Gulmohar3 mins 92 3 mins 92
I’m Janet, 40 years old divorcee. I often visit this park, near to my office. There is a Gulmohar tree in this park that caught my eyes a few years back when just after my divorce l joined this office in Delhi. I wanted to erase that part of my life. Staying at the same place brought back painful memories so as soon as I cracked my first interview I shifted to Delhi. As I sat under this Gulmohar tree, my childhood days reappeared in my mind and I relived them again as I have so many times in the last few years.
Thirty-four years back.....
There was a Gulmohar tree in my backyard.
Gulmohar, the ‘flame of the forest’ or ‘flamboyant’ tree, is scientifically called Delonix regia. It is a large spreading and somewhat umbrella-shaped tree with light feathery, fern-like leaves. It flowers between April and May and at times continuous till August. So, flowering time corresponds well with summer vacations. The deep scarlet flowers are borne in large masses covering the whole tree, giving it a flame colour, that’s why the name.
The flowers are, each with five spoon-shaped petals that have wrinkly edges.
The stalks of the petals are thick and fleshy and we used to eat that part of the flower and I still remember that tangy taste. It’s a beautiful tree when in full bloom. We spent many lazy summer afternoons under this tree.
We? yes! I Janet and my neighbour Advith. Our friendship blossomed under the Gulmohar tree.
Whole summer vacations, our afternoons were booked in my backyard and all our gaming and fighting, giggling and grimacing, Sulking and cajoling, that Gulmohar tree was witness to everything.
Advith was used to collect its leaves and shower them on my head, starting a fight right after that and making me chase and shouting his name and then suddenly he would stop and pretending to be ready to take my punches. I could never hit him. How could I, after looking in those two beautiful most genuine eyes. He often used to say, ” I will make a treehouse for you.”
And that afternoon he came to say goodbye as his parents were shifting to Madras. At that time, owning a telephone were not common and we were just six or seven years old. Parting from Advith was very painful and it left a vacuum in my heart. At that tender age, I could not express my feelings to anyone and though it cannot be levelled as romantic, emotionally we had deep bonding. I wasn't about to come over it any sooner.
A few days back......
I signed in on Facebook and a few hours later, a message flashed on my phone my heart skipped a beat. It was Advith.
’Hi Janet, remember me? It’s Advith.’
’Hi, Advith, where have you been?’
and after a few massages, we exchanged our phone numbers and today we are about to meet.
His flight from New York must have landed an hour back. He wanted me to receive him at the airport but I insisted to meet him here, in this park. He was about to make his appearance at any time. My heart skipped a beat as I turned and there he was standing in front of me, as tall and handsome as I could imagine. Suddenly noticing mischief in my eyes, as he ran, I followed and showered him with Gulmohar leaves.
As I stopped to receive his punches, instead he embraced me in his arms.