Payyanur: Nadakkal Shammi's life revolves around mangoes, especially those that are indigenous.
The 34-year-old grows many varieties of mangoes on the land in his home compound in Kunhimangalam, near the Ezhimala railway station. He also distributes mango saplings to people to popularise them.
Shammi has 38 Kunhimangalam mango trees of 11 varieties growing in his house.
Of the 49 mango trees in his compound, Shammi has planted and grown 25 of them. He distributes over 100 mango saplings every year.
Shammi doesn't touch the uprooted trees; they remain on the ground. A tree that fell in June 2017 still flowers and gives fruits. There was no fruit in 2018. In 2019, it gave the usual amount of mangoes. But this year, it has given double the usual amount as if to make up for not giving anything in 2018.
Besides Kunhimangalam mangoes, he also grows the ‘ESI’, Mallika, Kadukachi, Andhra, Moovandan, Puliyan and Gomanga varieties.
ESI is a name Shammi has given to a mango variety. And there is an interesting story behind the name.
About 18 years ago, his brother-in-law was employed at the ESI in Pappinissery. He would bring home mangoes from a tree pretty close to the ESI building.
The mangoes were quite sweet, and one of the seeds grew into a plant and Shammi nurtured it. He inquired a lot about the name of the mango variety, but couldn’t find it.
Also, later. the ESI compound became bereft of any mango trees.