Like all people I used to like them but it was around that time that I really opened my eyes to their beauty .
May be, it occured because of those long hours of biology practicals where the swaying leaves of don't-know-which-tree were visible from the lab window.....or during physics practicals of magnetic fields which were conducted under shady trees where, instead of gauging the earth magnetics I very magnetically got drawn towards the play of golden light through the green leaves on the brown earth
.Can't say exactly when the matters became so serious and don't remember about physics lessons but the magnetic attraction was sure there!
So I started giving importance to trees. I adore d them, were in awe of them and felt quite comfortable around them.They sort of imparted a feeling of security to me..may be because of their being rooted has something to do with it.
Then I started keeping a sort of logbook where I used to draw a sketch (poorly done ofcourse!) of the trees i liked most and all the relevant info like Imli tree wasTtansen's favourite and harsingar is the one known as PARIJAT found in heaven etc. just all such type of nonsense stuff.
I was inspired to make this logbook after i read 'Shekhar' a semiautobiographical stuff by Adhunik Hindi writer Sachiddanand Heeranand Vatsyayan Agyeya.
In the book the protagonist shekhar created a similar book regarding flowering plants....only his recordings were QUITE different from mines for eg. ..........Zinia flowers ......aaya jinia is found kissing with the cook near these shrubs.....and like that.
As I never witnessed and found any such stuff, my record was quite plain but a matter of pride for me...... which was gone ..sigh!
Then one fine day the logbook was torn down by a furious mom when she found out that instead of cramming the botanical names of plants n trees i'm doing art-meet-literature-meet-trivia kind of thing.Had she not done that i swear that book would have become equivalent to google regarding trees.The name was also very appropriate "Tree Trivia" .But the sad part is that mum even don't remember about it. When asked she simply " I've torn so many of ur stupid boks i don't remember properly." Sigh !
I liked all trees as all are unique with some being graceful and solemn oldies, some grave, silent monks brooding in nooks and corners, while others simply sway and sway like madly in love.Some are gaunt yet strong like our backyard guava tree which is picture perfect complete with a nest and a small hive! While others are rickety from the stem but bloom like an umbrella from the top like Harsingar - which is constantly raining scented flowers of saffron and purest white on the earth.
Trees of different places possess different characters for example-
The harsingar in Modinagar (my paternal home) is sanguine n suave.The neem there is grave, two guava trees are simple and docile and the pomegranate trees are vivid ,scintillating and humble .
The Peepal tree in front of my house is a noisy ,gushy and the mango trees in the school premises of Asmoli are haughty and majestic .
In AKP.College you can find blazing , flaming , resplendent Gulmohar trees and the Aamaltas in the streets near CCS University Campus are debonair and radiant .
The karonda shrub in our backyard is very stubborn and the coconut trees here in Bangalore are no less then Majestic!
Still the coveted crown of being my favourite was bagged (it's a tie) by Gul Mohar and Amaltaas.When in full bloom both the trees are just a marvellous sight to behold.
I have experienced the beauty of Gul Mohar in its all forms. I as a kid used to go with mummy to her school every Saturday (my convent school had Saturday off) In the afternoons when I was tired of being in the library for the major part of the day, I used to lie down under the Gul Mohar and eat the flowers and leaves! They tasted khatte i.e sour but nice. All this thanks to mummy's colleagues -my adorable mausis - full 60 in number, who in one way or other taught me to look at things differently. They also taught me how to apply nail- paint from the finely peeled skin of the Gul - Mohar petal! Now I know it's a common practice but at that time,it was an out of the world experience.
So trees have a dear place in my memories and I am glad .Sitting in a concrete apartment cocooned from nature , while writing these very lines its as if I am transferred under that Gulmohar shade , lying on the brown earth in the heat of May..... and can still feel that cool of the shade on my body... The feeling is hard to describe....... just cherished.