Mango Republic!, photo essay by Prasenjit Dey
[T]he wholesale bazar (market) for fruits and vegetables in Mechua Kolkata is an experience that is really difficult to describe. You make your way through dozens of trucks parked at inches distance from each other.
Hundreds of porters load & unload the cargo of fresh fruits and vegetables from the trucks that arrive here every morning from all over India to be auctioned off right on the spot. Hordes of vendors, auctioneers, buyers and people jostle within the cramped lanes and by lanes of Mechua bazar thus making the entire environment charged up with a different energy altogether.
And come summer the bazar is flooded with the king of fruits…..MANGO !!! all local varieties of mango will hit the market one after the another from April to May.
In a normal season – mango tree bear fruit every alternate year – West Bengal produce between 5.5 – 6 lakh tonnes of the summer delicacy. The state ranks among the country’s top five mango producing states.
The city awaits patiently for the first flush of mangoes.
Himsagar being the king of mango varieties grown in the state is the most loved one. It becomes available between 1st week of May to end of June, with its unmistakable golden hue, complete absence of fibre and unparalleled sweetness with a pleasant aroma.
Marching just behind Himsagar will be Gulabkhas , Dasheri , Laxmanbhog, Langra, Chausa, Begumphuli and Fazli. (Prasenjit Dey)