Sunday read: Gold in the sky | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Sunday read: Gold in the sky

I remember reading the beautiful poem ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth at the age of ten. It was a part of our English literature course at school. I did not know what daffodils looked like. There was no Google, where everything could be searched

punjab Updated: Jun 03, 2018 17:37 IST
Priya S Tandon
The golden showers of amaltas flowers have an irresistible charm and magic about them.
The golden showers of amaltas flowers have an irresistible charm and magic about them. (Mayank Austen Soofi)

Come summer and the skyline of Chandigarh is sprinkled with gold. The golden showers of amaltas flowers have an irresistible charm and magic about them.

Nature never fails to enthral me.

The delicate amaltas flowers are like huge bunches of yellow grapes or should I say yellow bells on the anklets of a dancer or yellow gems?

I remember reading the beautiful poem ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth at the age of ten. It was a part of our English literature course at school. I did not know what daffodils looked like. There was no Google, where everything could be searched at the click of a button. In my mind I envisioned a field full of huge golden flowers as projected by Wordsworth. The image would keep tickling my imagination. Then one day, perhaps in the month of May, I saw an amaltas tree in full bloom and exclaimed, “Daffodils!” and ran forward to touch the flowers. They were soft and delicate, like silk.

I enjoyed playing with them. In the years that followed, I did this often! When I was a child, Chandigarh did not have any florist shops. The only flowers that decorated our drawing or dining areas were the ones that grew in our gardens or parks.

I would often take a few ‘golden bowers’ as I use to call them then and place them in a vase at home. They would not last beyond a few hours. Little did I realise then, that not all flowers are meant for indoor flower decoration. These were too fragile. But doing that made me happy.

Today, my driver caught me staring dreamily at the golden amaltas flowers and said, “They must be spraying yellow colour on these trees. Otherwise, it’s not possible to have such a bright yellow.” Oh! How can one doubt the magical powers of the Lord? Nature is wherefrom we get everything.

Ever marvelled at how from the brown colour of the mud, nature is able to churn out green leaves, yellow mangoes, red cherries, violet aubergines, orange raspberries and white cotton wool? So is the yellow of amaltas any more of an enigma?

As I stood staring at the golden flowers, I remembered that even as a little girl, I used to stare dreamily at these mesmerising flowers. The amaltas tree seemed to beckon me closer. And it said to me:

Come a while,

Sit a while,

Stay a while,

Spend a while,

Smile a while,

Think a while,

and dream a while.

Drinking in the beauty of this golden moment, I stepped forward as if in a trance. I touched the trunk of the tree; I touched the flowers … doing so brought back the memory of the day when I had thought they were daffodils!

Sitting on a bench behind me was an elderly gentleman. He sensed my state of mind as I ran my fingers through the flowers and he sang, “Mere desh ki dharti, sona uglae; uglae heerey-moti; mere desh ki dharti …(My country’s land yields gold, diamonds and pearls.” I smiled at him in acknowledgement.

Happily I brought a few stalks of the ‘golden bowers’ home and put them in a bowl. I knew they wouldn’t last long, but my childhood too had been short; but sweet nevertheless and certainly worth reliving!

I became a little girl, all over again!