FEBRUARY  2002




FEBRUARY 2002 Contents


 Ageing - breaking mind barriers!

 'My Secret of Longevity' 
 BC Sanyal
 HD Shourie
 Khushwant Singh
 Raunaq Singh
 MS Oberoi

 Ageing & Performing Artists


 New Age Women Writers

 Performing Arts

 The Kuchipudi Reddy Family


 South Asians in News 2001 
 International Recognition and
 National Awards

Magsaysay Awards

Newsmakers & breakers in

Golf, Tennis, Hockey, Squash


 Know Your Leaders
 Arun Jaitley
 Amar Singh
 Abhishek Singhvi
 Omar Abdullah
 Sitaram Yechuri



 Mango - the King of Fruits


 Abdul Sattar Edhi


 Sunita Sharma - India's First  
 Lady Guru of Cricket


 'Knock at Every Alien Door'
 - Serialization of an
 unpublished novel by
 Joseph Harris - Chapter 2


 Vasundhara Das - the bride of
 'Monsoon Wedding' 

 Fashion & Jewellery

 Poonam Soni- new look to gold


 Editor's Note



the craft shop

the print gallery


Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh




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mango-tree.jpg (22936 bytes)

The South Asian MANGO

 - The Fruit of Kings & the King of Fruits


Salman Saeed

Mango-Khi-AkhtarSoomro.jpg (102027 bytes)
Photo: Akhtar Soomro


The Mango fruit tree’s botanical name is "Mangifera Indica" - the Latin botanical name indicates its origin - India .The original root name was the Tamil word "mangay"; in Chinese it is "Mang-two" ; [incidentally in London’s China town Sunday market I learnt that Moo-Li was Chinese for the south Asian mooli/radish; ]. According to Frederick Noronha, "No tree in history (of India) has been given as many names as the mango tree – it has been called Vasantaduta (messenger of Spring), Madhuduta (messenger of fragrance), Kamang ( embodiment of Cupid), Kokilavasa (abode of cuckoos), and Kamavallabha ( the amorous)."

The Mango has been around 4000 years and is related surprisingly to the cashew and pistachio nut. It is a unique fruit that sets apart the South Asian regions from the rest of the mango growing regions of the world - where the mango got transplanted from India. The mango was taken to Brazil by the Portuguese and by Indians to the Far East. An entire history and culture revolves around the mango going back thousands of years during Buddha’s times. The story of mangoes is as complex and captivating as the mango tree itself, which produces fruit every season.


Mango Meditation

Mango-orchard-Kauai_Harbor_House.jpg (80994 bytes)Mango groves have been a place of solace for Buddha’s meditation. The mango tree is carved on the Sanchi stupa [150 B.C] . Amrapali, after whom a mango is also named, was a beautiful dancer and courtesan from Vaishali [ near Patna, Bihar] in Buddha’s time [ 600 B.C.] . She offered Buddha a mango orchard and, impressed by his teachings, became a nun [ bhikshu]. Buddha was born near a mango grove at Lumbini [563 B.C] . At Nalanda University [ considered one of the largest in the world with 6 million books ] there was a mango grove called Pavarika, which was Buddha’s favorite place. The Mango grove at Jivaka called Amravana was the pharmacy of Jivak the physician of the king of Magadha where Buddha is said to have come for treatment.


Mango Mythology

Mango blossoms are used in the worship of Saraswati, the goddess of learning. Mangoes are also considered in India to be a symbol of life. In everyday life in India even to this day mango leaves are used to decorate the archways of the house when a wedding occurs or when a new house is constructed. Mango leaves are also used as decoration in celebrating the festivals of Ganesh Chathurthi and Vasant Panchami.


Mango motifs

Mango-paisley2.jpg (13672 bytes)The European weaving industry’s oldest pattern – the ‘paisley’ - was copied from the Kashmiri shawls of the 15th. century. At the end of the 18th century, Kashmiri shawls with the mango motif were imported into Europe by the famous East India company. Initially scarce and very expensive, they were copied and sold as imitation Indian. In Britain, craftsmen from Spitalfield , Norwich and Edinburgh started producing cheaper imitations in silk by 1780 .Later they were produced by the Scottish town Paisley in greater numbers, thanks to the Frenchman’s Jacquard loom, which automated weaving. Vienna too joined in this paisley shawl production craze in early 19th century.


Mango in Art

Mango-Paul_Gaugin_-_Two_wom-with-mangoes.jpg (40678 bytes)
Women with mango blossoms - Paul Gauguin
Photo courtesy:

Mango trees were painted in detail by the Kangra miniature school in India. There are a couple of well known paintings by the French Impressionist Paul Gauguin who had gone and settled to paint in Tahiti.

mango-frenzy-love-radhak.jpg (44781 bytes)
" The mango quivers with the joy of love "
Photo New Delhi Museum

Mango-The_mango_-lovers-_Kangra_1.jpg (46335 bytes)

Two women in a mango orchard
Photo New Delhi Museum

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