Thursday, October 1, 2009

Way into dad's garden

I traveled last week with my husband to see my parents and was desperate for the train journey to end. Many months since I’d been home and met them. I had spotted my dad waving at me amidst the jostling crowd. Had I seen him earlier, I would have been ready to jump off much before the train came to a final halt. The sparkle that I saw in his eyes cannot be found any where else. We hugged, and soon he moved swiftly to lug my bag as if I were a school girl. It’s amazing how parents stay just the same for you.


Ordinarily, I never let my parents know when am going to be home because that would mean they would be up at an unearthly hour to arrange things and pick me up from the station. No matter what I age, they’d still treat me like a kid. Besides, arriving uninformed also meant that I’d take a 30-min rickshaw ride as against a 5-min car ride from station to home at 6.30 am. Therefore, those 30 mins allowed me to soak up on the new, old and the extinct sights of the town. When with my husband, I flaunt my town, its history and it’s green cover. It’s usually a monologue as I pass by familiar sights while he nods approvingly.


Look at that, the tree has grown so much! I love this palm. Damn! The tree has been felled. I can’t spot the teak. Look, he’s added so many plants. This creeper has been there forever. I never get this kind of a bloom. How long does a gulmohar tree last?


I belong to a sleepy, rusty, chaotic and religious town Allahabad that means ‘God’s creation’. Natives had large houses until sometime back when the real estate scenario changed, people moved and so did the density pattern change dramatically. Nevertheless, it’s still a green city compared to many I have visited so far.


On my way home, I pass by the 19th century Gothic style All Saint’s Cathedral standing tall with its lush green cover.




















Company garden (I have no idea on the history behind the name) follows soon after and is a popular walker’s paradise and usually a beautifully landscaped garden with orchards and flower belts.














Hidden in the green cover, is the public state library built in

1864 that is a treasure house of old manuscripts and journals.














As the road turns towards my house, the University of Allahabad can be seen. The buildings are known for its classical architectural designs and have strong Victorian and Islamic style architectural influences.



Closer home, the residential areas have large patches of green, sprawling lawns and a wide variety of plants. This time around since we drove back home in a car and were busy talking to each other, I did not get a chance to see much.


Once I reached home, I stood for a minute at the gate to look at the house, my home for 20 odd years before I left to chase my dreams and build my nest. At the gate, I was welcomed by a robust large multi stemmed shrub blooming with flowers. They are popularly known as Land-lotus (Sthal Padam) or Confederate Rose, Cotton rosemallow or Hibiscus mutabilis. The plant is about 14 feet tall with large, bright green leaves. It is in full bloom starting late summer until end of fall. The flowers open pure white and change colour during the course of the day to pink and dark pink by evening. It is propagated by cuttings during fall or spring. While I stood watching the flower in admiration, Ma appeared at the door and I rushed to hug her and forgot about everything else.


There is more to come.


Pictures: All from the web except the flowers.

29 comments:

  1. chanced upon your blog and find it very useful and also pleasing to the eye. i would like to know how much posto should go and how long does it take to be steamed? is it to be steamed like we do the bhaper ilish?

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  2. Thank you for taking us back home with you. It was really nice to follow your impressions, esp. since it is in India.

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  3. UG, thanks for sharing this - your story and your photos. Nice, made me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy (can I do that? when I don't even know your parents?). Love the architecture - they remind me of England and Kuala Lumpur...

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  4. I am enjoying your narration. It is lovely where your parents live and those beautiful old buildings are a sight to behold. Did I ever tell you that my maternal grandmother's family came from India. I am trying to find out when they came to the West Indies and from which part of India.

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  5. What amazing architecture in your home town! I loved the descriptive way you told of your return! You can feel how much you love your parents and your roots!

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  6. Very strong and nice building you have there. It is wonderful to know that you have spent some time at your hometown and parent's house. I like the hibiscus! This plant really do well here too. Love the way you have written this post. Have a great weekend!

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  7. @Mary: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed my post. You made my day!

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  8. @Helen: Wow, so you have roots here! Hope you get to know more. It'll be amazing. *UG waves*

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  9. @Evelyn: Thanks, Thanks, Thanks....! The pleasure is totally mine. And thanks for your post#2 for me. it's great to find friends like you...

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  10. @Julie: Hmm...*UG is foggy eyed*

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  11. @A&V: glad you find my blog useful. yellow mustard paste and poppy seed paste are in the ratio of 2:1

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  12. When words come from heart, it shows. This post is so moving. I felt like I was there watching the train slow down, your Father waving at you merrily, the idle rickshaw ride, and of course the monologue...
    I have been to Allahabad officially on a Kumbh Mela duty, and I loved the city. I could feel a longing to be there again after seeing all these beautiful photographs.
    Have a good day Urban Green.

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  13. What a lovely home town! I know what you mean re: your parents always treating you like a kid. Love your descriptions of your travels.

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  14. @Stephanie: Thanks so much. The plant is doing well, and we planted a cutting there. Next time, am there I'll carry it back. Apparently, it's a container friendly plant too :)

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  15. @Green thumb: Thanks a lot. Alld is a beautiful city, has many green pockets. Summers are fairly harsh but winters are the best time to visit. See you around :)

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  16. @Lanie: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :)

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  17. You are such a good writer. I loved this post as your happiness shows thru so well.

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  18. What a nice post, I felt like I was reading along in a book the way you described everything. I do the same thing pointing things out to my husband when we go places in my hometown. You sure grew up in a beautiful town! And that hibiscus is so pretty!!

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  19. @Tina: Thanks :) *Urban Green flutters in the shower of admiration*

    @Catherine: Thanks for stopping by.
    My hometown charms me and I usually go on and on about it so much so that my husband often says that he's been told about it already :)

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  20. Enjoyed the visit to your town and look forward to reading more about it. :-)

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  21. @Joyful: Sure, watch out for more :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. Really enjoyed the tour and look forward to seeing some more.

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  23. Wonderful!!! You are a great story teller, so gifted. Enjoy your stay and have a lovely weekend/ Tyra

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  24. Strange co incidence. I too just returned from a trip to Allahabad along with my mother. And at my in-laws place, I saw the land-lotus plant for first time in my life but didn't knew it's name.

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  25. @Sue & Tyra: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Feels great :)

    @Raj: Ah! Small world, isn't it?

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  26. @workhard: Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

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  27. very nice building you have there. It is wonderful to know that you have spent some time at your hometown and parent's house. I like these pictures very much.

    brustkrebs

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Thanks for stopping by.