Among the many trees in our backyard two - an Indian mango tree and a santol tree - stand the tallest, and by climbing either trees you can gain access to our house’s roof (in fact, as children we frequented our roof a lot; I myself made it my personal escape when I was avoiding an errand.)
Since these are fruit-bearing trees they’ve always supplied us with a bounty of mangoes and santol during harvest season. The mango tree usually starts bearing fruit by summer (around February) and the santol by the months when rainy season is about to come. So around May-June time, the two trees are both laden with fruit.
Now when the winds are strong, and when we haven’t had the chance to pick them just yet, some of the fruit fall onto our roof, and not with the soft thud expected when they fall to the ground. Our roof is of corrugated metal material, so anything hard and dense falling from a significant height would create a booming loud thump, enough to disorient everyone living within the house or even cause a mini-heart attack, (especially since of course, falling fruit do so without warning, don’t they?) There are nights when we awaken to the sound of those dang fruit making contact with our roof, even.
We’ve been so accustomed to the sound of falling fruit bombs above our heads that we can already tell if a ‘jumper’ was a mango or a santol. The mango, being harder, denser and of irregular shape, bounced multiple times over the roof. Almost always mangoes make the following sound pattern:
“Thud… Thud… Thud… Thwack!”
The thwack signifying it had made contact with the ground. On the other hand, the softer and round santol makes a different sound, like this:
“Thud… dugu dugu dugu dugu dugu Thwack!”
Signifying how the santol takes its time rolling down the length of our roof.
Cool isn’t it? Sometimes my sisters and I would race to declare fruit that had just fallen as either santol or a mango, often both to the confusion and/or delight of house guests.