“Saar ji (read Sir), must not miss theeze pomegranates. These are straight from Ishpain (read Spain)”, the fruit vendor in fancy Gurgaon suburb said to my husband as he checked the glossy pomegranates. A great body linguistic as shopkeepers are, he said again to my husband now gliding eyes to the apples, “And…theze arre Washington apples”. “Have they stopped producing any apples and pomegranates in India now?” said my hubby with a smirk. I have realized over the years that buying fruits was more than just an experience for my dear hubby and more than a hassle for me, so I have left the job entirely to him. I just stood there silent listening to the interesting conversation. “Nahi saab (no sir), It is naut (not) like that. But, everyone wants to buy International!” “I have bananas too from Philippines. Now things are naut the saim (read same).” Pause. “Acchha Sir ji..Shpain iz in Amricca (read America) only na? ”, he asked innocently. “Yeh hi samajh lo! (You can understand so)“, quipped Alok, my husband. I was having a hearty laugh by now.
Drifted away from the scene my mind was now drawing several pictures and imaginations of the ornamental fruit. “The world has become rather small. Perhaps, one day the fruit vendor will get to the right answer.”, i said to myself. This is new era of globalization. And, that was also when the Punica granatum, historically originated from Iran and landed in Mediterranean regions of Europe in late eighteen century finally making its way to America as Spanish found destiny to their American dream. I don’t know who and how the red seeds, also used as simile for red lips of a girl, came to India. I stumbled upon that comparison to lips while netwandering as I became mother of a lovely girl with pomegranate lips last year you see.
I love not just the color, full of life but the feel as my fingers open my favorite fruit and take out the red juicy arils studded one on the top of the other. I wonder if this beautiful creation of God ever found place in the Garden of Eden! Apple was there! Everyone knows! So, pomegranate must be a close relative of the forbidden fruit for the rich divine look that it has. Also, called as seeded apple widely, in Chinese culture famous as Chinese apple, they have been emblem for prosperity and abundance for some mysterious reasons. I need to dig that out though.
The endeared red beauty, called Anar in Hindi, has found permanent special place in my fruit tray and the kitchen too owing to the sweet tangy taste and of course, tremendous medicinal values in Indian context. Pomegranate juice is considered extremely beneficial for heart and blood related problems. No wonder, pomegranates juice is likened to blood, the life line. And, the rind is considered quite effective in curing diarrhea and indigestion. I had read a very peculiar piece of information quite some time ago that a fruit that resembles whichever shape of the body organ is good for that organ. For example, almonds that are shape of eyes are good for eye sight, walnuts for brain, and raisins for lungs, so on. And, they actually are! Many of them, strangely! Is it some coincidence? I don’t know. But I can’t imagine my pindi chana, an Indian recipe of chick peas curry with ground pomegranate seeds as main ingredient, or Russian salad without pomegranates, whether from Spain or from India.
So, I hereby came out my world of rediscovering as my caring husband approached the grand finale of his fruits shopping spree. On the top of the bag, there lay ever proud – the Spanish Pomegranates grinning at me and re positioning in this post as my response to Word Press Weekly Challenge.