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 ‘
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
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.