City Season - Semal Tree, Daryaganj Police Station

City Season – Semal Tree, Daryaganj Police Station

The news of summer.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Delhi’s brief winter ends in January. February is pleasingly cool in the city. March is always warm.

But this year March continued to behave like February. Then one morning the giant semal tree outside the Daryaganj Police Station clothed itself with thick red flowers. That day it became warm in Delhi.

A harbinger of summer, this blossoming tree in Daryaganj tried to soften the news of the impending arrival of hot dusty days by gently showering its red pulpy flowers on the ground below. Some of these flowers fell beside a bike. Some fell on the road; a few of them were crushed under the wheels of the passing cars. Two flowers fell upon the windshield of a police vehicle. Two lay on the yellow roof of an auto-rickshaw.

The petals felt cold on touch. It appeared as if they had obediently absorbed the sun’s white heat, and through some internal mechanism transformed that high temperature into something as nicely bearable as a February noon. Cocooned in unalloyed tranquility, these mute flowers seemed to say, “Yes, soon it will get very hot. But don’t panic, it’ll be tolerable this time. Trust us.”

The old lie.

The difficult season is almost here