Sunday, 22 May 2016


Of all fruits, I like mangoes the most. Recently I ate some. I remember when I was young I used to eat a lot of them, but then they were cheap.

 The great Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib, used to enjoy eating mangoes. When asked to comment about mangoes, he said " They should be sweet, and there should be lots of them ". There is also a story about how he persuaded the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, while strolling with the Emperor, to send him some mangoes from the Emperor's gardens, by appreciating them and wishing that his name was written on some of them ( see below ).

My own favourite variety is chausa ( which comes at the end of the season ) and is very sweet, though I like langda and dussehri almost as much.Dussehri is grown mostly in the Avadh ares ( Lucknow, etc ), and langda in eastern U.P.( e.g. in Varanasi ),  Bihar and Bengal.. Alfonso, too, is one of my favourites, though it is mostly available in the Bombay area. There are several other excellent varieties too in different parts of India, and I may be forgiven for forgetting their names.

The Nawabs of Avadh were very fond of mangoes, and cultivated huge orchards in Malihabad near Lucknow ( from where the Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi came ), and other places.

 When I was a Judge of the Allahabad High Court, I was Administrative Judge inter alia of Amroha ( home town of the well known film director Kamal Amrohi, Urdu poet Rais Amrohi, etc ). When I went there on an inspection I was offered some very sweet mangoes, and was told that the word ' Amroha' is derived from the words ' Aam' ( i.e. mango ) and ' Rohu ' ( a variety of fish ) found there .

 I thought mangoes are only found in North India, but when I was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court a colleague of mine presented me with a box of mangoes of a variety called ' Imam Pasand '. They were very sweet. Later I learnt that there were many excellent varieties of mangoes in South India.

 When I was in London I ate some very sweet mangoes coming from Pakistan and Bangladesh. I forget the names of the varieties. But I got none in USA. I asked why chausa, langda, dussehri, etc were not imported in USA, and was told there are some restrictions by the Food Controllers there

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