City Season – The Floss-Silk Bloom, Outside Ambience Mall Driveway
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
So consoling to the eyes.
It’s as if some secret Santa finally took pity on us hapless citizens slow-dying through smog, smoke and dust. And one late night he quietly descended on earth, at this spot in Gurgaon in the Delhi region, decking up a bunch of mall-facing trees with dainty pink flowers.
Or, perhaps it is that time of the year.
The floss-silk trees, or the kurrayya, are in blossom. Nobody, however, is noticing the lovely flowers along a pavement outside the Ambience Mall’s driveway. Not the security guards who are too preoccupied with checking the incoming cars for bombs. Not the people inside those cars. While the traffic on the adjacent National Highway 8 is speeding past unconcernedly, as if it is just another afternoon in Dante’s inferno.
“The flowers appeared a month ago,” confirms a guard, glancing up at the trees. Now he, too, looks transfixed.
Indeed, these days the bloom can be sighted across the capital, including in the traffic roundabouts of Chanakyapuri boulevards. According to Pradip Krishen’s Trees of Delhi, the South American native was planted in the region during the 1950s.
Truth be told, this soothing cluster under Gurgaon’s grey sky looks out of place, as if it rightly belongs to a remote spot in Kashmir or some such clean-air setting. The flowers seem to be holding tightly to their respective trees, but a closer observation reveals that they are on a continuous free fall. Many of these pinkies are drifting down on the tarmac, getting crushed by the wheels of the passing cars. The lucky ones are landing on the hedges directly beneath the trees.
Then there’s a little island of white flowers further along the short pavement over which the fallen flowers are lying like martyred soldiers in a battlefield. The bloom will not last long. Come quickly for this lovely sighting.