Tut tut, click click, tut tut tut, click, click, click... That was me typing furiously all this week looking up recipes involving apples. After making a few pitchers of fresh apple juice, a pot of apple rasam and a bottle of spicy apple pickle, I ran out of ideas but sadly, not apples. Around this time every year, most Indian homes experience an avalanche of fruits. It’s Navarathri season which roughly translates to fun, comradery and an unholy amount of fruits for most people. It is the season when Indian women systematically empty the local stores of all produce and buy fruits by the truckloads. Interestingly, they will not eat a single fruit from that purchase. Say, a woman buys 100 apples. She will distribute all of it to her friends who visit her golu giving the illusion of an empty fruit basket. Forgive me for this quick detour. I have only recently started to appreciate how math is interwoven in our everyday lives so here is a brain-teaser for you. If I bought 100 fruits and distributed 2 fruits per person, how many friends visited my golu? It is such a rush of power to know I can make my own word problems. Getting back to the fruit distribution conundrum, now that the woman had given away all her fruits, where do you think she was headed next? To her friends’ homes, naturally. How else will her friends get rid of the mountain of fruits in their homes? Odd? Yes, but also totally fair. This is my story every Navarathri season too. At the end of Saraswathi pooja last week, I was back to being in possession of over 100 fruits. If you think, this is the sum of all my problems (oh wow Meena) you have never been a performing arts teacher on Vijayadasami day. I love Vijayadasami. It is the one day when my students lose the strained, constipated smiles and seem genuinely happy to see me. I get plenty of warm smiles that day without even a bribe. To me, it is the best gift ever but the parents of my students are not so easily impressed. They are convinced that nothing short of multiple bags of apples, oranges, bananas, pears and clementine will convey their love effectively to me. While I truly appreciate the sentiment, I do wish they will take pity on me and throttle back their love just a bit. When my doctor advised me to include fiber in my diet last year, I don’t think she meant this much. Any more fiber and I will have the shiniest colon this side of the States. Last night, I dreamed that I was being held hostage by a giant red apple who was holding a banana to my head while an orange was shoving a clementine down my throat. What a nightmare! After consuming apples in all possible forms for a few days, I did what any teacher worth her salt would do. I threatened my students with extra homework unless they each took a bag of fruits home. A little harsh, I agree, but it worked. The mountain has now shriveled down to a manageable mound. Hallelujah!