Hyderabad is cold now, oh.. not like Delhi or Bhopal, or Bangalore for that matter. It is long awaited , wonderful weeks of less sun and more cool weather. We are all relishing it, not giving a thought to the hot March-August. And what better way to get filled with winter magic , when the atmosphere surrounding one’s house is scented by the Gods?
The tree is near the compound wall adjoining my neighbour’s, and they always say that they get most of the fragrance. It has grown tall, to seek sunlight, and it is touching the electric lamp post. The other day , my milk delivery gentleman was commenting” Madam, there is this heady smell , when I turn near this locality, snakes may be nearby, be careful”. I had to assure him that for past 6 years , we are having these Raat ki Raani flowers, and no snake came nearer.
We are so pleased with this fragrant plant , as it fills our home . Our neighbours are also very pleased, some of them call and complement on the fragrance. Thank God for these pleasures, and thank you Night Queen.
The flower Kanakambaram has been held in high esteem in my mind since childhood. I remember my grandmother’s house, where they had an adjacent plot full of this flower plants. During Summer holidays, we had the joy of arranging those flowers in twos, to be tied by the aunts, and made in to a garland. They will decorate the flowers on to our pigtails, and it was a delight to wear them. Light on the head and at the same time a cheerful colour.
As one grew older, the idea of wearing flowers on the hair got sidelined, and then hair itself was cut and thinned out and what not. In life’s rushed pace, the distant memory of Kanakambaram fields, was always lurking.
When I started the Terrace garden, I collected a plant from Mangalore , to get the flower. But the plant died, and I gave up. To my surprise , our native Hyderabad variety of Kanakambaram sprang up all over the place in no time. they live for a few months in summer,give flowers scantily and then vanish. But this year, now in Winter , we are getting lot of flowers. I am not sure whether they bloom twice a year, but I am happy to have them. At last, reliving those days in distant village of Grandma!
So readers, here are those pretty flowers, along with my first Chamanthi.