Flash Post 291!
Button, I’m about to tell you a story about a man who choked to death while eating a mango!
Are you serious? How can such a thing even happen?
Wait till you hear the story.
There once lived a farmer called Mungi. Mungi lived in a tiny village called Palghar located on the outskirts of Mumbai with his wife, a son, his daughter-in-law and two grand sons. His other son had migrated to Mumbai doing odd jobs in a neighbourhood of the city.
Mungi was about 60 years old and toiled on his field all 364 days in a year unless he was seriously ill and was forced to take rest. On his field, he grew seasonal fruits and almost all varieties of vegetables of which he sold some while the rest was consumed by the family.
On one such occasion when he fell ill, he went to consult with the village vaid and mentioned some of the symptoms he had noticed lately like feeling extremely thirsty and having to go to relieve himself more often than usual. After doing some tests advised by the vaid, Mungi was told that he was diabetic. The doctor advised him regarding his food intake and prescribed some medicines for him. He was also advised him to stay off fruits especially chicoos, melons and mangoes.
Mungi followed the vaid’s advice diligently.
One day, as the family sat down for their morning tea, Mungi noticed that while everybody else was feasting on mangoes, he had been served some left-over chappatis and bhaji. He felt sad that the family had not even offered him a slice of mango since it was the first day the fruit had been served. When he asked his son to serve him a slice of mango, the son reprimanded him saying that, if he knew what was good for him, he shouldn’t even think of eating mangoes. Mungi felt worse. He wondered why he was slogging away to grow these fruits and vegetables on his field when he couldn’t eat any of it. Mungi was so desperate to eat some mango that he worked out a plan in his head.
As soon as his son left for work and his daughter-in-law left to drop the boys to school, Mungi peeled a mango and started eating it with great relish. Nothing can taste better than a ripe mango raised on one’s own farm with one’s own hands, he reminisced.
As he was sucking away on the stone for that little remnant here and there, he heard footsteps. He listened, frozen, with the mango stuffed halfway inside his mouth and realised that the footsteps were drawing closer. His mind worked furiously as to what he should do next. “Baba, are you there?” asked his daughter-in-law. Realising that he was very close to being caught and dreading the nagging that would ensue, he stuffed the mango stone inside his mouth. Just then, the daughter-in-law entered the room and, looks NGOs aghast, asked, “Arre, baba, you’re still sitting in the same room where I left you? What do you have in your mouth? Are you eating something?”
“No. Nothing. I have nothing in my mouth.” Mungi’s words tumbled out all jumbled and inaudible. “Oh yes, you do. Is that a mango stone in your mouth? Have you been eating mangoes ? Now tell me the truth or else I’ll tell your son when he comes home this evening!”
Fearing the rebuke and the food-shaming he would be subjected to, Mungi tried to gulp down the stone. Immediately, he began choking.
Seeing her father-in-law in such a condition, the daughter-in-law called out to her mother-in-law. By the time his wife entered the room, Mungi had gone blue in the face and he was writhing on the floor. Some of their neighbours rushed in but, before they could reach Mungi to a doctor, he had passed away.
When his son returned from work, he was crestfallen. He wept when he remembered how he had refused to give his father that last slice of mango.
After the last rites, the family returned home with the ashes. The urn was buried under a mango tree the next day. And, surprise of surprises, after a couple of years, the family found a mango sapling sprouting from the same spot where the urn containing Mungi’s ashes had been buried.
That’s some story! I nearly passed out from sheer anxiety!
You can do one thing, Button.
What do you want me to do?
Give the story a title.
We can call it: MUNGI.