Spring hesitates at Winter’s door…

Spring hesitates at Winter’s door,

But the mango blossom rashly runs out to him~ Tagore

March brings with him the fragrance of mango blossoms. Like the ashoka flower, mango blossom is one among the five floral arrows in Kamadeva’s (God of Love) quiver. The buds break open to golden blooms heralding the arrival of Spring. The heady scented mango blossoms, an integral part of the season, intoxicate insects and birds; bees go reeling, drunk with the nectar of the mango flowers and the cuckoos sing incessantly after relishing the mango leaves and blossoms.

The servant in Tagore’s ‘Gardener’ requests the queen to

“Make me the gardener of your flower garden

When the murmer of the Spring was languorous

And the mango blossoms were dropping on the dust”

And lo! The lovelorn lover’s cry in Tagore’s ‘Unyielding’…

“When I called you in your garden

Mango blooms were rich in fragrance.

Why did you remain so distant,

Keep your doors so tightly fastened?”

Tagore (Unyielding)

It was in Spring that Tagore, despite his weak state of health, translated his Gitanjali to English. He says “It was then the month of Chaitra (March-April). The air was thick with the fragrance of mango blossoms and all air was delirious with the songs of birds.” He was ‘well settled in the arms of Chaitra, without missing a particle of its light, its air, its scene and its song.’ He could not sit idle. Like an enthusiastic child, he set to translate his poems of ‘Gitanjali’ to English. And won the Nobel prize for Literature for his work!

Mango blossoms and tender mangoes jog childhood memories of our Ponani days; the unhurried, serene mornings; the white sand filled front yard of our home,strewn with mango flowers, the tiny crunchy mangoes…and the excited wait for the two month long Summer holidays that start from April! When I close my eyes I can feel the soft sand under my feet, the fragrance of the air and the mango flowers.

“Spring scatters the petals of flowers

That are not for the fruits of future

But for the moments of whim” ~ Tagore

Nevertheless, those memories are scattered on the heart, their fragrance never fades.

4 thoughts on “Spring hesitates at Winter’s door…

  1. Last night, I dined with friends, and mangoes were part of the meal. I haven’t had a mango in years because I was allergic to them at one time. Last night, they bothered me not at all. Apparently, I’ve outgrown my sensitivity. Now I’m free to enjoy them fully, although I’ll have to imagine the fragrance of the flowers, unless I travel to the most southerly parts of Texas, where they sometimes can be coddled along.

    Tagore’s lines are delightful.


  2. Am so glad you’re no more allergic to mangoes, Linda. We call mango ‘the king of fruits’. Mango is the national fruit of India. We pickle the tender ones as well as the unripe ones, make chutneys, use in curries; ripe ones are perfect for puddings, smoothies, jam and what not!
    Those tiny flowers have got a pleasant fragrance. Thanks Linda!


  3. Heart wrenching ways my dear Rethy…Took me back to my Padur days where we had all different kinds of mangoes…Malgoa,nadasala,Neelam,pulichi manga,moovandan,kilimookan,karpooram manga ,gomanga and many more … can’t really tell which one was the tastiest and still gets water into my mouth while naming it …The mampoo clicks are really mind blowing and lifting one’s heart to romanticism…Mampoo manamulla ravukalil(( Sri kumaran Thampi sirs)) lalita ganam came to my mind… Tagore’s poetry is so beautiful and apt for the season Vasantham…Loved all the mampoo pictures also…Keep writing my beloved Friend as I always say that you own a poetic heart and hands to capture beautiful pictures…..


    1. You took me back to my kuttikkalam with all those names… gomanga, moovandan, muttikkudian so many varieties! Can’t tell you how grateful I am for the support and love you have given me right from the beginning, whether it is my photography or my ramblings😍 Hugs.


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