits served on the finest crystal goblet, teamed with your favorite flavored ice-cream or sour cream to suit your palate! When life shows its worst façade, a five-minute retreat into this universe of the fruits labyrinth should tangle you in mazes of happiness, ecstasy and perhaps even paradise. So, the next time cognitive dissonance takes you over or your head won’t stop engaging in rhetorical ruffles, remember..., remember that life always triumphs and speak super softly to your intellect. Second by second, bit by bit, inch by inch savor the silken, sleek fruits with all your five senses! I promise you, for five minutes, you will submerge in the grandiose lust called life through the phenomenon of fruits. If your heart doesn’t burst into a song, or your imprisoned thoughts aren’t let loose, if the harps of contentment don’t burn in your soul, you’ll have to get in touch with me again!
Even the dried fruits have colorful, beautiful, harmonious nuances—such is the ethos of this galaxy of fruits! Dried pistachios, cashews, almonds, raisins, or even olives might not be overtly high on the fabulousness quotient of star looks, but they too are the fruits of the seasons, of rainbow hues, of tunes, of expectations, of harvest, and ripenings, and perfumes, and of the cycles of God’s creation. Again, if you look at it closely, you will realize that in them, there’s a sweet blending of earthly and celestial lives, there’s an exaggeration of excession of the profound nutrients. For an inspiring artist, it could mean traversing through the beautiful mists of mistakes and possibilities with sweetness in the heart and a nutrition rush, a high of dried fruits!
Religions carry beliefs on the mystery of fruits and to me, fruits are there to teach us lessons of gratitude, patience, humility, and love. They are there to help us abandon worldly woes, to relish God’s ingenuity, his blessings and a reminder to revert back to Him when times are not too rosy, to fly in the buoyancy of life, to enjoy colors-crimson, mauve, amaranth pink, coral or Islamic green, to relish the different tastes and to always enjoy life. For me, it is a sign, a premonition, a message to listen to the secret beating of my heart, to dip my feather pen in royal blue and weave you fables on fruits! So, allow me please to pass prescriptions, enjoy fruits, enjoy fruit juices, enjoy fruit platters, enjoy fruit tarts, enjoy forbidden fruits, enjoy presenting fruit baskets to neighbors, enjoy life through fruits, trust me, it’s uber chic !
Fig 1: Dhruba Bhakta Mathema with his first grandson and family While reading the recently published Life and...