“Have you had Himachali apples?” the three women ask. “They’re really good, you know. The best.”
I am at Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh walking around and exploring this pretty little town, when I meet the 3 women and get into a conversation about apples with them.
“I know. I’ve had them in Mumbai,” I smile.
“Oh Mumbai,” the first woman says in a dismissive tone. “After all the travelling the apples do, they won’t taste the same.” The other two women laugh.
“Yes, they won’t,” the second woman insists. “You must have Himachali apples here. In Himachal.
“Would you like some apples?”asks the third woman.
“Sure,” I say. “I’d love to have an apple.”
Within minutes, I am biting into an apple that one of the women gives me. It is fresh and juicy — a little sweet, a little tart — just the way I like my apples. And the women are right, the apple tastes like nothing I’ve had before. “They’re perfect,” I say to the women.
That is the cue for the women to give me more apples and before I know it I am clutching a paper bag full of apples and saying thanks and goodbye to the 3 women. They refuse payment from me and say that my appreciation is payment enough and send me on my way !