If you look for variety in the fruits you eat, you would have seen them all. The all-pervasive, available round the year ones like apples. And the seasonal ones like strawberries and sitaphal that pop in for a few days each year. Then there are some that are neither grown nor exported to India so you don't even expect to ever see blueberries on your store shelves.
And then there is one fruit grown right here but so elusive that buying it every single time feels like an adventure or a stroke of luck. I am talking of mulberries.
In Delhi winter, you sometimes spot an old woman selling mulberries by the roadside. You might even get a choice between the dainty green and the juicy red berries if you are lucky. But nothing of that sort happens in warmer Mumbai. And because they are so delicate and have such a short shelf life, no one thinks of shipping them your way even when they grow as close to the city as Mahabaleshwar.
Then, all of a sudden, I pass by a fruit seller and there sits one finely packed box of mulberries. Just one solitary box, all by itself. I tell the guy to open it, for how do I know what state they are in after the ordeal of traveling from Mahabaleshwar. And there they are, perfect red berries, nested in a bed of mulberry leaves.
My first taste of mulberries this year, and more than enough to make me happy. I know I will go back to that fruit stall every weekend for the next month, but finding them again - that would require a miracle!