[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The ground is sheathed in a shade of lilac. The flowers are falling continuously from the tree above. The bench, too, has got a share.
One evening The Delhi Walla is in a public park in Jor Bagh to pay the season’s homage to Queen’s Flower, also known as Jarul tree.
The city has just entered the month of May. Everyone is girding up their loins to brave the impending rise in temperature when roads will melt, the sky will disappear behind dust storms and perfectly healthy people walking under the sun will drop dead from sudden heat strokes.
At the moment, however, the Jarul flowers are the only ones to drop one after another. The shade of the darkening sky resembles that of these dying flowers.
Curiously, Jarul is not as widely celebrated in this city as other colorful trees of the season like the yellow Amaltas and the red Gulmohar. In his book Tress of Delhi: A Field Guide, author Pradip Krishen describes Jarul as “one of Delhi’s most beautiful flowering trees” and expresses astonishment that these trees haven’t been planted on the city’s avenues. He also informs us that Jarul flowers can also be in mauve or pink but, in Jor Bagh, they have made their home in lilac.
A man is taking turns around the park. He walks over the fallen flowers. One of the flowers rises up from the dead and buries itself inside my copy of Shakespeare.
An evening with Jarul