Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rendezvous with the Spirit

This is not trick photography. It looks exactly like that. i picked up what looked like a banana peel.

So right now i am garrulous about yet another discovery for which i should thank my olfactory senses. Walking down the road this early morn i was hit by a mild but delightful fragrance. As if someone wearing some exotic but mild perfume had just passed me by. i had to pause and turn around to see...
Then seeing nobody around i reconstructed tales in my imagination. Tales i had heard in my childhood about Spirits. i was told that if some good fragrance or aroma erupts just suddenly as if from nowhere then it means that some good Spirit was honoring one with it's company and that when that happens i ought to remain silent instead of exclaiming about the smell and in silence thank the Spirits for doing so because their companionship is nothing but blessing and protection in disguise.

Feeling good about the lore i continued with my easy morning stroll sans traffic and people. And then as the fresh, soothing and light morning breeze hit me i felt the shower of the same fragrance yet again. This time overwhelming me with a steady lingering floral perfume. i had just stopped then. And i am glad that i did that. For it gave me an opportunity to see and meet the good Spirit in person and have the most enjoyable tete-e-tete.

The spirit i had the brilliant opportunity to meet - Kanak Champa.
 It is a large deciduous tree with broad dark green foliage. Pleasantly surprised first at the reconnoiter and a bit irritated at my own preoccupation as to how i could have not noticed earlier i looked below on the road to see if there were any blossoms, intact for me to bring home. i was lucky for i found one partially if not wholly intact. There were plenty of others which looked like carelessly thrown banana peels. i picked some of those too.
Now they are sitting pretty on the granite slab i use daily to roll my chapatis with. The flower in the ubiquitous plastic cup with some water in it. My attempt to see them looking just so when i introduce the flower and the story of the Spirit to the rest of the family.

There's still some time left for me to surprise them with tea with banana peel. For it's a few minutes more to seeing them walking groggily to the living room. let's see if they are surprised if i show them this and ask them to tell me what it is.
As for me i shall bide my easy time with more of the Spirit. With the help of this book also a field guide. Trees Of Delhi by Pradip Krishen. And whatever i can imbibe from this field guide i would like to put it here if not for anything but for my sake. As it is an integral part of my rendezvous with the Spirit and more.
 That it is also known as the Dinner Plate tree because the leaves are used to make plates one can eat from.
The bark as well as the leaves find use among the rural folks to treat not only small pox but also wounds and itching. 
The long khaki flower buds that open like a banana peel into 5 slender segments reveal the pure white 5 petaled flower which are deliciously perfumed. No wonder then that it is a favorite food of the bats. For us Homo sapiens the flowers not only make our roads perfumed specially during the nights but are also believed to cure ulcers, tumors, leprosy and diseases of the blood. The timber which is durable and moderately hard and strong is used not only for making toys but also for high- class joinery, panelling, flooring and furniture.

i pick up the flower and look at it again. i hear myself talking..."So Kanak Champa how do i introduce u to my family...should i call u Muchkund or Kanair...Dinner Plate or Maple -leaved Bayur...or just Bayur or Katha Champa...
...Pterospermum acerifolium might just blow the fuse of interest out. i think Kanak Champa sounds very literary. Kanak meaning gold and Champa meaning a joy perfumed flower...
So very nice to have met u... 

                                         ... up close and so very personal... today! "


  1. Thanks for introducing such a beautiful flower along with its benefits. Wish I see this flower soon :)

  2. @ Valli thank you for stopping by. i'm sure you will but watch out for the avenue trees mostly along the roadsides. And just like me i would rather that u let ur nose lead u to Kanak Champa.

  3. WOW! This is so pretty and unusual. A beautiful morning discovery, a little mystic experience for you though.

  4. @Saru Singhal and now i am wowing at my own good luck today. Two beautiful composers in a day...now my evening is also made.
    Thank you Saru and yes as u have rightly put across...'a mystic experience'
    for me.:)

  5. @Gajadhar Dwivedi...aabhar apka bhi... aapne iss janakari ki sarahna ki.:)

  6. Oh how lovely, it looks like some sort of honeysuckle like flower to me, very exotic. I love scented trees and shrubs, here in the north we only have lilac, honeysuckle (or caprifolium) and jasmine, these are beautifully perfumed.;)
    Thank you so much for your recent visit and kind words,

  7. @Zuzana thank u so much for stopping by...yeah the scented trees and shrubs and the roads of Delhi is lined with many of such which are nocturnal...hope u can visit and during ur walks can savour these too and later talk about it in ur blogs with ur excellent shots.:)