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 unpublished novel by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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Page  2  of  5


The South Asian MANGO

 - The Fruit of Kings & the King of Fruits



Salman Saeed

Mango-_quivers-wj-olove.jpg (46335 bytes)


Mango in Music/Poetry :

[ from a 1960s Pakistani Punjabi movie ]:

"ambian dey booteyaan noo lag gya boor nee ,

root wey milapaan wali chan mera door nahin...."

"the mango trees have flowered ,

these are times of togetherness, and my beloved is not very far .... "


Amir Khusro [ 1800] glorified and celebrated mangoes in his poetry. Delhi last year was resounding to this Khusro’s song:

" sakal ban phool rahi sarson, the mustard blooms in every field,

ambva phootey, tesu phule, mango buds snap open, the tesu blooms,

koel boley dar dar, the koel sings from every branch,

gori karat shingar........ fair women put make-up.


Khusro described the mango in this verse:

" The choicest fruit of Hindustan ,

for garden’s pride the mango is sought ,

Ere ripens other fruits to cut we ban,

But mango serves us ripe or not."

Poets such as Kalidasa compare the mango blossoms to the arrows of cupid - Manmatha the Hindu God of love .[ Risamhara 6.2 ]

--" Intoxicated by the nectar of mango blossoms ,

the koel kisses his mate happily in love,...."

"The lovely mango shoot is his choicest arrow,

the swarm of bees is his bow string,


May the world-conquering Manmatha,

Accompanied by vasanta,

Grant you more and more joy."


The Sikh’s have their own celebration in Guru Nanak’s Bara Mah description of the month of "Chaet"  [March - April]

" The koel calls in the Mango Grove

her notes full of joy ..."

In 1965 Kumar Gandharva created a special theme concert called "Geet Varsha"in Bombay.

-- "Amarayaan ke birakhan ke

pastan par patbhi janasi boodariya chamkay..."

" The rain drops glistening on the leaves of the Mango shine like fireflies."

The following incident is yet again a story that interweaves Mango and romantic poets. It is reported that Ahmed Faraz, 57 years old, a Pathan from Kohat, NWFP,  a leading progressive Urdu poet from Pakistan was on a visit in 2001 to Delhi. He was taken to the mazar [tomb] of the famous and his favourite Persian poet " Bedil" called Baag-e-Bedil buried some 300 years ago. Here is a touching report by Kaamme Lee writing in the web site "www.Urdu"

" -- He bends to touch the grave as if he needs to physically establish a bond he had cherished for so long in his heart. The graveyard is peaceful, shady under neem and mango trees . A koel is cooing in anticipating the mango blossom. Sitting on a stone bench he recites a couplet from Bedil in Persian:

" Bedil az kulfat-e-shikast mun’aal Bazm-e-hasti dukaan-e-shisagar ast."

Bedil weep not for your losses, this party that is life, is after all held in a glassmaker’s shop. "

The Mughal emperor Akbar described the mango in detail in his writings "Ain-e-Akbari and had one lakh [ one hundred thousand] mango trees planted in the still famous "lakha bagh" near Darbhanga in Bihar, many of which continue to survive.

Ghalib the famous Urdu poet was another great lover of mangoes; " Aam meethey hon aur bohat se hon [ mangoes should be sweet and in plenty] was his response when asked about the fruits he preferred. Another saying attributed to him was the taunt of a friend who said " dekho gadha bhi nahin khata aam [ even a donkey does not eat mangoes.. ] ; Ghalib quick witted that he was retorted "Haan, gadha hee to hai [ Yes a donkey indeed he is ..."]


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