The Alphonso Mango surrounding by Gigantic Arabian Sea
Looking for land from the edge of the deck of a ship ‘konkan seva’ or ‘konkan shakti’ was always kept us grounded. The tiny object of ship sailing in this abyssal ocean with sea-curves that splashing on the decks while ship cuts the surfs of sea waters through its headway towards land. Indeed, what a lovely experience it was! The entire day sailing in these ships on the konkan cost of western India is a riveting experience just like those rivets bonded these ships. Arabian sea is tough in storms and gulped many ships to its bed in the past. So, once you are in the middle of the sea, a blow of a wind would also be terrifying sometimes. But the captain always smiled. He blows the horn at the start of journey at ‘Bhaucha Dhakka’ in Mumbai around in the morning and used to land the ship at Ratnagiri seas at midnight in the dark. The sound of surfs becomes louder and louder as it gets dark and one witness the setting of a day star and rising of the night stars …a heavenly experience!
The Arabian sea since ancient times was a route of trade from gulf to the subcontinent. And was that safe from the pirates? The answer is of course not. The African pirates from Gulf of Aden and Somalia used to attack the trade ships and used to loot them and sunk deep into seas. This was very common in medieval times. Many sea battles fought over trade and supremacy in this region.
One of the early traders from Europe who arrived for cape of good hope were Portuguese. Under Columbian food exchange they introduced lot of goods into India. One of their prime introductions in fruit category was mangoes and alphonso is the premium mango variety which become globally famous for its divine taste and impeccable aroma for many years now. The most of the cultivation of alphonso mango is on the west cost of India with major cultivation region as Konkan in Maharashtra. Alphonso is a delicate variety and needs year-round care viz a vi other varieties of mango. The farmers from coastal konkan region of Ratnagiri and Devgad are genuinely harvesting this fruit for couple of centuries. The green lush orchards along the coastline of konkan with a warm breeze from Arabian sea is a beautiful site to watch for. The land of konkan has Sahyadri mountain range on the east and Arabian sea extended on west till horizon. The gaaj of wave surf playing with the beach sand and the rocks of the land is absolutely enthralling and has its own unique voice in each prahar of day and night is so enigmatic.
The people of konkan on this Arabian sea learned all the way to praise this mighty sea and seek blessings of this Darya as almighty god. He is the one who brings them the monsoon, who creates the beaches with golden sands, who is abundant in seafood…he is the one cools down the sun on its journey for the chirping dawn next day… oh, mighty the Arabian sea!