Nothing defines summer afternoons better than stuffing your face with a slice of watermelon over the sink. Just remember to surface every once in a while to breathe and spit out the black seeds. Other than that it’s just one endless session of slurp-ity slurp as long the fruit lasts. And if that is not disgusting enough you could lick the juices running down your elbows to some more swooshing and exclaiming. Hey! that’s why we do it in the confines of our kitchen because in company we might have to eat bite sized pieces of melon like a lady…how terribly boring!
Coming back to the point, it all starts with selecting the perfect watermelon. A ripe cantaloupe smells really ripe as does a ripe pineapple. So cantaloupe and pineapple lovers go sniff-sniff at the grocery store to select the one they will finally take home. However watermelon connoisseurs have no such luck because a ripe watermelon smells just like its unripe cousin on the next vine. This is where the thumping test comes in handy. I am not really sure it’s a great test because I am yet to meet a watermelon that does not produce a nice “thud” on being thumped. Yet I join in with the other clueless folks at the fruit stand and thump, slap, knock and even drum out a few beats on these heavy weights before settling for some random sample. The acoustically well endowed melon then sits in the refrigerator till its juicy red innards reach the right temperature. After that all you need is a knive (yes, you will need one because unlike Aamir Khan* our watermelons don’t cube themselves into perfect little packets of watermelon goodness while growing up) a couple of hacks, a lazy afternoon and on to watermelon nirvana.
* Remember that song from "Dil Hai ki Maanta Nahin" that had Aamir Khan hogging a whole melon while Pooja Bhat sulked in a corner and a ratchety song played in the background.