An engineer with a successful professional life, my very dear friend—Prashant Narvarkar—whom I met at SPJIMR while pursuing Project Management Program, now has an interesting concept called Kokani Hapus – Royal Fruit for Royal Taste!
Here are some excerpts from our conversation on Kokani Hapus, the very famous Alphonso Mangoes from the Kokan Belt of Maharashtra, India.
ASMA: Prashant, why a business in Mangoes? What made you think about this interesting concept?
PRASHANT: It’s not just mangoes; it was the feeling of doing something apart from the monotonous 9 to 5 job. Something that will give me satisfaction of doing something and concept of any business gives me sense of attraction.
Mangoes…because I know this fruit since my childhood. There are so many childhood memories and I know about mango plantation in detail, so there was no doubt on the quality. I knew it’s going to stand out in market where sellers sell any mango in the name of Hapus. I was confident that people going to love mango from my native place.
ASMA: What is the story behind introducing Kokani Hapus?
PRASHANT: Well, how I began Kokani Hapus…my distant uncle is in this business since last 15 years or so. However, the scale of the business there is larger with a list of privilege customers. I have seen closely how he cultivates and takes care of the mango trees throughout the year. He has taken efforts in growing mangoes in a natural way as he has academic knowledge on agriculture and regularly visits agricultural college in Dapoli to stay up to date on the latest information on the management of mango plantation. He was my advisor and mentor in this business as well as supplier of mangoes.
This is the second season for Kokani Hapus. Besides, my uncle, my dear wife has been a great help in supporting me and yes, I do share the remuneration gained with her.
As of now, I am not a big organization with mission and vision. However, I had a small target of 1 lakh rupees this year, which I have successful achieved.
ASMA: Where are these plantations located and how are they managed?
PRASHANT: The mango plantation flourishes not very far from Kokan Sea Shore, i.e., at round distance of 1 to 2 km from sea inside the villages of Maharashtra, India. Prominent locations where Kokani Hapus grows are Harne, Hadkhal, Palande and Karde. These villages are few kilometres away from Dapoli District, which is well known for its Agriculture College.
Kokani Hapus grows in red soil of Kokan that is rich Iron, so the fruit gets iron naturally from Kokan soil. Red soil is the type of soil that develops in a warm, temperate, moist climate under deciduous or mixed forests and which has thin organic and organic-mineral layers .All these parameters help mango to be rich in nutrition value.
Kokani Hapus is fed with decomposed Cow Dung. The cow dung used is decomposed over 2.5 years to make it rich in nutrition value before utilizing it as a fertilizer in our plantation. The soil is also fed with Cow Urine (Gau Mutra) because it acts as a disinfectant.
Furthermore, to make mangoes nutritious, Kokani Hapus plantation is fed with calcium and phosphorus in small amounts as they are essential micro nutrients. This process is done manually.
The plantation is protected from fruit bees in a very innovative way. Small pieces of cakes are hung to the tree, which have the scent of female bee; male bees get attracted to this scent to this piece of cake and get stuck to it. These are later removed, thus, tree is kept safe from bee attack.
Some anti fungal and small amount of sulphur containing disinfectant is sprayed on the trees in very early days. All the spraying of natural fertilizers and disinfectants is done in the monsoon season. These are fed through spraying and by mixing in the soil.
The area near trees is cleaned and dried. This creates certain strain on the roots, which catalyzes the growth of the mango.
The growth of the fruit is judged by its roundness of shape—a little oval in shape indicates mango is ready to ripen on its own. We never use any external factor to ripe the mango faster or in any unnatural way.
Mango that are have stains due to bee attack or because of friction caused by the branches, are separated from good ones.
Finally, mango is weighed and categorized depending on its shape. We ensure export quality mangoes to all our customers.
And yes, after all the hard work, Kokani Hapus is ready for its lovers to relish!
ASMA: Prashant, how does one get to relish Kokani Hapus?
PRASHANT: By connecting with me at +91 9870385821.
Or by liking Kokani Hapus Facebook Page; link as below.
So, friends who have tasted the royal fruit with royal taste will know what Prashant is talking about. This year, I did get the royal taste and I was a very happy and satisfied customer. For those, who are in love with Alphonso mangoes now know the way to get Royal!
Thank you Prashant for your time! And here are some pictures of Prashant and his wife (whom he fondly calls as WiFi 🙂 ) at work while promoting and distributing Kokani Hapus in and around Mumbai…
“Aye Piku!” – in the voice of Amitabh Bachchan – that’s how the Sony TV Piku Movie premiere promotions went – every 15 minutes of movie followed by a commercial break which had snippets from the making of Piku – some uncut scenes – and of course ads.
I had missed watching this movie in theatre when it had released – but made it sure to watch the TV premiere on the Independence Day weekend. And yes, it was worth it.
The initial 15 minutes of the movie with snappy dialogues exchanged between Piku (Deepika Padukhone) and Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) reminded me of my arguments with my mother. Any single educated working professional independent girl – of 28 plus years old – staying in her parent’s house in a cosmopolitan city in India, of course with her parent/s, will relate to the Piku character. So did I.
The theme throughout the movie is constipation – but is it just the bowel constipation which the director – Shoojit Sircar, and writer – Juhi Chaturvedi, of the movie are pointing at or is it beyond that? I felt it was beyond that.
Yes, when a person is constipated – then he/she becomes cranky all day and that crankiness somehow makes the atmosphere around cranky and other people in and around that atmosphere also get affected on this crankiness – means they get affected of his/her constipation.
It is simple – like those algebra things we did in school.
If c= constipation and e = crankiness and if c = e means Constipation = Crankiness.
There is a dialogue were the character Bhaskor says – “Insaan ka emotion uske motion se juda hota hai.” (A man’s emotion is connected with his bowel motions.)
This statement is quite true. If bowel constipation can create so much of an issue then imagine what mental constipation can?
Again in one dialogue with gestures Chaubi Mashi Moushumi Chatterjee) says Bhaskor that your constipation is not in your stomach but in your head.
Constipation means a high level of constraint or restriction. If you apply this definition to your thoughts and your opinions and if they happen to be constraint imagine the pressure you create on yourself and on the people around you. And if you happen to be a senior person with power, you tend to put more of this ugly pressure on all those junior to you. Worst scenario is – when you have a society full of people with mentally constipated people, means you are actually living in a terrifying cranky constraint constipated atmosphere.
Yes, I think that is what movie in a way somehow indicates and even if it doesn’t I still got this idea after watching the movie because in more than one way we are surrounded by people who have such thought restrictions – not necessary they are our seniors or parents- they can be people whom you have grown up with – your friends, your peers – and their influence may not be positive but negative, pessimistic to the level where it can break you.
You are a woman, you are educated, you are working and financially independent yet dependent due to the baggage of the constricting thoughts you carry or you are made to carry—in short you are still caged. Sixty nine years of Independence and counting – but we are yet to get independence from the heavy baggage of constipated thoughts.
One day of living life as suggested by the character Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan) without any restrictions solves Bhaskor’s major life problem – but wasn’t it too late for him to realize?
The movie has amazing outstanding performances by, of course, the Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan and Moushumi Chatterjee. Piku is a beautiful movie – and in my opinion not just applicable to Bengali families but to many other families, communities and individuals in our country.