Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stopping to Smell the Flowers

I don’t like the colour pink. No, actually I hate the colour pink. I hate it with a vengeance, not because pink is a girl colour and I am rebelling against gender stereotyping, but because, well, I just don’t like it very much. Like how I don’t like brinjal. There isn’t a reason for it. So ok, I don’t like pink, in all its shades and hues. The best girl friend threatens to have a pink themed wedding; I tell her I will wear black. I don’t mind shades very far away from the baby pink spectrum, like mauve and violet and purple.

I like the pink on trees though. When I list to myself, very often off late, the reasons why I still live in a city, in this city, I write down the trees. Especially in the Vasantha Ruthu, the spring season, when trees in Bangalore rise up and bloom and open their branches to the wide blue sky, unmindful of the dirtiness of the roads and people below. I love the jacarandas and the other pale pink and yellow and darker pink and violet flowers, the names of which I have never thought to find out.

I keep promising myself that early one morning, I will take myself to one of the larger parks in the city and take pictures of these trees. Maybe I will do that some time in the summer this year. Are most of the trees in Lalbagh and Cubbon Park in bloom yet? I wonder.

When work took me to those parts of the city earlier, I would look at the flowering trees and long to sit under one with a thick book of poetry, maybe Neruda; or perhaps Keats and Kuvempu would have been more appropriate. I never did that, you know. Journalism is not a place where you have the time or column space for poetry. On Sunday summer evenings, I imagined having a summer dress on and a wicker picnic basket packed with lemonade and some snacks and a light novel too, friends and I would find a spot under a wide tree and speak of youth and music. Maybe one of us would have a guitar to strum along.

Maybe my dreams are too English!

I never did that picnic thing either. In fact, I have never been on an outdoor picnic in Bangalore; I don’t like the crowds everywhere here. We do a lot of those picnics back home though.

This Sunday perhaps I will go to the park to see the flowers. I will stop for tea at Koshy’s, I find myself becoming a sometimes-regular there. I will perhaps meet friends and share the pot of green tea I order for, then walk up to Cubbon Park to see the jacarandas and the other flowers. There used to be a musical hour at Band Stand there every Sunday, where a ‘light music’ group or amateur singers or out-of-work orchestra groups would entertain the crowds in the evening. People would sit on the grass and watch their kids bounce a newly-bought red balloon about, munching on spicy puffed rice or biting into fried corn. Some would walk by and stay for a song or two. Lovers, hand in hand, the girl, always coy, the boy, always macho in the eyes of his beloved, would find a corner to sit, if the band began playing romantic numbers. There used to be an old world charm to that one hour below the Band Stand. I am a big sucker for those old world charm things.

But we have too many malls popping up these days, the lovers, the children and their parents now eat overpriced corn and prefer elevator music under air conditioned roofs. I don’t know if the music hour is still organized at the park. If it is, maybe, when I go to see the jacarandas, I will hope for a soft breeze and stay for a few songs.

P.S. As it turns out, this happens to be my 500th blog post! I am telling myself it is another milestone!


Giribala said...

Hmm.... I don't remember if I hate any color....
We have wonderful flowering trees in our neighborhood. A variety of them and in large numbers. And they are about to bloom :-)

Samuel Gnanadurai said...

There you go again! one straight out of your dreams.

And BTW i am one who has read all 500 of them. Need a big treat for that.

Deepa Bhasthi said...

@ Giribala, enjoy the flowers! If I end up at the park this Sunday, will share the pictures.

@ Sam, you read ALL the posts? WOW!!! That must have taken a lot of time! Thank you so much!!
I keep telling myself I must one day do that and see how my writing has changed over the years. Thanks so much again!

Captain Nemo said...

Congratulations on the five hundredth blog! Good perseverance...

Deepa Bhasthi said...

Thank you Achyutha!
This is possibly one of the very few things that i have been committed to for this long!

Mitchell Hegman said...

I enjoy your photographs and your complete thoughts as you express them.


Deepa Bhasthi said...

Thank you Mitch!