Sry i digressed but i always do...
So the one vision that remains implanted in this tree loving mind's eye of mine is that of Rohido, as they locally call Rohida of Tecomella undulata. http://shivanidiwani64.blogspot.in/2013/02/the-haunting-beauty-of-kuldhara-and-her.html
This time my mind got stuck on a particular ruby tree in Jodhpur. i had just finished what i had to of Umaid Bhawan Palace of that part which is open to visitors and was taking my time to admire the areas around at least that part which was permitted for visitors to roam around freely when my eyes caught on to something that shone like a ruby from one of those green bushes that hung about the precincts of the wide campus that surrounds Umaid Bhawan Palace. And up close and personal with those rubies gave me some serious thoughts and they are few but serious enough that require attention so i can enlist them quickly.
a) If you need a good zoom lens then get one. It's such a shame to miss amazing shots just because your own a camera that does not have sufficient zoom.
b) Even after having a good and heavy Rajasthani meal certain things just look just too delectable...too juicy... and you just want to grab them and put them in your mouth even when you have no frigging idea about it's edibility and even when your stomach can't even take air.
But however irresistible a fruit might look please think twice before doing so. Know it first to safely eat it.
c) Chances are that you might be sucked up in a wonderful clueless world of creatures yet it will give you some immense sense of achievement and pride to have at least witnessed something you have never seen before. Enjoy that moment without being distracted about the camera or anything. Absorb every single detail of it to hear yourself speak, " i never did see this color before... all i saw was ... . these definitely look so different and oh God i actually am seeing them for the first time."
d) Then finally pat your own back for having done a total paisa wasool (bang for the buck) tour of the destination you had visited. You did it all...
Okay now without much ado first the image of that ruby studded bush -
i asked the security guards posted there if they knew the name of this bush and one of them beckoned the other, the other called out to yet another who perhaps was the head maali ( Gardener) and sharp the answer came from the third but final an expert perhaps at plants, '' Jhaad ! '' .
Jhaad actually implies anything , that grows by itself which is given the same status as it being like a weed. Something not of use for humans and definitely not at all ornamental. Something to be overlooked and not fussed over with.
i did not like that maali, that third supposed to be an expert by the other two at all. For not only did he call this beautiful bush jhaad but also that he had no idea if the tiny globules of filled with pink sherbet like juice was edible or not.
i on my part kept gazing and admiring the bush spotting and singling the darker red rubies from the light ones-
How can this be a jhaad i kept telling myself. Such a beautiful ruby laden bush can never be a jhaad... it has to be something...it sure has to be something very very useful.
i tried bringing some branches close to me so that i can see them clearly. i was absolutely charmed by the juicy translucence of varying degrees of the tiny globules of all sizes.
And thus i kept looking this way and that at that lush green thicket laden with all shades of ruby colored tiny fruits. Thank Lord Almighty i had that time and the leisure to stop and stare and that i was not in a hurry to catch up with my next destination. Not really. i wanted to be easy and savor all that beauty that surrounded the beautiful palace.
And as i gazed i saw the lovely visitors who came to relish those tiny ruby red berries. The Bulbuls which looked different from the ones that i keep seeing in Delhi. For what i see in Delhi are the Crested Bulbuls and the Red Vented Bulbuls...but these had a prominent patch of white near their eyes plus a major yellow bottom. Just the color of pale yellow almost saffron like,
i tried to take a good shot of that yellow bottom aka vent in ornithology. i was so thrilled to see a yellow vented Bulbul because i was seeing one for the FIRST time in my life. Also now i was noticing many other features too which looked different from the ones that i regularly see. But my cute birds were hungry and very impatient to satisfy themselves than to pose for me. They took some bites from one and would at the wink of an eye flit to the another and thus this pic which finally gets the vent color alright but not of the bird. i know that my bird shots are not something worth a display. But then none of my bird pics are sharp enough because i don't own neither the skills nor the zoom to do so but i shall keep at it. Keep trying. What gives me intense pleasure now is in the joy of sharing my discoveries and keep talking about it.
And thus i kept watching this couple as it fed on those juicy translucent berries but as i watched the couple it soon became clear to me that the berries were a favorite of the squirrels too.
Now sitting in the comfort of my bedroom and having by my side two excellent books to guide me i am clueless no more.
The first one is this brilliant work of love and of somewhat the same kind that i can identify with. i confess that the degree to which this gentleman has loved trees i can never even come anywhere close to that but just like him i too feel a lot of comfort near trees.
Thanks to yet another arduous labor by Shri Pradip Krishen and all those who have helped him my journey to Jodhpur feels an " exhilarating" one indeed. One which has imbued in me that sense of awe and wonder not a "thimbelful" as Mr Krishen humbly hopes it perhaps could be in the preface of this book of his but of a kind which can perhaps be suitably called brimful. Enough for a not knowing anything at all to be hopelessly glued to it's pictures and descriptions and trying to match her own pictures and feeling the joy of knowing the names and characteristics of those anonymous trees she had taken a picture of. And then letting the knowledge attained thus from one container to overflow through blogging...
Now i feel like going back and roaming once again those areas of Osiyan where i think i saw many of those that he has so brilliantly sampled, portrayed and explained.
And his book says about the transluscent, juicy, ruby red berries, '' The fruit are edible , sweet with a faint peppery tang".
Meetha Jaal, Peelu, Dhalu/ Toothbrush/ Mustard tree. Saltbush aka Salvadora persica that's what is the name of this ruby laden medicinal evergreen tree now that i know that it is not a bush but a proper tree.
i chose the word Peelu as the title because it sounded better and cuter than Jaal. However i wonder why Peelu and what language it is called Peelu. Because in Hindi Peela means yellow. If it should be named for the color of it's berries then it should be Laalee. For Lal in Hindi means red.
i digress again...uff
The other part of my enlightenment of course i owe it to my most trusted book on birds another field guide by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp , ' Birds of the Indian Subcontinent'.
So my Bulbuls have a name too. White-eared Bulbul (Pyconotus priocephalus )
That should be all for the time being but before i quit i would love to quote from the same book by Shri Pradip Krishen words that he himself has quoted from Gandhi... "What we are doing to the forests...[ of the world] is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to one another." Mahatma Gandhi