City Season – The Sulky Amaltas Trees, Hailey Road
The summer disappointment.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
This is a most unusual summer. There is only a little yellow here, and that too pale.
The Delhi Walla is walking on central Delhi’s Hailey Road, an avenue lined on both sides with Amaltas trees, which blossom every summer with their customary yellow flowers.
Like the preceding years, the white-hot season of 2015 is full of brutal marvels–a zebra crossing near Safdarjung Hospital melted under the baking sun. One thought one could console oneself by turning to the yellow flowers of Hailey Road.
But the Amaltas trees here have stabbed us in the back. Only a few of them are blooming, that too halfheartedly. These were the same pavements that overwhelmed our senses during the previous Mays with their all-pervasive yellow. The flowers would continually fall on the ground, and the trees still remained full of them. (Click here to see the Amaltas of 2009).
This season most Amaltas trees of Hailey Road are perhaps upset with our city – like that correspondent of The New York Times who recently announced his decision to leave India in an angry dispatch that described Delhi as a place whose “true menace came from its air, water, food and flies”.
With this depressing thought weighing on the mind, I find myself face to face with a solitary Amaltas standing outside the multi-storey Dakshineshwar Apartments. It is a small tree, barely taller than superstar Amitabh Bachchan; it has no weighty branch and it can offer no shade. Still, it is a rare sight – the tree is weighed down with clusters of bright yellow flowers, though, admittedly, they are somewhat overshadowed by a greater number of green leaves. However, the tree shows hope. This tiny and slender Amaltas is probably optimistic about growing up in Delhi. But then it is a baby and not yet worldly-wise. Next summer, it too may decide to deny us its bloom.
How can I compare thee to a summer’s day?
4. (Outside Dakshineshwar Apartments)