If Mango Is the King, Here Comes The Queen…. !!!

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If Mango Is the King,
Here Comes The Queen…. !!!
Begum Hamida Habibullah

smritiLove Summers… I’m sure you love mangoes too.Yes this is all about mangoes.Once upon a time not so long ago,1965 to be precise Begum Hamida Habibullah started planting mango trees in the outskirts of Lucknow, Saidanpur district in barabanki. There were many naysayers in the village and around yet nothing would stop this lady with a vision to grow mango orchards in Lucknow. With barely any roads, water or electricity in that era, She used to go to the farms in a “Palki”carried by 4 men from the village. Once the palki fell down during a “bolti” which is the local village panchayat meeting where agricultural produces are sold, and Begum Hamida injured her back badly. but she continued on her path of growing mango orchards. She had a dream of having the best mango orchards in Lucknow and she was unstoppable in achieving so.

Today after 50 years of perseverance and hardwork, she smiles seeing her grandchildren and people of Lucknow enjoying in her orchards and throwing mango parties.The Mango trees planted by Begum Hamida were the very best varieties from Maliahabad, Dussehri, Chausa, Langda and Lucknow Safeda. Mangoes were planted according to the agricultural university’s advice and General Habibullah’s favorite mango was one of the local Beeji varieties called Lalbebaha.

The then prevalent mindset of the people was to leave the village and make a life in the city. However Begum Hamida was in love with her roots and with the support of her forward thinking mother in law, Begum Inam Habibullah worked tirelessly to set up infrastructure including roads, electricity and the canal which presently irrigates all the surrounding areas. They also donated land for the local primary health centre, school and telephone exchange.The farm Manager Syed Ahmed also came from Hyderabad, like Begum Hamida. He worked with General Habibullah at the National Defense Academy and when they retired he moved back here with them and looked after the orchards for them. His son Wasi Ahmed is now the state manager.

The mango orchards at Saidanpur, barabanki are the hot summer destination not just for lucknowites but also international tourist who visit the state. What can be more beautiful than spending a lazy summer afternoon in the midst of mango trees and enjoying the fruit straight from the trees. Pure bliss it is.

Written By:-
Raj Smriti
rsmriti@gmail.com

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