LUCKNOW: For mango lovers, the wait for the juicy Dussehri, Langda, Chausa and Safeda might be over, but Haji Kalimullah Khan, the mango man of India, has something new to offer on his platter this time around. The 79-year-old has come out with the ‘Shah mango,’ named after newly-appointed Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Padma Shri Kalimullah has many such varieties to his credit. In fact, he has mastered the cultivation of hybrids and named them after a number of politicians and celebrities including former president APJ Abdul Kalam, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, PM Modi as Namo, Akhilesh Yadav, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, and cine stars Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Nargis to name a few.
The noted mango cultivator, based in Malihabad, the mango hub of Lucknow, dreams of making the world a better place. By developing new varieties named after those who have stood out in the crowd through their good deeds, he hopes to make them immortal and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Why Amit Shah? “Amit Shah is an inspiring figure. He exudes positivity and possesses the ability to unite various forces on one platform by weaving together the social fabric,” says Kalimullah.
He has a distinct philosophy behind growing hybrid varieties named after VIPs. He claims that he tries to match the traits of these personalities with the variety he develops.
“A ruler’s personality should be a blend of strictness and sweetness laced with humility. So I have tried to develop a mango which will look portly like Shah and taste sweet with a peculiar fragrance inspired by the diligence with which he has put his party emphatically on a pedestal,” says Kalimullah.
The 'Shah mango' is a cross between Kolkata's 'Husn-e-Aara' and the famous 'Dussehri' of Lucknow, he adds. These mangoes are now ripening and will soon be available in the market.
Kalimullah also developed a "slender" and "beautiful" mango -- Yogi mango -- named after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the season after he took over as UP CM.
Kalimullah inherited a mango orchard spread over five acres area in Malihabad and has been into mango cultivation since 1957. His pursuit to develop varieties named after personalities began when he grew different varieties of mango on a single century-old tree in his orchard in 1987.
He has also named the mangoes grown on this tree after his family members, who all were mango growers. He is credited with growing 300 different varieties of mangoes on a single tree.