Even though it was a miserably hot day, it was a day on which I managed to fulfil a long cherished dream. A visit to Noor Bagh, the Mango orchard owned by Zahoor Siddiqui sahab, a retired professor of History from DU, and organised by Sohail Hashmi sahab. Zahoor Siddiqui sahab runs a school for girls – Salma Public School – and all around are the mango orchards of Noor Bagh. Walking in the orchards and listening to tales about the King of Indian summers, the Mango, is an experience you can’t replicate by buying mangoes in a store. After a walk in Noor Bagh we gathered on the premises of the Salma Public School for an incredible lunch. All the treats traditional to this time of the year were laid out for us – besani rotis, lehsun our mirch ki chatni, pooris, chhole, sitaphal ki sabzi, chicken biryani and last but not the least, mangoes! Tubs and tubs of them. And these are not the mangoes we eat in Delhi. The small sized Rataul is undoubtedly the best. As also Makhsoos. The Chandni was delectable. Frankly, it became impossible to choose. But the fragrance, the aroma and the taste were incomparable. Just the aroma alone was enough to kill you.
The fabulous food, the amazing mangoes, the beautiful Noor Bagh – if all of these were not enough to enchant you, then there is the school, nestling in the heart of the bagh. I have to tell you that it is so pretty, so evocative of another era, so beautiful, that I already long to go back.