When I was a toddler, I dreamt of having an apple tree in courtyard of my home. Every morning or whenever I’m hungry, I would climb on it, pluck one or two and eat it then and there. Many times I wondered why my parents are interested in paddy, plantain, tapioca etc and not in apple cultivation. In those days we could purchase apple when go to town which was quite infrequent, and for any special purpose. All the life requirements are met in the village itself.
In those days Soviet Union, and Soviet land magazines from the erstwhile Soviet Union, circulated across the world until the disintegration of the USSR. Those were subscribed at home. India was the mighty Soviet Union’s best friend. Russian magazines and books had some bearing on the reading habits of Indians a great deal, especially in Kerala. These magazines seldom talked about politics but rather focused on life and culture. The colorful photos of apple farms in Soviet Union along with apple coloured girls attracted me those days.
When I realized that no apple tree can be grown in the part of my country where I lived, because of no cold and wet climate, no cold winter followed by cool spring and summer, I thought of planting another tree ie guava, whose fruit is packed with vitamin C, and is prized for its delicious flavor. This tropical wonder produces nearly four times the vitamin C of oranges, in fact! The leaves are used medicinally and are aromatic when crushed. And the tree’s bark is fascinating, too.
Now, every morning I can have one ripe guava fruit and after lunch also I take a few. My long cherished dream of having an apple tree in courtyard have come true with a slight change due to tropical climatic condition prevailing in my locality, a Guava tree –The tropical apple tree.