Fragrant Mornings



The harsingar is in bloom. The walk to the bus stop is a delight for the path is intermittently strewn with these delicately scented white flowers with their saffron stems. Lending a beautiful beginning to the day.

I first made my happy acquaintance with Parijat, (to call it by one of its many names) when I was nine years old. Our garden in our then residence boasted (justifiably) a harsingar tree. Come (mid) September and the tree would burst into flower.

The walkway would be carpet of white and orange and the early morning air would be suffused with the gentle fragrance of these fragile blooms. A sight to gladden the heart and one definite plus in favour of being an early bird!

We lived in that house for two years and then were posted out. But the tree went with me in my heart and mind. Subsequent residences had other trees but it was a good two decades later that I moved into my present home. A lane leading to which is lined with these precious trees. Fortuitously for me.

I collect the dainty Shiuli (my favourite amongst its names) by the handful and float them in water around the house. So I can revel in their mellow fragrance through the day. Little bowls of joy.

(The exquisite Parijat was one of the gems to result from the “Samudra Manthan It has therapeutic qualities as well, is used as a perfume and as a dye.


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