Not too long ago, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a goodwill gesture sent mangoes for a host of Indian leaders and bureaucrats, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ramnath Kovind. On Friday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shot off a letter thanking Sheikh Hasina for the ‘sweet’ gesture.
Sheikh Hasina sent the famous Haribhanga variety of mangoes for the Indian leaders. Almost 2200 kilograms of mangoes came from Bangladesh, out of which 400 kg came only for West Bengal.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has always enjoyed a very cordial relationship with Sheikh Hasina. This warm relationship shared by the two is very clear in the letter, in which Mamata addresses the Bangladeshi Prime Minister as Hasina Di (In Bengali, ‘Di’ or ‘Didi’ stands for elder sister).
In the letter, Mamata wrote, “I am very happy to receive the gift of mangoes. Prior to this, I had never heard the name of the Haribhanga variety of mango from the Rangpur district of Bangladesh. The mangoes were delicious. You sent so many mangoes that I have distributed them freely.”
Mamata said the mangoes contain the flavour and fragrance of Bangladesh. “I am overwhelmed to receive them,” she added.
In the past, Sheikh Hasina had sent repeated requests to Mamata Banerjee for sharing the water of the Teesta. In return, Mamata had also asked Hasina why there was so little supply of hilsa from Bangladesh. However, none of the past disputes could put a dampener on their warm relationship, if this recent mango diplomacy and exchange of letters is anything to go by.