City Season – Bougainvillaea Watching, Indirapuram & Other Places
A sight most surreal.
[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
You really have to be in this place in Ghaziabad to believe it. Even if your home is as far away as in Gurgaon, or Faridabad, or Uttam Nagar. This is probably the most surreal roadside sight these days in the entire Delhi region. Here’s a vast shrubbery of pink bougainvillaeas, and amid the luscious bloom lies the carcass of a severally damaged car.
This scene on Indirapuram’s Sucheta Kripalani Marg is like a worst nightmare come true, but in a most pristine setting. The nearby vendors have no idea how this car founded its afterlife in this heavenly spot, but a sugarcane juice seller points out that it has been here “since some time.” The pink of the bougainvilleas, though, keep “coming and going” with the seasons, he says.
Indeed, this is that time of the year when bougainvilleas bloom across the National Capital Region. An unruly cluster is aflame along a roadside in Sector 35 in Gurgaon; the shade is so deep pink that from a distance they look like cotton candies. Another lush row of bougainvilleas is stealing the show at a phase 5 pave in Gurgaon’s Udyog Vihar. Occasionally, a passing pedestrian looks up in awe, seeming to breathe in the air, as if trying to smell the bougainvilleas, perhaps unaware that they have no smell.
Indeed, bougainvilleas seem to be perfectly suited to Delhi’s dust, heat and smog. Dr SS Sindhu of the Bougainvillea Society of India, who is the head of floriculture and landscaping at the agricultural research institute in central Delhi’s Pusa, describes bougainvillea as a “most hardy plant that blooms not only profusely in rocky and degradable land under moisture stress, but also throughout the year, except in the extreme cold of December and January.”
Yesterday, as a nod to the season, the Pusa institute’s Bougainvillea Garden threw open its gates to all citizens until March-end, from 10am to 5pm daily. Here you may see more than 150 varieties of bougainvilleas in red, pink, white, yellow, magenta, blue, and also in multicoloured versions.
But start your tour with that surreal sight in Indirapuram. The entire road there is generously laden with bougainvilleas, turning that Ghaziabad stretch into an idyllic midsummer day’s dream.
Nightmare in paradise