Tuesday 1 May 2018

Mangoes, the garden people, cricket

Mango Thief

On Saturday, Andrew was working and the boys had abandoned me for the cinema with some friends so I decided to do some things in the house. There is not really much to do as Mala is so competent and does everything, but I did manage to potter about. I then thought I deserved a lie down on the settee so that I could read my book.

One set of neighbours are away and the people next door were also out so therefore there was no one around. I heard a motorbike (quite normal as the drivers all come on them) Then I saw the mangoes being plucked hastily from the tree along our driveway. I jumped up from my hidden spot on the settee, only to see a chap in a posh shirt and crash helmet escaping on his bike!

Now mangoes are readily available and not too expensive, in fact I think there are about 80 different varieties here, but to actually pluck them from a tree on someone's drive is just so cheeky! Added to that the ones on this tree are nowhere near ripe yet. The 'Avenue 8' gang (the boys and their mates) have a plan to catch him out if he reappears!

At this time of the year (pre monsoon) in this area it can rain in the afternoon, just quick and sudden cloud bursts. These are not the monsoon rains but known as the mango rains. The rain is needed to ripen the mangoes. It also means that there is a cool breeze and refreshing air. Milo also likes standing in it! (see photo below)

When it rained yesterday, a stronger wind developed and the mangoes started to fall off the tree. Mala shot out with a bag to collect them. She made Arjun follow her with an umbrella. Meanwhile, we all watched from inside, keeping dry and not cool. The rain drops were enormous and seemed heavy and soon water was gushing everywhere. It was very humid and the power went off so no fans or air-conditioning were available.

Milo has been learning about natural disasters and was convinced that we were going to be swept away in a flash flood, he really did become the voice of doom.  He was telling us what the emergency plan for evacuation should be. I am pleased he is listening to his teacher at school but we reassured him that it was just a quick storm and that Arjun and Mala wouldn't be running around outside if they thought it was dangerous. He calmed down and carried on watching them.

We now have a huge pile of green mangoes in the pantry ripening in a box ready to share with everyone.

Milo assessing the situation to see if he needs his emergency plan of action!

The landscape maintenance people

In the community where we live, it is kept spotless, no leaves, unsightly trees or grass etc. This is because there is an enormous team of gardeners, both women and men. But they actually pluck the grass by hand or, on their knees, use shears to trim the grass or the grass between the concrete. They sweep the leaves by hand too.


Cricket - An Indian religion!

We went to an afternoon IPL 20:20 cricket match and it was not like my impression of English cricket. The first thing to do is to get into the stadium. Single file queuing with excited cricket fans in soaring heat is quite trying but we managed it. Once inside there are no water bottles allowed or bags even, we just had our phones and money but there were plenty of drinks and food to buy (at reasonable prices too) and the toilets were far better than the ones at the zoo. (proper toilets in fact) 

The seating was very good and we had a clear view of the pitch. Luckily by chance we were sat on the shaded side and we were so pleased because the other side was in the sun for hours. Had we sat there then there would have been three pink boys and one bronzed lady (I don't go pink like the others) 

We were also the only 'white' people there (apart from Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes the famous English cricketers who play here) so we had lots of photo 'selfie' requests from the local supporters. We are now used to having our photos taken with groups of Indian people. They are particularly keen to have their photos taken with our boys. It is all done in good spirits but still quite strange especially when one was an on duty policeman, however I did take one back! We have even managed to appear on the Bangalore teams photo page, well tiny pale faces in the background anyway...

The next unusual thing is the music, cheerleading and general noise, there is such an amazing party atmosphere and everyone is there to enjoy the event.

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...