Wow! So many beautiful red berries!! They were very attractive as well as very tempting. I could not resist from admiring the splash of crimson colour on the tree which was growing near the ashram in Netala. I wanted to taste those appealing tiny balls. As soon as I extended my hand to pick one, I recalled an incidence.
Many years back, one of my colleagues whose husband was Colonel in Indian Army shared a valuable piece of information which she had learnt from her husband. She told that during various rigorous training programmes which army students had to go through, they were also taught the art of survival in adverse conditions. If during war or in any other situation by chance they found themselves alone in a forest without food and water, in such a difficult situation they had to depend on natural vegetation for their survival. And the situation worsen if they were in a forest where the vegetation was unknown to them and they couldn’t differentiate between the edible and non edible leaves, fruits and berries. In that condition they were advised to eat green colour berries as the chances of their being poisonous were very less as compared to yellow colored berries. And the red colored berries should be avoided as the chances of their being poisonous were very high as compared to yellow berries.
They can be poisonous. Should I taste it or not?
Suddenly a tree pie came from nowhere, sat on the top branch and started eating berries. It appeared that the bird loved the taste of those berries, one after another it ate many.
As it flew away, I gathered my courage to taste at least one unknown berry whose chances of being non edible were very high according to my colleague’s free ka gyan but I reminded my self that the bird was relishing them so the chances of my dying (after eating them) were faint.
I plucked some and ate. I loved the taste which was slightly sour to slightly sweet. Thank God, I didn’t die after that! 😉
Later on from a passerby local I came to know that they were used to prepare delicious chutney in which til (sesame) was added.