Nature’s bounty is best experienced when you are a part of it, living close to it. Quite a substantial period has been spent at my parents’ home called Dharani in Hubli, Karnataka, India. It is indeed enchanting to observe the garden here – a garden that my mother has tended to with so much love.
I take a stroll in the colourful garden every morning, watching out for some dainty flowers for the pooja (prayer rituals) performed by my father. The hues offered by flowers such as shanka pushpa (Asian pigeon wings); parijatha (coral jasmine); sampige (champak); dundu mallige (Mysore jasmine); yeLu sutthu mallige; nithya mallige (common jasmine); pink, red and yellow trumpets; kanakambara (firecracker); kepala (ixora); dasavaLa (hibiscus); kaNagile (oleander); roses and so on are simply eye-catching and refreshing. Every evening, I pluck some common jasmine flowers from their lush green creepers in the balcony and string them together. Ohh, what a blissful feeling that is! The seasons have a telling effect on the flowering plants – the nandi battalu (crape jasmine) and swastik (chandni) flowers that were seen in abundance during pre-monsoons have almost depleted now in the peak of monsoons. (By the way, there are 200-odd species of mallige or jasmine in Asia. They are known for their ethereal beauty whilst some are famed for their sweet smell.) The karibevu (curry leaves) plant is another favourite – it feels nice to smell the fresh aroma and use the leaves for cooking, straight from the garden. The tulasi/holy basil plant adds beauty to any garden. The sitaphala (sugar-apple) tree yields its fruits occasionally. The mango trees lived their lives, and a couple of times gave us unmatched joy with their luscious fruits; the next set of saplings planted are still in their growing stage. The papaya trees that grew magically had bestowed on us their yummy, seedless fruits. Apart from the heady smell emanated by the champak tree, it is a paradise for birds and butterflies. Occasionally I get to see chirpy birds such as a cuckoo, a red-vented bulbul, a sunbird, an ashy prinia, a tailor bird, a sparrow, or a coppersmith barbet perching on the champak tree as yours truly is sitting on the swing and basking in nature’s glory.
Ahh, the blowing of winds, the falling of rains and the chirping of birds are making for a natural melody these days! As Albert Einstein said: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Nature does serve as an antidote to the vicissitudes of life. Here goes my homage to the colourful garden, through some pictures.
– Rukma Vasudev