The Gul and the Jac
Whether Solar flares will end the world in 2012, I know not, but this has been the best year I’ve experienced so far, in the last five.
Over four years ago I noticed the little violet flowers from outside my studio window. I pointed it out to my Labrador Newton who always accompanied me during my painting sessions. He replied with ,”what is the big deal? “, and then looked outside with enthusiasm, may be for a crow or a squirrel scurrying on the many wires outside, but ignored the flowers completely. At that time I did not know what tree it was. For me it was the sad tree with little violet flowers which looked like trumpets. The sight prompted me to pull out a bottle of strong beer and put Pink Fllyod’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ on the stereo to complete the atmosphere. I don’t remember whether the sad tree, music and beer made me happy, but the moment like the furrows on Newton’s forehead remain deeply etched in my memory. My studio is now at a larger place. It has more light and a grand Peepul now overlooks the windows instead of the sad tree which I now know is the Jacaranda.
In our colony all trees lose their sheen and color on dry days. There is so much dust that their leaves look like badly powdered performer of a cheap drama. Come a shower and every sentinel of the colony is caparisoned in its natural glory. A friend had commented that Delhi does not have enough variety of trees. Just outside my home at GK 2 are Saptparnis, Gulmohar, Jacaranda and a Silver oak.A royal Semal is just down the road. Another end has numerous white Firangipanis besides, the Amaltas . Neem is so ubiquitous that it is hardly worth mentioning. There is another sapling making its presence and it has found a home in the bosom of the Jacaranda.
A Peepul is growing right out from the stem of the big tree.
The Jacaranda is sad. It has been hacked quite a bit to ensure a regular supply of electricity to my air-conditioners. I think in pain and protest, it refused to flower in the last four years. I missed those lovely flowers and felt bad for the tree and this world. Strangely even the Gulmohar which has nothing to do with the wires has been quite too. I don’t remember its fiery display in the last four years. The only trees which have been innocently oblivious to this changing world are the Saptparnis. Without fail, each year they’ve treated us benevolently with their flowers and heady aroma.
This year is different. The Jacaranda has bloomed.
Beethoven kept himself busy watching the tree sprinkle gifts for all.
A ferocious sandstorm and a thundershower ended the solo concert of the Jac. It was time for the Gul take over.
It has lit the space outside with magnificent erubescence.
Its not just me who is happy. I can hear a cacophony outside every morning for we have a family of Bulbuls which has moved in. I believe the local squirrels and crows have accepted them and so have the bees.
The problem is that whenever I experience beauty , I am reminded of the sacred hymns I heard at the Hemkunt Sahib Gurdwara. The lyrics elucidated the ephemeral nature of all relationships. That none remain with you forever other than God.
I know, He played His music four years ago in this grand fashion and has decided to do so again this year. Maybe it happens only once in four years. Who am I to complain? Whatever I see and whatever I experience, is a gift from Him anyways.
I hope the music lasts a little longer. The heat of summer on its own is pretty unbearable for me, but there are fond memories of the Jacaranda and there is joy of watching the Gulmohar shine from my bedroom window everyday. The Amaltas has erupted too and soon in a month, my favorite mangoes would carry the flavour of Indian summer to ameliorate my journey through this heat.
Life is great!