Sunday, May 10, 2015
Many decades ago, on a railway track en route to Chennai, our train slowed down and halted. Across us, on the next track was a goods train with endless bogeis. One of them was open and loads of baskets covered with gunny sacks had tumbled out. Men were lifting the baskets and trying to put them down back in the bogie, while we watched idly from our window. There is always a lot to see from a train window, sometimes even, when the train is not moving. One of the men looked in our direction and saw three children staring out of the window. He reached out for a large mango from one of the baskets which seemed to have fallen apart, and walked across the track to hand it to my brother, who gazed at it and after being given permission, accepted the mango. It was an enormous green mango, and we had not seen a mango fruit of this size before. At this point, our train began to move, and all that remained of this unexpected tableau was the outsize green mango that a small boy clutched with both hands.