It was a very different day today. I had my last MBA interview of the season in Mumbai and had a flight back in the afternoon. But before the flight, we stopped at a shop on the narrow dug up lane near the airport for the first batch of heavenly Alphonso mangoes to take home.
Now this box of mangoes, called a peti is no ordinary box. It has the choicest Alphonso mangoes stuffed between dry straw that helps the mangoes ripen. You are supposed to carry the box as it is. And it does not weigh less. Holding the box by the attached strings is essentially a painful process and you end up with sore fingers if you don’t hurry up or carry it for too long.
So there I was, with a box of mangoes in my hand, wincing in pain because of the strain. When we landed, luckily, Dad took the other bag that I was carrying and I held the box properly between both my hands and walked proudly. Before I knew it, almost everyone waiting for their checked-in baggage near the carousel was staring at me. I could not understand why.
Well, to be honest, it really must have been the first box of mangoes that any of them saw this season. And to think of it again, I walked on with nothing but a big box of delicious Alphonso mangoes in my hand and it appeared that I had no other baggage as Dad was at quite a distance with the other two bags.
The looks continued : The security guard at the gate could not believe his eyes. The policeman who was supposed to direct traffic looked at me like I had a box of gold in my hands. An old man who passed by, smiled coyly, maybe the thought of the mangoes made him happy as well. In a mango-crazy nation, where the mango is known as the king of all fruits, it was quite an experience to carry in what was perhaps the first case of mangoes to the city.
And now I realize, dressed in my interview formals, I looked like a delivery-person assigned with super important mangoes intended for a VIP (Very Important Person). Aaah, mangoes! YOU ARE MINE!