Time For Fruits

The German priest and scholar, whose questioning of certain church practices led to Protestant Reformation, was also known for his fondness of fruits. No wonder, as long as he lived, the priest was in the pink of his health. Delhiites have always been fond of fruits. Fibrous, citrus, juicy and the other kinds.

Right now, it is the season of fresh winter guavas. Good ones from Allahabad, Pratapgarh and other parts of India make their way to the city. Oranges are very popular, but its identical sibling, Kinnu, a hybrid of orange and malta, is a big hit with the people. While malta, another fruit of the orange family, is more fibrous, Kinnu is quite luscious. Besides, Kinnu has a longer shelf life than an orange. Kinnu is grown in Sri Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan, and Abohar and Fazilka punjab.

Last year, I happened to travel to a farm in Abhor, where I was fascinated by a richy laden orchard of Kinnu. The method of irrigation that the farmers adopt in these farms is interesting, though it is driven purely by the agrarian needs of the region.

The water, which runs down from the hills through canal, is collected in an open huge water tank. Then the water is transported to all the trees through pipes. The way a tree is watered is very singular:the pipe with very minute holes is laid around the tree in a circle in a way that water just drips seeping into the soil around the tree. Since it is steep hill, if water overflows, it will run down. So, the necessity has forced these farmers to come up with this innovative method.

We have a guava tree in our garden. No wonder, miracles about its therapeutic values were parts of the folklore I grew up hearing. Doctors around the world advise patients to eat citrus fruits when suffering from common cold. However, my friend and personal homoeopath thinks guavas are good for common cold and oranges are bad. You would doubt that, but there are people who prefer his sweet glucose pills to bitter potions.

Nowdays, many exotic fruits have also made their way in the capital markets. Russian and American apples, Thai guavas, kiwifruit and red grapes are becoming popular with city households. When you walk down Saket, near the sports complex, there is a row of fruit sellers, selling these fruits. Go grab them.