Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I Am Going To Miss These Things...Part-I


It is always human nature...when we have things, we will not give too much importance to them.  Once we know that we are going to get away from them, then the nagging ache starts in our heart...slowly!

I had already written about our plans of shifting from our independent house to a flat here.  I have done a couple of posts on the flowers in my garden here. The day is nearing and I have started getting the 'missing/leaving anguish' now.  I will miss plucking the flowers in the morning with my cats following me around and watering the plants in the evening. We have a gardener coming once a week to clean the area from dry leaves and water the plants properly...washing the plants/leaves from dust and do other gardening jobs.  I was very particular about planting mostly plants of flowers with fragrance.  We are in the outskirts, so we don't have drainage facilities, yet.  The storm water drain is used by all, as a drainage for waste water from houses.  I will post a picture in the end.  It is too dirty.  It stinks.  So to contain that stink, the flowers help a lot. And one more thing, we get lots of butterflies and some small birds visiting us because of the blooming flowers, which is great to watch throughout the day!

This sudden attack of nostalgia was triggered by this article in 'The Hindu' about a book review on Madurai Mallippoo by Mrs. Uma Kannan.  I have got many varieties of mallippoo/jasmine flowers, but the fragrance of madurai mallippoo is exceptional.  Just 2 small flowers are enough to give fragrance, not only to the pooja room but to the entire hall in our house.  I have got some 4 plants of these flowers on all sides of our house.  The petals are unique...they are broad unlike the other types of mallippoo and look very beautiful at night...like lights with the dark background of the green leaves.

Now, let me quote some information from Mrs. Uma Kannan's book:

One of the oldest flowers cultivated by man and believed to have aphrodisiac qualities, the jasmine, is the subject of this first-ever full-length speciality book. There are several books on other flowers as they make perfect gift books but none on jasmine. And particularly, the Madurai jasmine, which is world famous and gave the Temple town the epithet of jasmine capital of India.

When marriage brought her to Madurai four decades ago, she saw how the city revelled in an abundance of jasmine. Even the lone Indian Airlines flight to Chennai from Madurai in the 1970s was known as “Malli Special” and carried more jasmine baskets than passengers.

Every year in Madurai alone, 9,557 tonnes of malligai are produced annually from 1,220 hectares. It is also cultivated in Virudhunagar, Theni, Dindiul and Sivaganga. What makes the Madurai malligai extra special? Its fragrance lasts for 36 hours as it is grown on laterite and reddish soils. Its petals are thicker and help the flower to retain moisture and delay withering. It blooms only after 6 p.m. and stays fresh longer and leaves no odour once it withers. It is greenish white in colour when it is manually plucked from the plant early morning. After a few hours it turns milky white and then a shiny creamy white during the evening.

It is a charming tribute to the sacred ‘satwik’ flower that has a unique link with Madurai dating back to 300 B.C., or even earlier.

Madurai malli is protected by Geographical Indication mark.

I am proud to have this flower at home...I hope the plants survive for more years! My pooja room will have its fragrance forever.

One more special flower is the Paarijaatha flower.  I had planted this plant nearly 15 years back in my backyard.  But 8 years back, when we painted our house, the painter washed the paint bucket and poured it near the roots of this plant.  I tried my best to remove it but no, within two days, the plant died.  I myself dug two feet mud from that place, put fresh red mud with coconut coirs etc. and planted again and again, but no, nothing survived.  After 8 years, a lone plant, grew in some other inconvenient place to pluck them, started growing and blooming! I am very happy to see the flowers and again its fragrance is spreading in the front yard of our garden.  This is Lord Krishna's favourite flower.  The story is here.  This flower and other parts of the plants are used in Ayurvedic medicine.

These fragrant flowers helped me live in this house,  in spite of the stench of the ditch, just in front of our gate, all these years. But, on second thought, I don't want to spoil the beauty of this page with lovely flowers by posting the dirty picture!  This and the road dust are the main reason which have pushed us away from this beautiful house and garden.



Destination Infinity said...

I am familiar with malli plant/flowers, but I was not aware that what your photos show at the end are parijatha flowers! Yes, the smell is wonderful, you could have also planted a maghizam tree. Look, even I am giving a gardening suggestion!!

Even if you move to flats, you can have small plants in pots, etc. Growing vegetables in pots is becoming very popular now, even I am planning to try it sometime :)

Destination Infinity

bhagyashree said...

My mother too is going thru this phase for the family shifted to a flat. But life is like that, changes are bound to happen.
Lovely pics.

Sandhya said...

DESTINATIION INFINITY: Yes, they are paarijaatha/pavazhamalli flowers. I love their colour combination!

Yes, I am going to keep some pots with flowering plants. The flat is surrounded by decorative crotons, no flowering plants at all. So, I won't see any butterflies! But the next compound is full of trees!

Waiting to see pictures of your home grown vegetables. I have done that when I was in Hosur...not in pots but in our garden there.

BHAGYASHREE: Yes, we get used to all changes, Bhagya. But I will definitely miss my garden! So, taking pictures and writing about them, to read later!

Thank you!

Renu said...

changes always bring nostalgia..due to my hubby's job I have kept shifting house sometimes independent and sometimes apartment, when I am in one, I miss the other:)

Deeps said...

Such beautiful flowers Sandhya! And you're moving? I can totally understand the nostalgia then. Wish you all the very best on the move :)

Take care, Sandhya

Sandhya said...

RENU: We get used to the new environment, mostly in a month's time! We had been in a flat in Hosur, but it was a corner flat in ground floor. So we never felt like living in a flat! Others were like 1 + 1 houses. I blend with all types of environment fast. This is the only house and our own house which has such a nice garden. And this is our first own house! The flat has got its own advantages. It is good for us than this independent house. I might need just a couple of months to blend with the new one! Though the memory of this house will stay in a corner of my heart always!

DEEPS: Thank you, Deeps! We are moving in a couple of weeks!

Toby in India said...

Hello Sandhya, great story about the Jasmin. I hope it won,t be too hard to leave your lovely house and pooja room and move "away". I will wait for new pictures and stories. Take care. Toby

R. Ramesh said...

malli..hmm..sentimental touch for tamils..goodd post sandhyaji..good luck at the new place..

Anu said...

Aww..I love flowers - Malli, Nithyamalli, Jaadhi and Mullai - to adore on my head usually on festive occasions..Simply love them! And having the garden for so long with you, i can sense the attachment you have towards them! My grandma's house had pavazhamalli flower, which I love to make mala to offer it to god!

Usha Pisharody said...

All the best with the move, Sandhya. And yes, Jasmine... the flowers that fill your mind and heart with their fragrance! May they travel with you, in person, if not in the soul :)

Sandhya said...

TOBY IN INDIA; Thank you, Toby!

RAMESH: Thank you, Ramesh!

ANU: I had jaadhi malli and mullai also for sometime, but not now!

If we pluck the pavazhamalli in bud stage and string it with a needle and thread...the mala would look beautiful! The colour combination of the stem and the petal of this flower is lovely, isn't it?

USHA PISHRODY: Yes, I am planning to take just madurai malli in a pot to the flat. These posts are just for remembering them. One more is coming!

Thank you, Usha!

Rama Ananth said...

I can understand what you are going through, but soon you would get used to your new place. It won't happen immediately but it will happen. I really love Malli poo and also Parijatham poo. They are the most beautiful flowers, and it is such a pleasure to pick the parijatham from the grass, first thing in the morning. Ours is just growing it is baby.

BK Chowla, said...

For me this is knowledge.
When we stayed in a bunglow,my wife used to look after the lawn and the plants.Having moved into an apartment,it is different

Sandhya said...

RAMA: Paarijatha doesn't grown that easily. Once it picks up it stays for many years and give us lovely flowers. I had kept in my earlier house. some 19 years back. It is still blooming. Our upstairs tenant used to pluck the flowers at 4 am itself and when I go for taking the flowers, very rarely I used to get some flowers. We were also tenants there. I had to plead him to leave some flowers for me, though I was the one who had planted it and watered it everyday!

I will get used to the atmosphere easily. I have done it earlier in 4 houses! This is the first own house for us! That flat is in dead end so Nil pollution, which is rare inside the cities nowadays. It will be easy to maintain and we can just lock and go out anywhere anytime!

BK CHOWLA: Yes, Chowlaji! Everything is experience. For me, I have got so many experiences to write here! The flat also has got many plus points.

Rachna said...

On our recent trip to Lalbagh we got two jasmine plants and one parijaata one as well. Luckily it has been raining nicely so all plants are blooming especially the jasmine. I so love them. We call them mogra. I have very fond memories of them from my grandfather's huge lawns in my childhood. And you can grow them easily in a pot so do put them in your new house.

Sandhya said...

RACHNA: Yes, I am going to have at least one pot with jasmine. The balcony where good sunlight comes, is a bit small. The other balcony is quite big but literally no sunlight. I will be keeping some plants wherever possible, Rachna! Thank you!

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