‘Take care of this tree. It is more than 50 years old!’
This was one request that Vepa Gopal, daughter-in-law of late Justice Sir Vepa Ramesam made, when they sold a corner piece of their sprawling grounds surrounding their Gopal Vihar to my father.
The year was 1972 and the road was then called Edward Elliots Road. It is now called Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, and our house in is the 4th Street.
The tree, now a centenarian, has continued to yield not less than 400 mangoes year after year. The mangoes are of the Rasalu variety.
The only care we take of it is manure and water it. Setting aside some fruits for our needs, we give away the major portion among our neighbours, friends and relatives. The unripe ones are pickled, and the ripened ones are eaten as fruit, or squeezed to give us delicious juice or chilled milk-shake!
We get the branches trimmed after the fruiting season. The tree is home to hundreds of parrots and squirrels, and we wake up to their noise every day.
- This story and pictures came from Saravanan Natarajan, who lives in this plot which has the gracious mango tree. Besides caring for the mango tree, the Natarajans are growing papayas, coconut, banana, guava, drumstick and coriander.
Saravanan is national head for Dream India Schools headquartered in Hyderabad.