Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Slice Of Paradise!

A glimpse of fruits and vegetables drooping down tree branches and swaying lazily in the breeze is manna to sore, city eyes. I’m sure you agree. My dear friend Jayashree and I jumped with joy when we when visiting the Parkfield Resotel, off Chintamani main road. We were out on a recce inspecting resorts before we finalized on one for our impending office trip.

With glasses of chilled, fresh mango juice (the juice was fresh and sweet with no added sugar) we walked beside Bindu, the care taker who showed us around the place. A lung-full of this air can do you good-and with wisps of your hair fluttering in the warm breeze, and your feet touching the soft grass-you just can’t help breaking into a song.

The fruit and vegetable orchard did it for us. It is a vast, wildly-growing, mini forest where every tree, shrub and plant had something to offer in terms of its fruit, root or leaf. Huge golden yellow pomegranates touching the earth as the small tree refuses to bear its weight anymore, unripe, green guavas yet to attain adulthood, a wild patch of mint spreading an intoxicating aroma in the garden, huge papaya clusters waiting to be picked….we explored every nook and corner soaking in the ripe scents that enveloped us.

Purple-streaked brinjals; bright orange bitter gourds peeping out of the green foliage; cabbage patches with huge fleshy leaves; bottle gourds, ridge gourds, and lady’s fingers looking ten times healthier than their seniors who sit pretty in the food market shelves; oh, this was a sight to see.

The icing was the mango orchards- Malgova, Totapuri and Neelam varieties mostly, the sweet scents invited everyone from the mooing cows, to the cawing crows and the hissing snakes even…….so we had to watch our step!

We returned to Parkfield for the trip and I ensured that everyone go and see the orchard. Bindu mentioned that we could go and pick the fruits and veggies we wanted and buy them right here. I swear John Verghese bought at least 15 kilos of mango (he says 11), and so did Praveen. Vishal bought some pomegranates as well and said that the gardener threw in a bunch of mint for free, and Lakshmi bought massive looking cucumbers along with the mango-for her mom to make pickles.

I wish Parkfield gives customers charming little wicker baskets for picking this fresh produce, as it would add to the magic of this little orchard experience. Oh and if they ever give it a name, I think it must be called ‘a slice of paradise’.