• anjali mohapatra

Memories of Mangoes

I couldn't hear anything except the droning sound of the car wheels. Cracked asphalt on the road had made enough bumps. One more time I made sure dad seatbelt was fastened tightly. His eyes were fixed straight aimlessly. Sometimes he hunched over to the left side gazing at the running trees, distant hills, and rapid motion of grey clouds on the sky. I knew what he was going through!

‘Dad,’ I called softly.

‘Hai!’

‘Want to get down for two minutes, just to refresh?’

‘Um, no,’ he said with a blank look.

After a short while, I parked the car on the roadside. Unlashing my seatbelt, I waited for him. Both of us got down. Both sides of the road were full of mango trees, weeds, and other jungle trees too. Green raw mangoes were overloaded. Sudden happiness flashed on his face. He rushed to the tree and started plucking the mangoes which were reachable to his hand.

‘Hey Anuj, I got it. Give me a bag, I’ll take it for your mom. She’ll be so happy! She loves mango pickles. Quick,’ he yelled holding a branch.

Slowly I moved towards him, pulled his hand said, ‘Dad! Stop picking these mangoes. I’ll show you some real stuff. Come, come with me please.’

He was not ready to leave that branch at all. I applied all my force to drag him into the car and fastened his seatbelt again. I gave a fake smile at him and said, ‘Next stop, dad. You can pick up as much as you wish, ok?’

He nodded his head.

Poor dad! God knows when he’ll recover! He is thinking about the mom who died fifteen years ago. I put my foot on the accelerator releasing a deep sigh.

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