WHILE we are blessed with the beautiful weather it is only natural to wonder how other societies cope with a really hot summer.

Despite this week's good weather, the British summer is unlikely to give us more than a few weeks of bright sunshine or hot days which seem insufficient for us to have a proper 'summer season'.

The hot weather, whilst enjoyable, has made travelling on the train and tube a very uncomfortable experience and no doubt a few more weeks like this will lead to hose pipe bans despite a very wet winter and spring.

However, this is nothing compared to the stifling existence the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been suffering for a couple of months now.

The scorching heat, with unremitting daily temperatures hovering over 40 degrees, (compare this with our hottest day this week which touched 33 degrees) in fact, some parts of inner Sindh and southern Punjab in Pakistan have recorded temperatures in excess of 50 degrees this year makes it very difficult for anything to be done from 11am to 3pm and people naturally retreat to cooler areas for a siesta.

The only consolation for the people in some ways is that the summer peak also coincides with the mango season.

You may have a wine and cheese party, a barbecue or strawberries and cream at Wimbledon and Henley but in India and Pakistan, mango is considered the king of all the fruit and is consumed in large quantities in special family gatherings or at specially organized 'mango picnics'.

A decent size mango from India and Pakistan can cost around 50p in the UK, yet in the mango season in Pakistan even the most expensive mango variety may only cost 50p per kilogram, which may not seem much but many lower income groups cannot afford to buy the fruit in quantity.

Those fortunate enough to have mango orchards of their own make a point of sending their home produced mangos to friends and family living away.

Many families sit around a bucketful of mangos in iced water and delight in consuming nothing but mangos at such a sitting. Many people have mango eating competitions and luckily it appears to do no harm to even real mango gluttons.

The Pakistani mango now available in many Asian grocery shops has a unique fragrance, taste, sweetness and texture. Pakistani mangos are now being sold in such places as Harrods and Selfridges and many are being converted by its taste.

Those of you who may not have tried a mango before, please remember to remove the skin and the stone, before you eat it or try to turn it into a mango milkshake in the blender.