Luscious mangoes, succulent watermelons.
Lucid sky, flirty breeze.
Warm sandy beaches, azure ocean.
Summer’s showmanship never fails to amaze in this part of the world, a stark contrast to the almost interminable and harrowing one back at home.
To rephrase Shakespeare: as flies to wanton boys, are denizens of India to summer’s wrath!
Nevertheless, summer reminds me of how the simplest things in life bring the greatest pleasure. Take lemon for instance—nothing’s more rejuvenating than a glass of nimboo paani (lemonade) during summer. I covet those days when stepping out in the sun invariably meant an ice cold glass of nimboo paani would be awaiting my return. Vanquished by the raging sun I would come home exhausted, but the concoction of freshly squeezed lemon juice, cold water, spoonful of sugar and a dash of salt, worked as an instant fatigue eraser and mood enhancer—power of Vitamin C I guess.
Want to rev up this humble drink? Add seltzer (carbonated water) infused with mint leaves instead of plain H2O and watch the magic unveil.
Another of my summer favorites is watermelon lassi—chunks of sweet watermelon, couple tablespoons of yogurt, sprinkle of sugar and a dash of lemon juice whizzed in a blender. Its pinkish color and frothy texture drew me to it as a child—you eat (drink) with your eyes first remember?
I remember how on sultry days ma used to whip up this delicacy to welcome dad home from work. When pangs of nostalgia become unbearable I seek refuge in my blender, which whips up this frothy concoction for me in seconds.
But nothing spells summer like mangoes! My latest fascination with the king of fruits comes in the guise of mango lassi—a rich intoxicating blend of fresh mango pulp and yogurt—a huge crowd pleaser at Indian restaurants in the US. The first time I savored this drink I was bowled over by its grip on my taste buds and the fact that I was oblivious to its presence in India!