The gorgeous Amaltas or the Indian Laburnum is painting the city with a defiant yellow. Wander around Amrita Shergil Marg, August Kranti Marg, Hauz Khas Monument complex, Hailey’s Road, Akbar Road, Banglow Road and your heart will lift up at the sheer beauty of its delicate inflorescence. Suddenly a turn will present you with a stunning lone specimen making its mark in the midst of all the chaos around. Laburnum makes Delhi a midsummer day’s dream. This short blossoming is one of the many ways the city makes you fall in love with it again and again. It makes you forget the soaring temperature, the melting asphalt, and the noxious fumes as you stand witnessing the alchemy of these beautiful flowers. The cityscape is nothing less than Monet’s painting.
Here is a watercolour painting and a few poems I wrote recently to celebrate this transient yet magnificent spring in summer.
amaltas reminds me of Arts Faculty,
of Bunglow Road and the poetry of Gulzar
it reminds me of aimless ambling around the city monuments
and in the streets sizzling with the yellow heat.
dil dhoodhta hai phir wohi fursat ke raat din…
amaltas also reminds me of Hanami,
the Japanese tradition of viewing the transient flowers
and our own way to celebrate it.
it reminds me of Arundhati Roy and Ted Hughes
it also reminds me to open my resilient petals
in the hardest of times and bloom
It reminds me of my Aajji.
“Revolution,” says the Gulmohar
“Resilience,” says the Laburnum
“It’s hot,” they say as one
Sleep deprived nights
lead to unexpected places
like an empty road
sheened by laburnums
against an urban sky,
Van Gogh’s yellow,
a sulphurous radiance
that you come to like
do nothing but be still
in your quiet solitude
just watch and witness
The laburnum dwarfs the summer sun
Beneath it at a makeshift street stall
a vendor crushes chiselled sugarcanes,
I watch juice sprout from the crusher,
nothing comes easy in summer,
the man wipes away sweat with a gamcha
in the heat he strains at the handle
wheels squeeze the last drops of sap
from the twisted stalks he casts aside,
With the punch of ginger, a tang of lime,
some mint and a mysterious spice
the refreshing liquid calms my thirsty throat
as memories awaken I recall a small girl
she is licking sweetness from her lips
before she bends to gather fallen flowers
I see her pin the flowers to her flowing hair
while overhead yellow blossom sways
to the rhythm of the afternoon breeze
Tikuli is an internationally published poet, author and blogger from Delhi whose work has appeared in print and online literary magazines including Le Zaporogue, MiCROW 8, The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), Life And legends, Levure Littéraire 10, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Open Road Review, Cafe Dissensus, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Dissident Voice, Women’s Web, Tuck Magazine, The Criterion, Peregrine Muse, Knot Magazine, Asian Signature Magazine, The Bombay Review, The Thumb Print – A Magazine From The East, The Peacock Journal and The Peacock Journal Anthology, TEKSTO-The People’s Magazine, Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology, Melange – a Potpourri of thoughts, Le Zaporogue Print editions and the much acclaimed Chicken Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul (Westland). Her debut poetry book, Collection of Chaos, was published in 2014 by Leaky Boot Press. Her second book of poems Wayfaring was published in 2017 by Leaky Boot Press. Her third book of poems, Duets, written in collaboration with James Goddard, was released in November 2018. She blogs at tikulicious.wordpress.com
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City and India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Hatred and Mass Violence: Lessons from History”, edited by Navras J. Aafreedi, Presidency University, Kolkata, India.