The advent of summer was marked with the arrival of pickles. Succulent tender mangoes marinating in hot chili sauce, tangy and tart lemons infused with powdered spices and foul smelling sariba soaked in curd and turmeric. The pickles were packaged under the guarded eyes of my paternal grandmother and came with specific instructions. The lemon was stashed away and except for my father, the rest of us steered clear of the sariba. The war was always over the tender mangoes. The smaller ones were the most delicious, so copious quantities of curd rice were gobbled to cajole my mother into serving more of those mini-sized marvels.
One of the many treats that came with the sweltering heat of Indian summers was the ripe mango. They made the incessant sweating and scalp frying scorch almost bearable.
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