Sunday, Oct 02, 2022
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Floss Silk City

The fleeting Indian spring is gone and summer is upon us. But the trees continue to offer surprises every day. There is a Chorisia Speciosa (floss-silk tree) opposite my porch. I hardly noticed it till I saw it produce green banana-like dangling fruits. I wondered what they were. As the summer heat cooked them, one by one they burst open, revealing a tightly packed ball of wool. Gradually they loosened and little balls began to fly away with the wind. Each carried a single seed at the heart. With the help of the wind the Chorisia was going to spread its seeds all over New Delhi, leaving it to the monsoons to sprout and grow them.

I salute the unknown superintendent of gardens under Lutyens and his successors who planted such a variety of trees. Outside my office is a giant Ficus Retusa (Indian Laurel), rising hundreds of feet to form a vast canopy. It is home to numerous birds and monkeys. There is a huge doomna, a honeycomb of desi bees, up on a branch. The monkeys and birds go close to the bees, but do not disturb them, nor are they upset by them.

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