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Bel gira hai shayad!



Bel gira hai shayad”, on hearing the sound and to my prediction, my mother ran out shouting followed by me. As I struggled to catch with her (you see post-delivery this is what happens!), the damage was done and we saw a fat lady in red suit running away with two ‘Bel Phal” that too large ones. By the time we both reached the gate, she had made to end of road and the gardeners and cleaners of the colony park hurriedly made their way to the work (which they were suppose to do) and looked away sheepishly as we could make out they had helped the ‘auntyji’ in plucking away those fruits. None of us had the energy to chase the auntyji. My mother vented out her anger on the rickshaw puller who stopped and asked if he can pluck the fruit though later she lamented as to why she scolded him when he genuinely asked for the fruit. This whole scene resulted in a quick phone call to my father by my mom asking him to come home early and pluck all the fruits; that she can no longer check on the ‘bel thieves’.

Well, the next morning, my father did pluck away those fruits but not all.

bhel-pal-in-groundThis tree is just outside our front wall and we didn’t grow it but it grew on its own though we nurtured it. I still can’t recall as to how long this tree has been there but yes it’s been there for quite a few years. Earlier my grandmother would keep small uneven brick pieces near the door and as soon as she will feel that someone is up to mischief, she will launch her ‘stone missile’ from the verandah itself without thinking as to where it will hit! By the time ‘that someone’ realizes what has happened, she used to be at the gate with the stick in hand and a volley of abuses will be hurled at him left, right, centre! And by any chance if anyone has managed to pluck the fruit, she used to ensure that it is back in house. We definitely miss her at these times.

bhel-brick When it fell down, my father made a brick pillar to support the tree so that it didn’t fall and to date it stands tall.

Bel-Phal is beneficial in various abdominal disorders and it stimulates the digestive system and especially in summers it is in too much demand. Each year we wait patiently for the fruits to grow and keep a mental track of all those people who come asking for the fruits once they are ripe. Also, we keep a tab as to when the fruit will fall down on its own as well. Amongst friends, it was always a joke that we should make our enemies stand under the tree and shake the tree so vigorously that the fruits will fall on their heads and it will be broken ;). Well, it never happened like that but it did fall on my head once when my father was standing on the wall with the stick trying to pluck the fruit and I was standing under the same fruit to catch it lest it falls down on the floor and breaks! (We had tested one catch earlier). The second catch failed and it straightaway hit me on head and went down in the drain. My head didn’t break though!

There was no apparent reason for me to write this but the struggle to save those fruits and again the hard work done to pluck those fruits safely made me wonder as to how much we are attached to the tree. It is a yearly ritual to see those fruits growing, asking our neighbors to lend us the big stool to pluck the fruits and then looking at the heap collected and distributing them. One of my father’s colleague will call him regularly asking for the fruit to make the medicine out of it for her diabetic husband. We drink the sherbet regularly.

After I moved to Bangalore, I miss out on all this fun. This year was different as I was here for the delivery and I am enjoying my stay watching over this tree and its fruits. I am hopeful that in coming years I can do so along with my grown up kiddo!

For all you fellow readers, enjoy reading, enjoy writing and don’t forget to drink the Bel-Sherbet, it is healthy…..till the next post.

Musings by Divya Sharma. For her other articles click HERE

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0 29 April, 2010 Diaries April 29, 2010

About the author

A Chartered Accountant by profession who enjoys writing or should we say keying ?! in her free time.

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  1. Anney

    Divya….that brought back plesent memories….my grandma and me used to do the same thing for the Tamarind fruit. this is used to make fish curry and really tasty…god alone know how many people we have chased. LOL.:))

  2. Phoenixritu

    I think all of us have one such tree tucked away in our memory. Ours was the shehtoot (mulberry) and kamrak (starfruit) trees. Sadly I was banned from eating kamrak (tonsils) but my playmates got the fruit and as de-facto owner of the tree, I got my share anyway!

    1. Divya

      I can imagine….as a child i used to hang out in the colony park in evening plucking shehtoot…. :beauty:

  3. hitesh

    we had a Guava tree inside our garden but when it was loaded with fruits it use to bend down towards the road…..and small children from other colonies used to comes and steal them……… mom used to get angry ……though i never felt that bad….cause i had done the same….during my childhood……stealing mangoes or guava from others garden…..yaayyyy…..that was fun…..

    though i don’t know what is bhel fruit….may be i don’t know it by this name……but this is a fun activity…… ppl use to do…….

    nice story…..

    1. Divya

      Thanks Hitesh, we are lucky then in case of Guava, we had 3 of them but in backyard but then back lane neighbours wud create nuisance…but i didn’t mind it, cos I wud pluck guavas from our next door neighbour’s house by getting on their roof though we had more trees, lol…..bel fruit I am sure u wud have seen if not heard….it is quite famous…On Shivratri, if u recall we offer some specific leaves to Lord Shiva and it is called Bel Patra, the fruit comes from the same tree…..check out next time :rotfl:

  4. Divya

    @ Anney – true these memories form part of our heart and soul and seeing the times today, don’t know if our future generation would be lucky enough to enjoy all these small pleasures! :cute:

    @ Gayatri – Thanks for the comment :blush:

  5. Dhiman

    well I have grown up in apartments so never had experience with trees but whenever we to go to nani(grandmother)’s place on vacations, used get on mango etc trees as nani’s house was full of trees and yes they had bel trees as well….

    1. Divya

      Yes Dhiman, a disadvantage of living in apartments :sidefrown: but I am sure u wud have enjoyed ur stay at ur nani’s place :evilgrin:

  6. Lazy Pineapple

    heheh cute post…

    Our neighbours in India have an Amla tree which they guarded with their life.
    Luckily it was right next to our Garden and we got free fruit which our neighbours did not like 🙂

  7. Divya

    Thanks Lazy Pineapple….U were lucky to get the free fruit which had its own benefits :mean:

  8. Shilpa Garg

    Cool! That took me down the memory lane!! We had one Imli ka Ped in our neighborhood and how we kids used to harass that aunty!! 😛
    Enjoyed reading your account!
    Cheers 🙂

  9. pranjal

    typical!! i also have a bel tree in my paternal home in a villege in azamgarh 🙂 can easily relate to the incidences. actually being a boy, o was made to look out for the bel and i was accountable if someone managed to steal one(which, mind you, was not easy :heh: )

      1. pranjal

        haha… oh yes, very responsible job to keep people like me occupied, who’d otherwise venture out experimenting on various effects of roaming in sun 😛

  10. Mani padma

    All these hasi mazaak has prompted me to crack a joke at Divya’s expense. Well here goes the pj – why did da bel fall on Divya’s head? Becos it thot she was saying- aa bel mujhe maar! :silly: :silly:

  11. Mukesh

    Hey nice narration and thanks god somebody thought of gratifying the great tree.
    It has been in my aangan for ages, i think for more than 25 year. I love the fruit and the sherbat made. I think its beautiful to have these trees and plants by our side. Its leaves work miraculously on wounds and in the month of savan the demand for its leaves increases manifold.

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