In my childhood, I remember having a small paarijatha (coral jasmine) tree just outside the window. It was a revered one, where the flowers were plucked and offered to God. We weren’t allowed to touch it with dirty hands, throw stuff at its base. It was all very pious. The flower has a sweet fragrance that I can still smell sometimes, when caught up in memories. It was small and dainty – 4-5 white petals and with a coral/orange stem. It was the most beautiful flower I knew after sampige (magnolia champaca).
After we moved into an apartment, flowers were purchased from the local markets on some occasions and I forgot what greenery in the house looks like? Yeah, we had relatives who had big trees, plenty of plants but it wasn’t something that I gave much thought to. I remember having to cut down giant trees to make the house bigger to accommodat the growing number of people. I remember watching our neighbours cut down big and shady trees that have been around for 30-40 years and never blinked.
When I moved to my husband’s home, the first thing my MIL showed me was probably the garden. I was so amazed. In fact, gardens are such an important part of the houses here. Practically everyone had huge, I mean HUGE gardens and they were all so proud of them. They had vegetables (chillies and brinjals anyone??) figs, apples, lemons, mandarins and oranges apart from beautiful and varied flowers. I was surprised. Oh! Not to forget, some of them had strawberries! I never knew you could grow strawberries at home. I only know of buying them at a premium from high end grocers in Bangalore.
I can go on and on about these surprises but then enough nostalgia huh?
Remember my previous post on my MIL’s garden? Her winter garden is coming to life and its so amazing to see. From where I have positioned my laptop, I can see a big tree with pink flowers, they are beautiful. Parrots…yes, THE parrots visit them everyday and its one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The last 5-6 weeks, I have tried so hard to capture them on camera. But the moment I open the door, they fly high up into the tree that my man-made pair of lens are insufficient to capture nature’s beauty.
My hubby and I have planned a visit to the botanical garden this Sunday and that should give us more beautiful shots. Well…fingers crossed!