I don’t think you can go to Meghalaya and not fall in love with the pineapples. We did too, when we were holidaying in the state, earlier this year.
The fruits are everywhere, on flat ground, on hilly slopes, in people’s backyards, even out in the wild, in the middle of nowhere.
The pineapples simply love the soil and the weather here, and grow, grow, grow. They are food for the local people here, as well as a means of earning a livelihood.
The husband and I had never before seen pineapples growing on a plant. The first-ever glimpse we caught of one was at Mawylnnong, growing in someone’s bountiful garden.
The pineapples of Meghalaya are so not your regular fruits that you buy off a shelf in a store. They are ambrosial, beauties to look at, so sweet that you wonder if they have been dipped in sugar syrup – which they haven’t, of course, because they were cut right then and there, in front of you. One bite into them, and the juice gushes out of them, runs down your cheeks and elbows. You don’t mind the messiness one bit, of course.
While we were in Meghalaya, we ate pineapples whenever and wherever we could. We gorged on them to our heart’s content. They weren’t exactly cheap, but not over-the-moon pricey as well. On the drive from Mawlynnong to the Indo-Bangladesh border at Tamabil, we had the luxury of eating a wild pineapple, sitting by a waterfall, listening to it croon beautiful music in our ears. At how many places in India can you do *that*?
So, we were driving down when we came upon this pretty little place – almost forest-like, full of green, a place where you can hear water gushing and birds chirping, with no vehicles passing by. A lone armyman patrolled the area, looking out for infiltrators from the nearby Bangladesh and, of course, for anyone creating a nuisance, generally. There appeared to be no one else there, but then we spotted this little boy, a local, selling pineapples that he had plucked from plants out there in the wild. We had to have one, of course.
Our cab driver haggled with the boy in the local dialect, and they agreed upon a price. A gorgeous, sun-ripened pineapple was chosen.
The boy went on to expertly shave off the thorns from the fruit.
The pineapple was then cut into slices of just the right thickness, under the careful eye of our driver. We were handed the slices wrapped in a couple of banana leaves, and we pounced on them. Meanwhile, the waterfall nearby gushed on, the birds continued chirping, and insects twittered in the trees. The army man on patrol gave us a warm smile.
It was an experience we will cherish for ever, being one with nature at a place where it abounds.
When we left, one pineapple down, drunk on nature, stomachs and hearts sated, the boy offered us a peek into the lunch he had been having when we arrived there. It was a stunningly simple meal that I absolutely had to click – and, of course, there was pineapple in it too!
As we drove off, we waved to the little boy and the army man.
They waved us off with smiles.
I hope you have read and enjoyed my other posts about our trip to North-East India. If you haven’t, here are the links for you:
- The beginning of school and a schoolmoon
- Visiting the abode of Kamakhya, the powerful menstruating goddess
- 10 reasons to plan for at least a day’s stay at Mawlynnong, Asia’s cleanest village
- The living root bridge of Nohwet village, near Mawlynnong
- Playing hide-and-seek with the clouds in Meghalaya
- 10 experiences we thoroughly enjoyed in Shillong
- Our vegetarian food and drink journey in Shillong
- Thoughts at Tamabil, the Indo-Bangladesh border