[All my photographs]
of events is associated with flowers and music. The latter is common, though I
would like to believe that the former is not so common. The explosion of music
offering gadgets must have had its effect simultaneous with disappearance of
advantage I had was that I grew up in a small village, actually a Tata Power
colony in the ‘ghat’ that leads to Pune from Khopoli. With the jungle around,
you saw various different flowers. I often watched my mother make ‘gajra’ of
in a bungalow and a creeper bore pale violet flowers. Later I learnt that those
were ‘Ipomea’ flowers. I do not know the local name. I met Ipomea again when I
walked from LBS Marg where you have the Kanjurmarg Bridge to Powai Lake.
Believe me, in the late sixties it was an area considered full of flowers. The
road from IIT-Powai to Powai Lake was flanked by marshy land, and it was a fit
habitat for Ipomea [aquatica]. Not a single flower one can see today, thanks to
Hiranandanis and corrupt corporators of Mumbai Municipality who lack vision. But
that is a different story. I recently met this beautiful flower. The colour was
blue to violet.
of Sterlitzia is interesting. The housing complex in which my daughter stayed
in Durban, SA was called Sterlitzia. I had never seen this beautiful flower
earlier. Though quite common now, it was not so during my college days, I would
like to believe that it perhaps had not made it to India. I noticed it in
Durban. Then again at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town.
There is an
interesting story about this flower. One variety is called “Sterlitzia mandela.”
And I read it at Kirstenbosch Garden. I read it again on a website. Here it is:
Sterlitzia 'Mandela's Gold' marks the first
time a yellow Bird of Paradise will grow true from seed. Usually they will
cross pollinated by the more common orange Bird of Paradise. At the
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, in South Africa, the curator had access to 7
yellow Bird of Paradise plants and spent the next 20+ years hand-pollinating
them with each other to increase the stock. Their first yellow Sterlitzia
introduced to the trade was released under the name 'Kirstenbosch Gold'. In
1996, they were given permission to re-name it in honor of Nelson Mandela.
lotuses, Neel Kamal is not the very common variety. Not around Mumbai. My
memory of lotuses goes to our hometown Pen where I had seen beautiful red
lotuses. On the way to Pen one could meet this beautiful flower. Not anymore.
[This seems to be the recurring note!]. In Mumbai I was surprised to find
lotuses in a small lake [pond may be a better description, but as a school
going boy we used to call it a lake] near Marwadi Chawl area which you cross
when you move from Chembur Naka to Sindhi Colony. But they were pink or red
lotuses, not blue. Blue lotus fascinated us perhaps because of the film Neel
Kamal. The film had nothing to do with blue lotus except that the heroin was
named Neel kamal.
I saw blue lotuses
in the Kodaikanal Lake and shouted ‘Hey Blue Lotus!’ only to be corrected by
the person who rowed our boat ‘No, it is not a lotus!’ What the heck! I felt
insulted. On reaching my hotel room, I consulted Google and it told me that the
man was right!! [Quote] ‘A common misconception is confusion of the lotus with the water lilies
(Nymphaea, in particular Nymphaea caerulea, sometimes called the "blue
lotus"); they are practically unrelated; far from being in the same family…’
[Unquote] So it is a water lily! Ok, ok. But why waste time discussing the
botanical classification? A blue lotus is beautiful and it was stunningly
beautiful in still waters of Kodaikanal Lake.
And particularly this one near a big tree looked very delicate like Mumtaz
in Dara Singh's arms! People of my generation will understand what I mean!!
Another flower reminded me of my Khopoli days was this flower which I
believe belongs to Sunflower family. Or at least I think so. I do not know the name.
But let me not hazard a guess. What matters is that we saw them in plenty
growing on the walls. Brought back old memories. Flowers seen in your young
days are like girls in your school – permanently etched in memory!
I noticed Kurinji plant in the Kodaikanal garden. It flowers once in 12
years and will flower again in 2018. Never seen it earlier but I knew a similar
one. As a young boy I had travelled to Mahabaleshwar where my father picked up
a bottle ‘Karvi’ honey. Karvi flower, he told me blooms once in seven years. Never
got to see one bloom.
Wow this bottlebrush tree! Myrtaceae! [Prof Nadkarni, I haven’t forgotten!!]
You find it in UDCT campus and in many small parks in Mumbai. It also reminds
me of the real Ashoka tree or Saraca indica. More about it later.
these red flowers! Discovered in Kodaikanal garden. I do not know the name. I
had seen those in Lalbaug. You do not waste time finding out names of flowers
when you go to Lalbaug in Bangalore soon after your marriage, right? It is more
than thirty-five years since I visited Lalbaug. I remember pretty red flowers
Labels: Blue Lotus, Bottlebrush, Ipomea, Karvi, Kurinji, Nostalgia, Sterlitzia, Water lily