Colorful Gooseberries n Folklore

Gooseberry! admit it, mouth waters at the very thought of it and the second you take a bite, you have a pursed lips and screwed up eyes, because of the inherent sour taste! 

When we came across these colorful berries at the road side in Yelagiri (a laid back high-land in Tamil Nadu in India), we just stopped by to try it out! To our pleasant surprise, we were told that these are local gooseberries (நெல்லிக்காய்)! Until then, I h'v thought that the color of these berries are shades of pale green. 

They used to sell gooseberries in front of school. All we had to do was shell out a small change and get a hand full of small sized அரெ-நெல்லிக்காய் or a big நெல்லிக்காய், of course with all the works including salt, chilli powder and blackish coarse mustard. 
Our World
If you grew up learning Tamil, am pretty sure you have heard Ovvaiyar (ஒவ்வையார்) and gooseberry (நெல்லிக்கனி/நெல்லிக்காய்) at least once! The folklore says that king Adiyamaan (அதியமான் ) once got a gooseberry which is supposed to increase his life span. The king after deep contemplation gave this to ஒவ்வையார் believing that increasing her lifespan means good to the society at large as she is not only a great poetess, but strives to bring peace among neighbouring rulers too! Such a noble hearted ruler!

Look at the ripe ones! They were not sweet, but certainly had a crispy tangy taste with a punch.

ஒரு வேளை ஒவ்வையார் உண்ட நெல்லிக்கனி இப்படி இருந்திருக்குமோ?

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