My mother was from Ranchi, so as a child we spent a lot of our time in Ranchi. My grandparents had a lovely house in Kanke, a little outside the main town and the grounds were big enough for us to get lost in all throughout the day. There were all kinds of trees: litchi, tamarind, black jamuns, guava, papya... you name it. There even was a well which we were forbidden to go near. I remember many many happy unstructured hours playing in the fields. There was a river nearby that we would visit in the afternoons and there were n number of neighbours whose houses we would run to and who would always welcome us with orange squash and fresh fruits from their trees.
And yes, there were flowers, there were bees and often beehives hanging off the trees.
In fact I remember the first time I saw an apiary. It was at a corner of the neighbour's garden and there was a man with heavy gloves extracting the honey. It was fascinating, all the more because we were strictly ordered to stay away. And later on the neighbours sent us jars of fresh golden honey.
My grandmother used to make the most amazing pancakes. She called them pancakes and that's what I grew up thinking they were but now I know that what she made were actually crepes. We used to love them. We had no Nutella or fancy sauces, but had it with sugar and fresh lime. It was lovely.
And we had the fresh honey. In fact another favourite dessert of mine as a child used to be a slice of fresh bread lathered with home made white butter and honey dripping off the sides.
I can still taste it even as I write this.
And that is me with my grandparents with the Ranchi house in the background. This picture would be early 1971, I guess!