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Bindi Around the Mangoes

Bindi profile

Bindi

Meet Bindi- the one with the unmissable spot. This morning she also discovered her ‘sweet spot’- in the midst of her favourite seasonal fruit- Mangoes.

Bindi

Bindi Around the Mangoes

I call this image ‘Bindi around the mangoes’. Its modelled on a popular radio spot (pun intended) in Bangalore, which advertises a real estate site being developed by a certain builder called ‘ND’. The property is called ‘ND around the mangoes’, because I guess, they bought up a mango orchard and then decided to make that their USP by building homes around the trees instead of cutting them down, and seeming environmentally conscious.

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Long after I wrote this post, I actually chanced upon this ad placed prominently outside a movie hall. It advertises ‘Uber-life Villas’ starting at 2.7 crores, and promises “a home in the lap of nature”! This is the ‘ND Around the Mangoes project.’

Bindi, therefore is now ‘around the mangoes’ and I imagine while she sleeps soundly at her sweet spot, she is also having sweet dreams about munching on the juicy stuff.

Bindi mangoes 2

In case you’re wondering why we have mangoes lying around like this, it’s because we don’t know what else to do with them. These are the stragglers of the year’s crop from our farm this year. My brother decided to lay the heap on some newspaper spread on the floor to prevent them from getting crushed under their own weight in a basket. They tend to sweat in the heat too, so its better to air them out. So here they are. Bindi didn’t always sleep here like this. She’d have loved to, but there was no space for her till now. She’s grown so fond of her mangoes that I don’t think I can get her to move anymore. So its going to be ‘Bindi around the mangoes’ till we (she and the rest of us) finish these off.

My brother is something of a ‘gentleman farmer’. He planted all kinds of mango saplings collected from across India on some farmland he bought years ago with his life’s savings. To be kind to himself, the family, our few friends and a new crop of concerned folk, all worried about poisoning themselves with the indiscriminate pesticides used by farmers in India, he decided to go organic on his farm. The farm therefore looks like a shrew that needs some taming. Its wild and unruly, and does as it pleases. The farm grows a bunch of things from mangoes to lemons, star fruit, chikoos/ sapota, varieties of sour cherries, exotic types of guavas, a few litchis, some jackfruit, tamarind, many types of hibiscus etc.

Its always work in progress. But a whole lot of creatures get to have a go at everything on the farm at every stage of growth- from insects and worms to birds, bees and bigger animals like boars and the occasional marauding elephant. At the end of the day, what we get in hand, is what’s left over. This has some benefits too- like the Civet cat that visits at night sometimes to eat the flesh of the ripest coffee cherries to only leave behind the seeds processed through its gut, which it can’t digest. World-over this has been sold as the most expensive coffee and spawned a terrible industry of abuse, where Civets are forcibly caged, force-fed and made to crap the seeds to make the prized brew. But with us, it’s all natural, with zero effort on our part.

Once we get the stuff home, it turns out our dogs don’t mind the organic produce much either. Of the three dogs we now have, Bindi, the oldest female is the one most attracted to fresh farm produce. She’s completely hooked onto mangoes. All the fruit we can’t have is happily devoured by Bindi without complaint. Incidentally I suspect she has no idea she’s a dog. She turns up for every meal at the table and demands her share. Apart from being a real mango aficionado, (mind you, she won’t really have the cheaper kind or the ones that are not too great… those she will simply sniff and give a miss), she also loves the other seasonal best- jackfruit. Water melons and musk melon which are now available through the year have anyway been on her list of favourites. And then she loves coconuts and bananas too. You can’t chop tomatoes or cucumber and not share it with her. Crunchy iceberg lettuce, that has to be shared too. And corn on the cob, without a doubt. Bindi’s quite a salad-dog, I have to say. Oftentimes, to get my son to have his veggies I just have to use Bindi as the ideal role-model to emulate. They’re almost the same age- chronologically and mentally, so it seems to work like a charm!

While I am quite far from finding my ‘sweet spot’ as a blogger, its good to know others are having better luck 🙂