This flower is an undelible part of my childhood. Many are the happy hours, I should say years , that I have spent under this fragrant shade. We never had a camera then and I never understood why this scent has always stayed with me for so many years.
Only recently did I read something on it- and what I found made my memories even more precious. This is the Night Jasmine /Coral jasmine/ also called Parijatha in India. It is held as sacred and is supposed to have emerged from the oceans during the churning of oceans by gods and demons. It is supposed to be the first gift to humankind hence its sacred status. Finally … Most importantly… It is supposed to be none other than a “WISH GRANTING TREE”” !!! .
Now all the mystery is clear–why I had the most wonderful childhood ever.. the loveliest friends, the sweetest pets.. everything everything…….
A poem for this lovely tree and its beautiful flowers as a Thank you from me!!
“You were special, little one
He chose you from all the fallen ones”
The chosen one
The afternoon breeze had a graceful sway
A little flower was on its way
It peeped out of its curly whorls,
smiling as the playful air rubbed its nose.
The ocean above was too far away
but other tiny buds were willing to play
Bathing in freshness of youth’s vigor,
the essence burst from its own fragrant core
Soon its fledging petals arrived
like the fairy wings on butterflies
Never envying the floral giants
that stood tall with royal pride,
the fledging coral-flower saw shy dreams
of being a jewel on a radiant bride.
Cruel was the monsoon ‘s tyrant gale,
it chose the very afternoon to arrive
The quivering, little flower was dashed
on earth’s grassy bosom, still alive
Sobbing tears broke its tender heart
It rued its miniscule, transient life
Why did God make it blossom
Only for misfortune to strike?
The green grass fed it sweet raindrops
till a little girl came with a brass basket
And collected the newly fallen coral-blossoms
Lo ! temple bells rang and God smiled
as holy hands smelling of sandalwood
placed the flower reverently at his lotus feet!