Tree Spotting

To start at the very beginning there was a book – Trees of Delhi and a romantic me thinking of walks in on the various tree lined avenues of central Delhi trying to understand how one goes about identifying trees.  Then there was a more enlightened me and I decided to start right outside the house and though I haven’t written much on my attempts these are the only two I could find. Initial journal on tree spotting!!

Day 1
It was 8 at night and I was feeling extremely guilty of having put down Trees of Delhi after a certain point i.e. post the introductions and description of Delhi , the process of writing the book , how to use the book etc,.
Right when it was time for me to now start identifying trees I got caught up in work that I was more familiar with. Right when the book reading called for my participation I slipped back into familiar territory.

Let me at least spot one tree I said to myself. Rather let me decide which tree I will find in the book. It was dark and I wasn’t dressed to venture out , so I decided to just id the one right outside my door. Looked at it up and down and realized that there were a line of these in front of my home. I’d kind of known that before- like the color of my house on the outside, but if were asked I’d answer less than correct.

Its true- knowledge or education has a lot to do with acute consciousness, being aware. I’d known that these trees were around..but the fact that they were all the same…and that they had x kind leaves and y kind of trunk..had not registered as information….while there were people studying it like a science.  

My lesson for the day was done. As you can see I'm easily pleased.

Day 3
Post a splitting headache yesterday and unbelievably fresh morning I was ready to give myself another chance with tree spotting. I was left staring foolishly at a one not too far from home. There were so many of them around but I couldn't find it in my book. Impatience. Despair.  

The next one I chose looked familiar but I still couldn't match it with any leaf in the book. And when the leaf matched the rest of the tree and description didn't. Quite exasperated at my own shortcomings I decided to check with the security guard close at hand.

Yeh?...yeh tho Jamun hai……
Zyaada time nahin falta ..thoday din meing khatam ho jaatey hain….iske beej diabetes par asar karti hai..log kehtein hai phal hi khalo!! ..par phal kab tak milte hain ? beej sukha ke rakh lo., phir powder bana ke roz ek chamach subah khaa jao.

I smiled, packed up and walked homeward.  This deserves solitude to savour!

P.S- Thanks for the book Nimesh

Looking closer home

I write about Saiha on the blog a place i've come to feel at home in. Our travel here, encounters with people and experiencing the forests and the lives that are sustained by it. 

Back at my home in Delhi too, there is a whole lot to see especially where Amma and pappa are , thought I must put some of it up too. 

We’ve been living in the Holy Family Hospital Campus for over 10 years now. Fortunately or otherwise the largest stretch of time I spent here has been my troublesome teens. It didn’t leave me with much desire to look beyond myself and my immediate concerns into the what this campus had to offer. 

However there were stories (there always are) that found their way into my almost indifferent ears, hostel girls and parakeets raiding the orchards for guava(I’d put my money on the parakeets) The theft of mangoes by little boys, the hovering eagles known for plucking out the eyeballs of children who dare to stare (i think this is an earlier horror tale that stuck to my amused mind all these years)  and many of the like. However apart from the attention seekers like the crows and parakeets the other birds just wandered in and out of my line of vision without really holding my attention to any consequence.

2002 onwards I’ve lived here in patches owing to my declining fondness for Delhi in general but drawn to home nonetheless.  The last year has been different , for one I’ve started living in Saiha and am in a better place both geographically and in my head and as a consequence I’ve learnt to appreciate better the seemingly smaller  pleasures of life (they only seem small). And my visits home have added dimensions. Sharing some of the experiences of the past year in the posts that follow.