Published: Friday, March 8, 2013

Photo Feature

In Love with Madhobi

Polash

Polash

Those pensive afternoons don’t come back. The fallen leaves rustle against the stillness. The bare trees alter the colours of life. And afterwards the tender leaves of bronze usher in a new life in nature. Destruction and recreation come by turns in nature.
Tokon recalls his childhood. The hillocks across the field figure prominently in his memory. He reminisces about the countless afternoons he had sat idle on the grass carpet. Sweet and sour boroi is the only fruit of this season. Those days of eating boroi with salt and green chilly will never come back. The fields of Rabi-crop look bare after the harvest. A couple of martins and herons gather at a distance. The dangling tender leaves look just like butterflies. The sunlight spreads far and wide and a strong wind dashes over the land.
Spring was just round the corner and has arrived rather quickly. The grass carpet is dotted with a lot of colours. The guest flowers remain the same in their look though they have lost some of their glamour. The cascade of seasonal flowers Polash (Butea monosperma), Parijat (Erythrina variegata), Gliricidia (Gliricidia maculata), Monimala (Millettia ovalifolia), Nilmoni (Petrea volubilis), Madhobi (Hiptage benghalensis), Ashok (Saraca asoca), Shimul (Bombax ceiba), Roktokanchon (Bauhinia veriegata), Udal (Sterculiaceae villosa), Vantful (Clerodendrum viscosum), Kanakchampa (Ochna spuarrosa), Rudrapalash (Spathodea campanulata) and the list goes on. Such a unique combination is rare in nature. The air is filled with the aroma of mango flowers. Palash ushers spring. This flower, however, is not very common in the urban areas. Gliricidia sheds leaves at the end of winter. The whole tree is covered with flowers; such an exuberance of flowers is rarely seen.

Konokchampa, Nagesshor (Right)

Konokchampa, Nagesshor (Right)

Milletia also catches our attention from afar. Nature is adorned with her violet colour. When the Palash and Madhabi fades a bit, yellowish flower buds peep in the bare branches of Gamari (Gmelina arborea). Udal looks like raw turmeric. They bloom in the early spring. Her fruits are more beautiful than her flowers. The Parijat buds remain dormant in the backdrop of the blue sky. The red of Shimul is distinctly visible everywhere. The chirping of martin and parrots add a different dimension to the colours of Shimul. Roktokanchan appears as another fountain of colours in the bare nature at the end Magh (one of the two months consisting winter). They have a long blossom – from spring to summer. It seems that they are in charge of welcoming the spring. Then comes the Ashok. The bright red flowers sparkle against the long leaves.

Akorkanta, Ashok (Right)

Akorkanta, Ashok (Right)

Ashok has hardly any comparison. At the fag end of the spring comes Hapormali (Villaris heynei) and Akorkanta (Alangium salvifolium) as symbols of purity. They are preceded by short lived Madhobi and Neelmoni. Madhobi, the short lived flower of the spring has a tinge of yellow. Neelmoni looks as if they were blue butterflies- ready to fly; the petals are like wings. They bloom to compensate the dearth of blue.
Konokcahampa is an innate wild tree of the traditional Bengal which has got a wide reference in our folk literature as well. They prepare to bloom at the end of Phalgun (one of the months consisting Spring). First a couple of auburn leaves appear and then the whole tree is covered with yellow flowers. The air is filled with fragrance and the bumble-bee is attracted towards the pollen. The ground under the tree gathers the fallen petals of yellow. Such a beautiful flower- bearing trees are rare in city parks.

Roktokanchon, Udal (Right)

Roktokanchon, Udal (Right)

If you go along Rokeya Sarani or towards the central Shaheed Minar along Fuller Road you must be enthralled by one kind of fragrance. If it is windy this fragrance will reach far. The tall Telshur (Hopea odorata) will point at its source. The other flowers of the spring are Kurchi (Holarrhena antidysenterica), Lotkaful (Baccaurea ramiflora), Shoti (Curcuma zedosria), Borun (Crataeva nurvala), Mohua (Madhuka indica), Nagesshor (Mesua nagassarium). The Vants (Clerodendrum viscosum) also have a very acute fragrance. The dusk light is reflected on the tender leaves of Mehoganai and Banyan trees. The wild gust of wind in the open fields creates a cloud of dust. And then the wind of Chaitra ripples in the vast fields of rice and tender jute.