Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Gulmohar

William Wordsworth had his daffodils to think of in his mind's eye -
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
I grew up in Jayanagar in a Bangalore where the emotional equivalent of Wordsworth's daffodil was the Gulmohar - every street and avenue was lined with these trees, including parts of the Lal Bagh garden that I used to frequent. So, it came as a very rude shock to me when I could not remember the Gulmohar in bloom even though I've spent many years climbing many a tree and playing a kind of kiddie game with their buds. I was sure they were yellow and in my "inward eye" "flashed" images of avenues of yellow Gulmohars. I was pleased as punch to have remembered those halcyon days of yore. All until I looked up Google for images of the Gulmohar and to my bitter disappointment I found them to be a deep red. I was so convinced that they were yellow (if you prefer Freudian symbology - my ego tried to protect my id by actually conjuring up images that would satisfy/placate the id's drive) that when they turned out to be not so, the distance between my home, my past, my memories and the present seems like an uncrossable and unfathomable chasm - a schism that makes me unsure of where I am going because I've forgotten where I came from.

The flowers are but the tip of the iceberg - there have been many such instances.

I am depressed.

And if you are too, then allow me to "flash upon that inward eye" images of the Gulmohar.



Gulmohar-Royal Poinciana(Delonix)


P.S: The same goes for a hundred other flowers like jasmine, marigold etc etc. Images of Gandhi Bazaar and 4th block jayanagar flash!!

1 comment:

Nandini said...

"i've been away from here too long
i'll be ripped away too soon
the pigeons perch under railway arches
or on the heads of forgotten politicians
everyone here holds a scandal close to their hearts
but all they show is the monotony of every day
everyone is anonymous
passing as shadows
eyes stray from wet pavements to warm shop windows
the damp, musky city scent
infused with coffee
as it spills from the cafes
and hops, warm yeasty scent from the refuges
i've been away from here too long
" - courtesy Helen Ryan