My husband is great proponent of eating a lot of fruits. I don't mind eating fruits, but I cannot claim by any stretch of imagination to be so delighted at the sight of one as to start jumping with excitement, or for that matter to be so touched at the appearance of some on my dining table as to shed a few tears of joy. Then even amongst fruits, I have some favourites. Those vying for the first place on my list are mangoes, oranges, sweet lime, grapes, strawberries, blueberries. Talking of bananas, the only ones I like are the smaller slightly sweet-sour tasting ones. Now of all the fruits in question, apples are the trickiest proposition. Both my mom and my husband are unabashed advocates of the red fruit. May be I still carry some genetic memory of the apple and the consequences of eating one from the days of Eve. But I am not a very enthusiastic eater of apples. One of the reasons is that they come in so many varieties, a large majority of which are of rather pasty and soft texture. I just hate those. If I ever eat apples, they have to be just so – nice and crisp and slightly sweet-sour. Granny Smith apples, and Washington apples are my all time favourites. Now you might very well ask (and with ample justification) why I am rambling on about my taste in fruits. It is really of no interest to you, nor does it really have any direct relevance to your existence. Well, this is just a background to an article I read about eating apples and its effect on longevity. As it happens, scientists are now claiming that not only does an apple a day keep the doctor away, it also increases longevity by 10%. Now here comes the twist. This is not the result of studies on humans, but on one of our close genetic relatives – hang on, not the tailed variety, but the winged variety – the fruit flies (also known as Drosophila). Yes, they are said to share many of our genes despite their size (I was not too flattered to read this). We do have a lot of unknown cousins, don't we! Apparently they were fed with an apple extract (golly, not even all humans are privileged to get that) by Chinese scientists. Instead of their normal average life span of 50 days, they lived for 55 days (that is to say 10% longer). Not just this, but they also found it easier to walk, climb and move about as they aged. (But aren't fruit flies meant to fly? Why were they walking around and what exactly were they climbing? Does that mean that if we ate an apple a day, we would start flying around instead of walking and climbing? My sympathies with the airline companies of the world). It is claimed that the apple extract also cut levels of various biochemicals found in older fruit flies and linked to age-related deterioration. The antioxidants in the extracts mopped up all the free-radicals and dangerous chemicals blamed for a host of ills including ageing. No wonder they do not need any cosmetics. They are constantly having a go at all the fruits in my fruit basket. Anyway, the take-home message of all this would probably be that eating an apple a day would: Keep the doctor away. Keep me away from the doctor – I would not complains of aches and pains in my joints and would be able to skip and dance along like a young girl. I would live longer with a blemish free, glowing and radiant complexion. I would probably be able to dispense of my need for low-cost airlines and do a Mary Poppins act. Now I don't wonder that my husband keeps after me to eat that apple a day. But the catch in all this story is that my husband is a doctor. So is he trying to keep away from me? What use this life away from my doctor? Life would certainly seem very long.