Spring hesitates at Winter’s door,
But the mango blossom rashly runs out to him~ Tagore
March brings with him the fragrance of mango blossoms. Like the ashoka flower, mango blossom is one among the five floral arrows in Kamadeva’s (God of Love) quiver. The buds break open to golden blooms heralding the arrival of Spring. The heady scented mango blossoms, an integral part of the season, intoxicate insects and birds; bees go reeling, drunk with the nectar of the mango flowers and the cuckoos sing incessantly after relishing the mango leaves and blossoms.
The servant in Tagore’s ‘Gardener’ requests the queen to
“Make me the gardener of your flower garden
When the murmer of the Spring was languorous
And the mango blossoms were dropping on the dust”
And lo! The lovelorn lover’s cry in Tagore’s ‘Unyielding’…
“When I called you in your garden
Mango blooms were rich in fragrance.
Why did you remain so distant,
Keep your doors so tightly fastened?”
It was in Spring that Tagore, despite his weak state of health, translated his Gitanjali to English. He says “It was then the month of Chaitra (March-April). The air was thick with the fragrance of mango blossoms and all air was delirious with the songs of birds.” He was ‘well settled in the arms of Chaitra, without missing a particle of its light, its air, its scene and its song.’ He could not sit idle. Like an enthusiastic child, he set to translate his poems of ‘Gitanjali’ to English. And won the Nobel prize for Literature for his work!
Mango blossoms and tender mangoes jog childhood memories of our Ponani days; the unhurried, serene mornings; the white sand filled front yard of our home,strewn with mango flowers, the tiny crunchy mangoes…and the excited wait for the two month long Summer holidays that start from April! When I close my eyes I can feel the soft sand under my feet, the fragrance of the air and the mango flowers.
“Spring scatters the petals of flowers
That are not for the fruits of future
But for the moments of whim” ~ Tagore
Nevertheless, those memories are scattered on the heart, their fragrance never fades.