Considered youth icons, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actor Aishwariya Rai and Prime Minister Narendra Modi now have something ‘sweeter’ in common.
Renowned horticulturist from Uttar Pradesh, Haji Kalimullah Khan, has named a new variety of mango after the Prime Minister.
Earlier the ‘Mango Man’, as Khan is popularly known in Lucknow, had named varieties of the summer fruit after the Master Blaster and Miss World 1994.
In Indore on Wednesday to speak on the king of fruits at a programme organised at the Press Club, Khan shared that he has recently named a new variety of mangoes as ‘NaMo Aam’.
The Padma Shri awardee who has developed a mango orchard spread over more than five acres at Malihabad, near Lucknow, is better known for growing more than 300 mango varieties on a single tree.
Sharing his story of mango cultivation — a work that the septuagenarian began in 1987 — Khan said it had all started because of his passion for mangoes.
“I would often look at rose plants and think why can two breeds (of mango) grow on one, but it seemed impossible then. I then started with grafting experiments and that is how it all happened.”
Speaking about his penchant for naming different breeds of mangoes on celebrities, Khan said: “Just like the Prime Minister, who has joined the league of world famous leaders, this mango will also be in the limelight and promote brotherhood.”
“By inviting the heads of neighbouring nations to his swearing-in ceremony as Prime Minister, Modi has extended an olive branch to them. Better relations with neighbours will foster brotherhood in the world. That is why I have been inspired to name my new variety of mango after the Prime Minister as Namo Aam,” he said.
Know the man
Lucknow’s horticulturist Haji Kalimullah Khan has grown more than 300 mango varieties on a single tree in his Malihabad orchard in UP.
The orchard also is home to a century-old tree, on which Khan started working in 1987 to develop the craft of growing different varieties of mango on it.
He has named the mangoes that grew on this tree after his family members, who were also mango growers.