'Hapus' Mangoes in America

'Hapus' and 'alphonso' mangoes are grown mostly in the Rantagiri district of Maharashtra, a state of India. They are called the kings of mangoes. The taste is pure, deliciously sweet and fibrous yet very soft. The look is green-brownish-pinkish. The shape is a delight to the beholder and the size fits the palm.

The mango season begins in around April in this western state of India when the price remains very high – about $ 10 a dozen. In June-July it falls to tolerable levels. Mango festivals are organized in Mumbai around this season where growers from different regions of the state open their stalls of the priciest mangoes and sell at wholesale rates. Folks throng such festivals and try for a good bargain. Here dozen rates are not so much adhered to. The customers look for a 'peti', that is, a straw padded wooden case of rows of mangoes sealed tightly that can be bought at bulk rates.

The newsroom of a local TV channel got the news that 'hapus' mangoes are being exported to America after a long break of 18 years. That was big news. It occupied the headline slots for whole of that day. It was newsworthy and also sentimental as it evoked a sense of pride among the local media personnel.

Two days later there was a shortage of hard news and it was becoming very difficult to manage the mandatory three headlines for a bulletin ten minutes and above. The chief reporter discovered something and rushed to the editor gushing out, "Sir, 'hapus' mangoes in America! We've got our headline!"

"That was two days ago. We made full use of it. No way!"

"No Sir! The mangoes have reached America!"

"Are you crazy? You mean to say we make another headline that the mangoes have reached America now; and then we go on making headlines how many American people have devoured how many mangoes on a daily basis! Do not get too patriotic, man ! Now, get rid of that 'mangola' mania and hunt for some hard news! "