28 June 2017

Suns and Lovers

I have always had a collection of plants in my home and wherever possible, a garden. Some species owed their presence in my collection to glorious foliage but Jasmine has always been a constant, despite unremarkable leaves and flowering limited to a few months of the year. The reason is quite simple, its haunting powerful fragrance.

Mogra as its commonly known in Marathi, blooms gregariously in the summer months provided the plant is growing in a spot with abundant sunlight. One particular year, there were hardly any flowers and it was only later that I pinned down the cause to the Sun. Or rather the lack of sunlight. Which means that blazing heat is necessary for a good harvest yet the fragrance of the blossoms is the maximum at night when its the Moon that rules. 

When in full bloom, they can be spotted from afar at night not only by the heady fragrance but also from the flowers that seem to glow in the dark. Yet when touched by the first rays of the Sun, they drop off  to create a glorious carpet on the roads below.

Other equally fragrant varieties like Bakul (Mimusops elengii), Buch (Millingtonia hortensis) and Parijatak (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis) also exhibit such contrarian behaviour.

Here is a strange story from this league of Suns and Lovers.. its about the Parijatak

Long long ago, there was a princess called Parijata. She fell in love with the Sun God.
From here on, I have come across two versions of their love story. The first one is that since her love is not reciprocated the Princess commits suicide. A Tree grew at that spot which is known as the Parijata. Its beautiful flowers have a blazing red dot in the centre, representative of the Sun.

In the other version, Surya, the Sun God agreed to marry provided she never turned away from him. This is said to have happened in the Autumn. They led a blissful married life till the seasons changed and the power of the Sun started increasing. The Princess would find it difficult to be near the Sun. One such such hot noon, the Princess Parijata flinched momentarily in front of Surya. His wrath caused her to die. A repentant Sun, sought the help of Gods, who knowing his true love for Parijata, granted her another life as a tree. Surya visits her at night. These sun kissed flowers rejoice in the night, but drop off at day break unable to bear the sun's rays.
This is my post for the BAR-A-THON by Blog-A-Rhythm and the theme for June 28th 2017 is Suns and Lovers

Arrangement (Wordless Wednesday)

Pune, flowers, bouquet

26 June 2017

Lord of the Files

We purchased our home quite a few years ago, a time when computers were not an integral part of the government machinery. As was the norm, the registration papers were retained by the Municipal authorities and owners retained photocopies. There was a central office that looked after registrations of the entire city. With burgeoning real estate, and scores of property registrations every day, one can only imagine the number of documents that had piled up. Where and how well were they stored were questions best left unasked.

I guess, the task of storage was eventually just too much and the Municipal Corporation decided to digitise the documents. This meant that owners could now collect their documents after producing the original registration receipt. We were happy as the property file with us would now be complete with original documents. The only problem was that in the interim 15 odd years, the procedure had been decentralised and we had no clue where to begin.

23 June 2017

War And Pieces

The rhythmic creak of the arm chair soothed the babies as they drifted into sleep in Neena's arms. They were just about a month old and soon she would not be able to hold them both simultaneously. She ignored her aching arms and relished their closeness. Her mind moved back and forth in time in tandem with the rocking movements.  Was it really only a year ago that Life meted out its lessons to her?

Barely out of her teens and already married, which was what her family arranged and she had acquiesced. Soon after they celebrated their first anniversary, Neena was already pregnant. Twins, the doctor said, and Sam was overjoyed. Double the joy he said! He made sure he was with her for every check up and stood by her through her phase of morning sickness. The nine months couldn't pass soon enough for him. Sam was due for a career course and decided to ask his Commanding Officer for a posting. Yet unexpectedly, his Unit was deployed in a conflict zone.With barely any time for farewells, the officers and men left without a backward glance. The operation turned into a prolonged one as causalities mounted. Some of the worst fears were realised and Neena was bereft. At the end of her third trimester, she remained confused and dazed not comprehending the storm that had hit her life. Her family took her home and what had was meant to be a rosy future suddenly turned dark.