City Season – Amaltas Sighting, Near Sunder Nursery
Summer’s cool envoy.
[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Are they really real or are they Artificial Intelligence real? AI-generated images are going viral these days. Can these be one of those fakes?
No, the blossoms turn out to be real on touch. But these golden-yellow flowers show up by late April, and we are still in the middle of the month. Whatever, greetings to the season’s first Amaltas sighting. More than the killer heat waves, it is the arrival of these flowers that launches Delhi’s unforgiving summer. You may easily spot this early Amaltas, it stands close to Sunder Nursery gardens. Though the best Amaltas places in Delhi are elsewhere. Here’s a detailed guide (start your yatra in a few days when isolated cases off blossoming become a full-blown pandemic).
The principal Amaltas pilgrimage comprises of strolling along central Delhi’s Hailey Road. The dozens of trees there will soon be gift-wrapped in an insane amount of flowers. All day long the blossoms will drop down from the branches like silent snowflakes, making the dusty ground amber.
Next stop can be Amrita Shergil Marg. It too has many Amaltas, which get so gaudy with the flowers that the whole stretch looks like an instagram photo distorted with too much golden-yellow filter.
To see one of the showiest Amaltas in the capital region, you’ll have to visit the tree that stands in Gurgaon’s Sukhrali village, beside a gas station. It gets covered in golden-yellow from top to bottom. Some of its flowery branches are hung so low that they can double up as pull-up bars for aesthete athletes.
For sensitive citizens, the go-to place is the Hauz Khas Village parking ground. It makes for a most solemn setting. Two Amaltas stand socially distanced. Their flowers keep falling all day long, steadily and conscientiously, as if they would continue to fall until the end of time. And nobody cares to stop by these trees to witness their sacrifice.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Amaltas tree with this season’s first sighting is triggering mixed feelings. It does score marks for an early bloom, but the tree is looking so bechara. The trunk is too thin, the branches are too spindly, and the flowers are confined to a tiny guchha. The dressy picnickers walking to Sunder Nursery are not at all noticing the flowers—see photo. This makes the 2023 Amaltas debut poignantly austere and exclusive, staged for our eyes only.