Tuesday, May 11, 2010

City Season – Amaltas Tree, Hauz Khas Village

The Delhi walla's pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls - Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

The summer’s gift.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

On April 12th, 2010, the tree was bare except for four dry leaves. When an eagle flew past the branches, they looked bleak. The Delhi Walla was in Hauz Khas Village, known for its 14th century ruins and designer boutiques. The tree lay in a desolate yard, an extension of the monument complex. It was as tall as the adjacent apartment complexes. Since it had nothing on it, I could not figure out which tree it was.

On May 10th, I again went to the same place. It was a different sight. Thousands of bright yellow fragrant flowers drooped down from the tree’s branches. Many had fallen. The floor was carpeted with them. The yard has two unknown tombs and one was hidden from the view. The tree, so unfamiliar last month, was the famous Amaltas (Cassia fistula).

The leaves of the Amaltas, one of the most widespread forest trees of India, shed early in April. The tree starts flowering in May, the month in which Delhiwallas become restless. It gets very hot. Those who can afford to, leave the city for cooler places. But Delhi is most beautiful at this time of the year when streets, roundabouts and avenues are lit up with the yellow bloom of the Amaltas. There is hardly a part of the city that is left untouched by them. As the noon grows white-hot, the yellow flowers cool the senses of anyone who dares to go into the open. The harshest season becomes bearable.

In his book, Trees of Delhi, author Pradip Krishen notes: “Amaltas is in danger of becoming (like the peacock) so common that we stop noticing it. Amrita Shergil Marg, Shanti Path and Akbar Road are lined with it. Shakti Sthal has many trees. Common as crows in every park and large garden, it is thinly scattered throughout the Ridge and in Jawaharlal Nehru University’s untended areas."

To see the Amaltas in full bloom, you may also go to Hailey Road, near Connaught Place. The entire stretch there looks like the canvass of an impressionist painter at work. The park outside the entrance of Humayun’s Tomb is another lovely sight. But if you are scared of the heat, peer out of your window. Can you see those lovely yellow splotches there? That’s Amaltas.

Click here to read another story on the Amaltas.

When there were no flowers

Trees of Delhi

The summer starts...

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

Sense of the season

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

Amazing Delhi

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

The dead has got company

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

Blue sky, yellow tree

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

The remains of the Amaltas

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

Through the yellow flowers

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

Look up, Sir

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

The yellow carpet

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

One will do

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

The lucky balcony

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

So indifferent

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

The Amaltas

City Season – Amaltas Tree, Hauz Khas Village

Thank you, summer

City Season – Amaltas Trees, Hauz Khas Village

11 comments:

Vishal said...

Sorry for being pedantic but 'THICKLY wooded Hauz Khas Village'. Are you sure Mayank??

Nayantara said...

Is it already 10 June or am I living in a grotto or is Soofi the man who's crouching in some desolate cave of some unknown street of 'future' Delhi??

Mayank Austen Soofi said...

Ouch. Mistake corrected. I meant May 10th. Thanks Nayantara.

Saifullah Badar said...

Did you forget your camera this day?!

Anonymous said...

sorry but i think the dates are still incorrect.u said one month later of may 12th u went there but the date after the month is 10 may.is it right or m not understanding??

Mayank Austen Soofi said...

Oohps. You are right. I was wrong. Corrected. Thanks Anonymous.

zeevie said...

hahahahahah mistakes.but nazar ho to soofi miyan jaisi ,warna na ho:);

krishanpal singh solanki said...

i love amaltas...bro

Abhinav said...

This is what I was noticing the other day while coming back from school. This is what I've been noticing for years now. I can safely say, it managed to grab my attention much better than the babe sitting next to me in the bus.

Besides looking good, they're also one of the most photogenic flowers imo.

romika said...

Hi Mayank,
Nice to see someone so creative!
I love all the pictures you've posted. It's monsoon time nearing so don't miss on the first shower of rain in delhi.Hope you'll do it as beautifully as you've done Amaltas a tree which always reminds me of bunches of ripe grapes! Haha that's the idea of a kid in me who loves grapes! All the best for monsoon!
Take Care. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

this tree mostly n kerala,we used for our malayalam new year vishu (april 14)as kani.so its called kanikonna here.it will flower in april month