It's a burst of colour in Bangalore this spring
Waiting to cross Richmond Road my eyes are assailed by the drifts of snowy pink tabibueas in the compound across the road. The tree was never there when I was growing up and was taken to the Richmond Town park along with my younger sister, by the Baby Ayah to play. These trees are newly introduced to Bangalore in the last decade or more and mature at great speed and flower when barely 4 feet tall.
A small little island at the end of our road holds a massive Peepul tree. At this time the leaves are a fresh baby pink or a neon green. I can’t help stand and watch the fluttering leaves in the bright early morning sunlight. “ Bohuth accha Madam!,” says the fresh lime juice vendor from whom I would purchase a glass of fresh orange or lime juice. He does wonderful business in this season rather than the little tea and samosa shop on the other side of the road.
Whole avenues in the newer areas of Bangalore have been planted with these trees and they all have matured in a decade and bring so much joy and colour into our lives. Early morning or late evening when I stand on the terrace to look at the Bangalore skyline from my grandfather’s property which now I own too, my senses are overcome with the yellows and pinks on D’souza Road. It makes me glad to see a multistoried building coming up on D’souza road which has saved the pink Tabibuea which seems to be overcome with joy and flowering profusely in thanks.
As I walk down to college there are tabibueas, both pink and yellow in the Baldwin Girl’s School compound which are full blown with flowers. Their Honge marra too are in covered in parrot green leaves which exude a slight fresh and acrid smell, which is preferable to the stink of rotting garbage in a corner near the park.
Along the Hockey stadium which was the mud tank when we were kids there are massive Rain trees, the girth I have never seen anywhere else in Bangalore. They are covered with fresh green leaves and interspersed with mithai pink powder puff flowers. The trees extend their branches across the road and give us welcome relief from the hot and sharp spring sunshine.
In the Richmond Town park a cluster of three purplish pink Tabibuea spread their beauty over the fruit vendors and the chaat wallah. People sit oblivious to the beauty above them wolfing down chaat or some ice-cream on the wall of the park. The trees are leafless and thats why their beauty is so stunning and worthy of hundreds of pictures.
But I miss the purplish pink Jacaranda trees which we grew up with as kids. There are not many to be seen any more in public places. As a young woman I took a bus from Shivajinagar to Fraser town for music lessons and the bus passed the circle near the GPO, which was filled with these beautiful trees. My eyes would take in their beauty in the shimmering heat of the day which is lost forever now having being turned into an ugly Metro station. But the GPO has put down some Pink Tabibuea which look glorious this season.
What is easy is the propagation of these trees. Their seed pods burst like a mini explosion and lots of papery thin seeds fall all over on the ground below. Pick them up and plant them in some moist compost. They will grow well and can be planted into the ground once strong enough. I grew six strong saplings for a tenant from the seeds picked up on Richmond Road which once he has put down in his little farm have grown to the height of 3 feet in a matter of a year.
Thanks to these exotics Bangalore can boast of the sobriquet once again of being the garden city of Bangalore. No other city can boast of such beauty in this season.
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