Eating an Indian mango is like having sex. Not just plain vanilla missionary sex. No, this would
be the exotic, lusty, sticky sort of sex that turns your brain and body into a pleasurable mush.
Obviously we’re not talking about the supermarket variety of mango here. Oh no. If you tried to pass off one of those to a South Asian friend, they’d shriek in horror. You call that a mango?!
Mangoes evoke a sort of evangelical passion among my fellow South Asians. So if you must eat a mango with one of us mango-obsessed desis, make sure it’s one of the ‘proper’ mango varieties like a rich Alfonso or a a juicy Kesar.
Then there’s the whole mango eating etiquette. Because you don’t just eat a mango. First, there is the aroma to savour. Close your eyes, hold the mango near your nose and breathe it in. It teases you, it tantalises you. It transports you instantly to lush green vegetation, the calling of cicadas at night, humidity so thick in the air you could cut through it with a knife.
Now take a knife, a sharp knife, and delicately peel off the top flesh. The juice of the mango will
dribble along your fingers, and hands. Stop. Take a moment to lick your fingers. Feel that explosion of sweetness in your mouth.
Now if you’re not worried about appearing too impolite, do what us little Indian kids did on hot Mumbai mango evenings.
Leave that peeling to the over-fussy. You just give in to the mango. Slice off one juicy, luscious section of the mango and pop it into your mouth, eating the flesh and pulling away the skin at the same time. A sexy, co-ordinated sort of manoeuvre. Wet yellow juice will flood your lips, making its way down your chin. Little mango flecks will dot your t-shirt.
An involuntary moan will escape your mouth.
By this time, your brain will stop working and your senses will take over. Your hands, of their
own accord, will slice off more and more of the mango. Your fingers will pop in mango slices
rapidly into your mouth, your teeth sucking out the flesh of the mango and leaving only the pulpy skin behind. This will get faster and more frenzied. You have no control at this point. Your body is taking over, your mind is having a rest.
Soon you’ll find that you’ve consumed all the plump yellow mango. All that’s left is the skin and all the lovely yellow juice on your face, your hands and your clothes.
Oh look, what’s that. The stone at the heart of the mango is sitting on the plate. At this point, you should pick up the stone and suck it. That’s right. All those mango bits that are
left on the stone, waiting to be sucked. Slowly. Delicately.
A deep sigh will run through your body, going from the top of your head to the bottom of your
Now that you’re sated, you’ll wonder what happened to you. You’re usually so controlled, you
can’t understand your own behaviour. This time, you just couldn’t stop yourself. Why?
Let me tell you something, it’s not you…it’s the Indian mango. Now that it’s all done…just lie back and think of England.