Monday, June 07, 2010

Frangipani and the bougainvillea

Where I live, frangipanis abound.

I am more familiar with the Indian term for them, the ‘champa’.It took me time to figure out that they were called frangipanis.

I have seen them almost everywhere in and around the area where I live, abundant in their red or white blossoms. The white blossomed ‘champa’s are beautiful. Their white not really white but of a creamy texture which makes me wish to reach out and caress their petals. Perhaps to see if some of its color will come on to my fingers. Pure, pristine, simple creamy white. And when they are in full bloom, they are a sight to behold. Simply divine.

One day in the month of May, on a tree lined avenue that abounds in jacaranda and tamarind trees, I noticed something that took my breath away.

A huge and abundant frangipani shrub or tree (if I can call it that) with its creamy white blossoms, intermingled with it, in it. the rich red flowers of a bougainvillea shrub that was growing besides it. A vivid splash of color the smattering of red and white made the shrub look heart achingly beautiful. The kind of sight that left me open mouthed in delight and happiness. The way in which their colors intermingled, so seamlessly with the champa blossom giving the bougainvillea its own space to create a riot of color amidst the green trees.

That road became a favorite of mine ever since-just to have a glimpse of the two in communion with each other.

Few months later when I passed by, I saw just the bougainvillea in bloom while the champa was without her blossoms. The red was vibrant enough for me to turn back and look again but I felt it was incomplete. I couldn’t bring myself to feel that sense of ‘sheer joy’ one feels when they glimpse something beautiful.

Was their friendship so brief? Was their union just an interlude where each complemented the other and brought out the best in each other for that short period? And life took its course from there?

Why does something transient upset my balance? Is permanence the crux of being happy?

If the frangipani and bougainvillea had always blossomed together, would I have cherished that sight as much as I did now? Now as I passed by the red bougainvillea shrub swaying in the breeze, I was filled with an indescribable longing. A sense of impatience for time to fly, for seasons to change so that I could glimpse the beauty that they could create together all over again.-their brief interlude.

(Now that i look back,i never cared to click a photograph of them.Next year I shall) 

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Every birthday eve, I tell my daughters the story of their birth. Or more specifically, what happened on the day prior to their birth, what I ate to how I felt, to what happened at the hospital, to who was with me……there is so much to tell. Somewhere the memories that have been stored away just seem to flow into words naturally on those 2 days of every year-June 6th and Oct 29th. .

Somehow, without my knowledge it seems to have become a tradition. This stepping back into the past, the narration of those eventful days of my life when my children hadn’t been born yet and I was awaiting their coming into this world eagerly…this tradition seems to continue with each passing year .I tend to forget that so much time has lapsed since their birth and it all seems new. Even if I forget or think they are saturated with the story of their respective birthdate stories am taken by surprise by the fact that they never tire of hearing it again and again.

May those memories never fade for me and for them, ever...