Tuesday, May 16, 2006



THE TAMARIND TREE..

The skies are blue, the air is crisp and everyone is at the farmers market. There are many vendors and goods to pursue. A variety of herbs boasting of medicinal value and promising cures, fruits from many different lands. Nuts, grains, granolas and cheese . Home made honey, organic meats and vegetables. This networking of vendors makes you feel at home. I am reminded of the many trips I took with my mother to Rusell Market in Bangalore , the similarity lies in the aroma of the fresh fruits and vegetables that fill the air and the wheeling and dealing that takes place between vendor and consumer.

When I am at the farmers market I am always looking for something new or different, while I am searching I am directed to a basket full of brown stuff, I take a look and what do I see ? Tamarind Pods, I stop and gaze at the fruit, through the slightly cracked hard brown shell I can see the brown pulpy fruit . I stand there looking and suddenly I am transported back in time , to when I was a little girl, visions of me playing under the tamarind tree come to my mind.

The tamarind tree holds many memories for me, especially during the summer holidays, this great big tree with its green leaves intertwined in the branches was like a large umbrella protecting us from the hot summer sun. Under this tree I met my best friend and we are still friends after all these years. We would hold hands and walk around the tree collecting all the small baby tamarind that fell to the ground. ( that is what we called them). It was fun to see the many distortions the face would take once you put it into your mouth. This is where I got a cut on my head from a stone that my brothers threw at the tamarind which landed on my head . Many hours were spent on the slippery slide which was under this tree, many bruises and falls.

When I was in second grade , outdoor lessons were conducted under this tree and for me it was the next best thing to being at home. There were games of Hop-Scotch and Hide & seek and many fights inbetween. I think my mother considered this tree as a baby sitter because during the summer holidays many hours were spent here, with no worry as to where we would go. Suddenly I could hear my mothers voice in the distance asking us to come home for dinner, I turn my head and realize that I am in the farmers market. I pick a few good pods of tamarind, place it carefully on top of all the other things that I had bought and go home taking with me my memories.

33 comments:

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP 9:55 AM  

Wow...I have never been to the Intl Farmers Market but if you get tamarind in tht form I must go...You have had such sweet memories eating tht funny tasting tamarind...
I too used to adore the tree we had at my grandparents place...I hated it when a small piece of the stem would serve as a good "beating rod"...I guess I have hardly been hit by that but that thing scared me and didnt let me do naughty things....We had to cut it off alas...We used to swing like monkeys on the branches of tht tree too!!!!!! Yummy I want tht fresh tamarind now!

starry nights 11:23 AM  

scribblez...thank you, i just loved that tamarind tree, later on i found fresh tamarind in the mexican markets also. i remember trying to climb up the tamarind tree.

chandni 12:14 PM  

really nice!!!

You write well :)

starry nights 12:19 PM  

Thank you chandni.

Behrooz 1:13 PM  

Hi; It is so nostalgic. I loved the idea of the tree being a baby sitter, a protector of the family memebers.

starry nights 1:34 PM  

Behrooz..welcome to my blog and please do come again.

Anu 3:09 PM  

Hey, this is a cool post. Brought a smile to my face, because the tamarind tree was part of my childhood too. There were a couple of them in school and we ate, and played under it. The tamarind is good to eat at all stages,isnt it? The tenderest one which is green inside and the ripe one with the shell falling off and the brown pulp exposed between the fibres....slurp! I was surprised to find a bag of it in the market in UK, but it is more sweet than sour, but still great:)

chet 5:51 PM  

That was a beautiful post. I have never been there but by reading your post I felt as if I was right there. That was GREAT!!!

starry nights 7:55 PM  

Anu..welcome to my blog.I am glad to meet someone else who loves tamarind as much as I did.

starry nights 7:56 PM  

Chet..thank you. I wish you could sit under a tamarind tree.

fritz 8:49 PM  

i've never seen a tamarind tree..umm looks like a huge tree? and the fruit have a nice shape..cool! ;;)

i enjoy reading your posts..keep blogging starry..take care ;;)

Alexis Leon 9:43 PM  

It seems as if everybody had spent their childhood days under tamarind trees. I also had one at home (it is still there) and used to play under it and climb on it. Nice post...

Aditi 10:50 PM  

Well written, its funny how something like that can open the window on so many precious memories
=)

I love Munich 11:56 PM  

Beautifully written .. I really like it a LOT! A tree being considered a babysitter - that's a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Madhu 1:22 AM  

Nice post. This brings back lot of memories for me too. You know u can rub the seeds to produce heat, this used to be very popular way of frightening someone. We used to rub it nicely and press it on the skin, and laugh at the reactions.

Has to be me 3:16 AM  

Hi Starry,

Firstly thanks fr stopping by my blog & hello 2 u 2.

Glad 2 note that the market brought u back the sweet memories. After reading this, I plan 2 grow a tamarind tree @ my house if it can baby sit my kids!!! LOL!! ;)

& BTW, since u commented in my blog, theres an alphabet waiting 4 u in my blog!!!

Anonymous,  7:54 AM  

Shine.Thanks for stopping by. You should see a tamarind tree and better still taste the fruit.

starry nights 7:55 AM  

Alexis..I think everyone has memories under the tamarind tree.

starry nights 7:57 AM  

Aditi & I love Munich ...Thanks, sometimes it takes a simple thing to bring back memories .

starry nights 7:57 AM  

Madhu...Its funny that we used to do the same thing.It used to burn.

starry nights 8:00 AM  

Has to be me.. thanks for stopping by.Life was a lot different when I was growing up, parents did not have to worry about their kids as much as they do now .I dont know if I could have allowed my children to spend those endless summers outside.I think we are a lot more protective nowadays.

starry nights 8:02 AM  

Has to be Me...Let me see what I can come up with the letter R that you have given me.

Inji Pennu 8:56 AM  

oh..how nicely you have written this! I could almost see your playing under the tree.Nice!

Did you guys used to eat the tamarind with chili,salt and oil?

starry nights 9:04 AM  

Lg..Thank you. we ate the tamarind every way we could.sometimes only the green ones with salt and chilli powder and the ripe ones with sugar or jaggery.or it was just plain tamarind. we would eat it till our mouth and teeth were chattering.

jac 6:13 PM  

That was a touchy piece.

Congrats !

starry nights 7:46 PM  

Jac thanks. Have u ever played ubder a tamarind tree?

Rai 2:50 AM  

Beautiful!
hey thanks for your comment in my blog..

Rai 2:51 AM  

Ah! That was long ago if you've forgotten! My blog: Confluence, Some stories to share

jarvenpa 7:29 PM  

This is a lovely post. I too have special trees in my life, though nothing quite so exotic as your tamarind.

starry nights 8:12 PM  

Jarvenpa..I am sure you had a special trr that you played under.

Prash 7:25 AM  

Your lovely post on tamarinds...took me back to my childhood holidays in Kerala at my uncle's and aunts...we used to wander in those farm fields and forests...and we get hungry we use to steel mangoes in neighbours farm and also tamarinds...
lovely post!

starry nights 2:23 PM  

I di denjoy eating the tamarind when i was hungry. Glad to know that you enjoyed playing under the tamarind tree also.

nandi23 4:56 PM  

:D...there was a tamarind tree in my high school as well, this made me nostalgic,
even all the way in little trinidad the tamarind tree is babysitting

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