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Fruits of summer

September 1, 2011

I’m sitting in a newly opened icecream parlour in north London with a lychee and pineapple smoothie. This summer I’ve been devouring fresh mangoes and drinking guava juice on ice.

I am realising I’ve kind of avoided tropical fruits for years. The taste makes me too homesick for Sri-Lanka so I’ve stuck with sharp orange juice and crunchy apples, and yielding pears, instead of the honeyed sweetness of the fruits I ate in Jaffna.

But there’s a sort of peace now, and I am thinking that I may be able to go back, so I’ve started dreaming. Of peeling off the spiky red skin off a rambutan and biting into the delicate, translucent white flesh underneath. I am keeping half an eye open for purple bruised mangostein. I think I can still remember how to crack them open with the bottom of my palms and pull out the white segments to swallow whole. And now I’m a grown up I may have to learn just how top cut open a jackfruit with a machete and share out its yellow chunks to waiting children.

I’ll go home soon and see if the fruits live up to the billing my memory has given them.  In the meantime this pineapple and lychee drink in a tall glass with a pink straw and yellow umbrella, will have to do.


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