February 17, 2011

Lime juice, nostalgia and the environment

Fruit juices are an all time favorite with me and my family. All the better, if, its freshly prepared. And nothing more delightful than freshly squeezed lime juice. While making a list of things to buy from the grocer, of all the oft-repeated items, fresh lime tops the list.

Lime juice needs no introduction! Needless to talk about its nutrition facts. A rich source of Vitamin C, I remember the umpteen times I cured common cold with what I call 'Vitamin C shots'. That is just concentrated fresh lime juice taken at frequent intervals as soon as you sense the possible advent of a common cold. Simple enough, this has been a sensible solution so far. The cure is so simple that the OTC drugs for Common cold don't even deserve a comparison with this cure, straight from Mother Nature!

As far as my understanding and observation goes, fresh lime grows abundantly in most tropical climates without the intervention of any pesticides. No additional pampering by fertilizers either. Then, why ignore this king of juices? Say convenience. There we come to the most common culprit - Convenience. Why take the pains to squeeze the juice, then add sugar/ salt, then stir it and for those of us who don't like anything solid in our smooth juices, we need to strain it! It must be so strenuous to make a glass of fresh lime juice! And of course, devoid of any glamour value, lime juice is not the 'in' thing today. It's not seen as a drink that one would want to flaunt in front of guests.

The alternates are convenience advocates. We embraced the ready-to-drink category like fish to water. When time is such a premium, when we are tagged and judged by the brands we choose, where does fresh lime stand a chance? I have friends who are of the opinion that this one life must be lived to the fullest, sans worrying about the ingredients written in fine print on food/ beverage packs. Why waste time reading up all that and then getting worked up? Economy must grow. Money must roll. Consumerism must grow in leaps and bounds. People should swarm shopping malls and grocery stores! We have only one life. We must live it to the fullest. Amidst all this sight, sound and fury, activism for the natural is also on the rise. I don't refer to the 'organic' mania which is more a status symbol these days. Some hope, that is for sure.

Back to my love for the lime. It dates back to my eager-beaver days of the youth. Even to my childhood days. My love affair with the lime started with my visits to my Mother's house. Nestled in quiet, those days whispered sweet nothings to me, endlessly. We had to board buses, take ferries, travel by boats to reach my Mother's house then. A good 4 hour journey it used to be. Under the sweltering sun, if it was the Summer vacation time. Finally get down from the Bus and climb a hill which almost seemed to be at a 90 degree angle from the road. After the steep climb uphill, to much relief there is plain land and then descend downhill to reach the foot of the house. That is where one of the fresh lime trees were grown. While walking towards the kitchen, I would pluck a few and promptly hand them over to grandma as soon as I entered the kitchen. I wouldn't talk for the first few minutes, I would eagerly look at Grandma and wait for my welcome drink! She prepared it with water from the courtyard well. There, my lime juice is ready! Then, for a few moments, heaven decides to come down to the kitchen of my Mother's house!.......Blissful moments, I must say!

Then, for the next 2 months, until the Summer vacation gets over, its every day Lime juice! The fresh fragrance of freshly squeezed lime is so fresh in my memory....not the best English, but even today, those memories linger.

Old fashioned.
Stricken by lime juice nostalgia.
Coupled with some degree of love for the environment.
The result is an over-arching love for the fresh juices. Most often, I don't hesitate to shun the packaged juice options. Whenever I buy one of these, I drink the juice (which is not even half as good!) and then feel guilty about throwing the pack into the garbage bag. After all, I live by the theory that what is not good for the Earth isn't good for me, either!


ria said...

Anna...worth reading...liked it very much that you mixed some nostalgia in between & I totally agree with ur views...good on you...expecting more..!!!...Riya

€mmanuel said...

Climbing up and down the hill & plucking lemons and then lime juice - feels the essence of it. Agree with Riya - mixing with nostalgia was good, esp. when one can relate to it. And I remember the lemon tree and everything else!

anna's musings said...

thanks Ria and Emmanuel...nothing like a personal reflection in that sense..and feeling for the environment in these simple things of life- i think that is where the essence of environmentalism lies...

sumayya said...

wow!!this article actually reminds me of the power packed ones you wrote for our college magazine way back..!!keep going my dear...n i luv the layout n design of this blog!!

sumayya said...

even i hve a blog..!!pls read n comment..bt nw am nt very active due to lack of time...

Tharuni said...

How wonderfully u clubbed Lime juice,Nostalgia and Environment!Ha..Ha..I like the way you presented the part of nostalgia.How to comment!Its nostalgic!

The design of blog is lovely!
Good One Dear!Keep growing.

neeraja said...

its wonderfully written,Minu!!!

quite nostalgic,i must say,i could relate a lot with my childhood days in Alleppey :)

Way to go ,Girl.........!

Roby said...

Minu, A cool article, almost felt like just a had fresh lime juice ;-) not that it made me realize how cool a lemon juice was but for the finesse u displayed in describing such a everyday life thing (for people like me) so beautifully. The art of skillful narration.

But apart from that, it did not make me feel the nostalgia, probably because what u described was part of our lives, day in and day out. Like about water from the country well, natural foods and all those stuff. In fact we used to curse the country well as since it has unending water source even for a summer, we had to water the plants spoiling our evening games :) unnaathavanu oonnu kittathathinte vishamam, undavanu (kidakkan)paa kittatha vishamam, yennu paranja poleye ullu ;-) but for time being may be u can take a look at this lemon tree song :)


anna's musings said...

thanks Sumayya for your comments and for reminding me about good old college days. Inspires more certainlY!

anna's musings said...

Thanks Tharuni and Neeraja too!

Thanks for your comments, Roby! Knowing what kind of a childhood you may have had, this article may not bring in the much touted nostalgia!

Preethi said...

Limejuice zindabad!! I still serve for guests and nobody complains ;)

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