Thursday, March 29, 2012

The breeze in the trees/ yeh hariyali aur yeh rasta

Call it what you want: Palash, Dhak, Palah,
Flame of the Forest, Bastard Teak..
I take photos of trees more than I take photos of faces.

I'd take photos of birds, too, but I'm not quick enough and they're not used to standing still. And while I guess this would be true for birds WERE they to ever get in the habit of standing still, you don't have to, for one, ask a tree if it's ok to take his/her picture. By that logic, I ought to have plenty photos of food, too. And I do. But not more than of trees, glorious trees, a phone SD card full of trees -- of red tesus that have retired for the year, of papery bougainvilleas, of sexy pines, of not so sexy eucalyptus, even though the smell of eucalyptus catapults me instantly to a better place than were I'd be smelling it, of wild roses, of -- hell, you name it! This morning, I hovered over one yellow nettle and took a close up shot of, now I don't know the name, but those thick milky wild plants with purple flowers that would grow in cantonments, which if you were me at age 12, you would have on some evening "after playing", on your way home, have beheaded them with your badminton racket, and got purple milk on your gut.

Purple wild flower asking-to-be-beheaded

I have conversations with plants. I ascribe adjectives to them. I make them a person. And get the last word. Take orchids. An orchid could never be my friend, you know? An orchid could be a woman I admire from a distance for her body language and grace? I might even learn something from her about disguised clothing. But friend? Naah.

Calendulas could be my friends - they smile and are uncomplicated and hardy. Bougainvilleas could be my friends -- they're not clingy, they adjust to any environment and really, they look their best. Also, they're always kind of there for you. Oh, come on. You can't not risk being cheesy when what you're doing is blogging about making a plant a person.


I don't like them. I've always found them unnatural. Ostentatious. When my friend B and I would walk in to college from the front gate and we'd see these carefully tended dahlias staring at us from the lawns, I'd be put off. Never mind appreciating how well balanced that plant is: thin stem, no shoulders, buxom head. I just don't like them. She, from being amused early on, grew to ignore my lame ass laments. Till one day I announced: I have made my peace with dahlias. She looked a bit concerned. But in college sometimes sarcasm takes on all these deceptive colours. But really, I had. Made my peace, that is. I still don't love them. But they don't bother me. Don't you know people like that?

A friend once made me a painting of flowers in a vase. He asked me what my favourite flower was. I said hydrangea. He said hain??

And then, now that I think back, it was a hideous painting, but he did do a decent job of getting the, what're they called -- florets? -- yea, he got the florets right. The memory warms me. The painting may still need to be found.

This meandered. I just wanted to show you trees. And perhaps, not too subconsciously even, put a virtual icecube down the back of a friend who's had it with my obsession with -- what, more birds?? more trees??  No wait, this was her text: "hahhahahaha. can u stop looking at the kahuas? crows r all u talk about (in ur blogs too)."

As concession to you, my darling anti-nature laugh riot, NOT ONE kahua in my SD card, ok! But willyapleaselookathetreees! :))

Sometimes my phone camera impresses me. Sometimes these lovely withered banyans I look up to every morning impress me so much more.

So pretty! More Banyan, different day.
(Lights in a line, notice?

And while we're raising hats to people at large, I have a message for Picasso: I get your thing about art, Sir. and that it washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. I quite love you for feeling that way, even. But if you'll excuse my silly audacity, what about the breeze in the trees? From, like the rain in Spain? Does that not work, too? If you have yourself a very merry imagination, it is my contention that trees could trump art. And sometimes, wouldn't you too, rather look at sunflowers not as oil on canvas, but for real in fields?

I imagine you might look at me with a certain.. indulgence? benevolence?, but in case I pissed you off in your grave, I'm going to seal my hypothesis with a gentleman called Calvino. He said this pretty thing about how...

“You walk for days among trees and among stones. Rarely does the eye light on a thing, and then only when it has recognized that thing as the sign of another thing: a print in the sand indicates the tiger's passage; a marsh announces a vein of water; the hibiscus flower, the end of winter. All the rest is silent and interchangeable; trees and stones are only what they are.” 


Anonymous said...

I don't quite know why, but I really like this. Warmed me up from the inside.

- k

Incognito said...

The last photo is brilliant. Was it taken on the way to Ggaon?

Anonymous said...

Do you have anything nice to say about Emilia? That's the name of the apt block I used to stay in. I didn't like so much some of the ones staying in Dahlia.

And if that is indeed Gurgaon, as a comment above asks, it is a crime to make that miserable dust bowl look so pretty...

Nimpipi said...

Desired effect then, K :)

Cog, danke. Yup. M.G road. Between, I think, metro stations Arjan Garh and Dronacharya. Pretty poinettias, nahi? And pansies. :)

Hey Rohan. Only Emilia I know is Jane, but she's with an A and very naughty, so I'm a bit lost.

Miserable dust bowl looked pretty to me that day. Sadness is that for thela wala bhaiya, the rick puller, it must still have been pretty infernal.