Bringing a bit of the outdoors home

Bangalore is full of these drooping white flowers now, bunches and bunches and bunches of them across the city. Going by the scientific name of Millingtonia and popularly called the Indian cork tree or Akasha Mallige, these flowers are not much to look at when on the tree. If you aren’t deceived by their appearance and get close to one of these trees, you get to see how beautiful the individual flowers actually are. You also get rewarded with a whiff of their lovely, heady fragrance. As if they wish to deceive onlookers and reveal their secret only to those who care to look beyond their exterior.

The scent has always bewitched me, a haunting mix of spicy and sweet – not too sweet as to be sickly, nor too spicy as to be pungent enough to burn your nostrils. I find it an exquisite fragrance, the kind that comes in nice, happy, fluffy, romantic dreams.

I happen to have one of these trees right outside my home, and it graciously drops pristine, gorgeous white flowers all over the road, sometimes right into the waiting, outstretched arms of passersby. It is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, and reminds me of Bahaaron phool barsao, mera mehboob aaya hai. My imagination acts up whenever I see these flowers dropping to the ground, and I can almost see an excited Vyjanthimala collecting bunches of them to wear in her hair, the handsome Rajendra Kumar standing by to gaze adoringly at her beauty.

I am tempted to spread out my dupatta and stand underneath the tree to gather as many blossoms as I can before they touch the ground, but I resist.

I often collect little bunches of these white beauties and bring them home, to keep in little jars and teacups. Or I just keep them on my work desk. Like today. I love bringing a little bit of the outdoors home that way, and each time I do so, I also bring home a bit of magic, a bit of sparkle, a bit of sunshine. My drab work desk perks up, and waves of the spicy-sweet scent waft across the home with every gust of wind that manages to get in. And then, I do not mind the nasty stinker mails, the looming deadlines and the achieving or not achieving of my KRAs.

Nature, as always, rubs off on me, soothing me from within, giving me the impetus to go on in spite of the odds.

31 thoughts on “Bringing a bit of the outdoors home

  1. Last week I was at Isha Yog Centre, Coimbatore and saw that the whole place is lit up with these trees and their divine fragrance. So pure, so prestin! Sadhguru Krupa. I even saw a peacock sitting on one of these trees that stood tall next to our cottage. Wow, what a scene! Did not take any pictures as photography is not allowed here, but the image is imprinted in my mind forever.
    I recollect, while schooling in Goa, we, teenagers, used to pick these flowers and weave them into pleats to wear them on our ponytails.
    Even today, whenever and wherever I pass underneath these lovely trees, I cannot but resist myself, from picking up few of these scented God’s Gifts and store their fragrance in my nostrils for-ever. It reminds me of my childhood. So nostalgic.
    Thank you for your post… God bless!


  2. Aah.. Love it!!
    And love that my instincts bring me here whenever you do such a lovely post on flowers πŸ™‚

    One more bit.. Its also called Mara Mallige, literally meaning tree jasmine. I love to pick up the fallen flowers too.. and take in the awesome fragrance!! Lucky you have it just outside your home!


    1. @Priya

      Thank you, Priya! πŸ™‚

      Oh, I didn’t know that it is called Mara Mallige. πŸ™‚

      Yes, I am lucky to have ready access to these lovely flowers at all times. πŸ™‚


  3. “I am tempted to spread out my dupatta and stand underneath the tree to gather as many blossoms as I can before they touch the ground, but I resist.”
    Hehe … I think you should try doing that sometime πŸ™‚ I would love doing that too πŸ™‚
    Lovely flowers πŸ™‚ and I like that porcelain jar and the wallpaper on your desktop πŸ™‚
    Haven’t spotted these flowers here … will try to see if they are around here πŸ™‚


  4. So beautiful they are!! I have seen these flowers many times, but didnt really get a chance to smell or touch them. Love that jar where you have put up these flowers and the place looks very lively too πŸ™‚


    1. @Greenboochi

      Oh, you should smell these flowers some time! Really! And do let me know how you liked the fragrance. πŸ™‚

      Thank you! πŸ™‚


  5. These flowers are not around in my area 😦

    Will look out for them during the weekend if possible πŸ™‚

    The jar looks lovely, so does the desktop wallpaper πŸ™‚


    1. @Visha

      Do look out for them. Don’t miss them, I would say! πŸ™‚ I hope you find them, Visha! πŸ™‚

      Thank you! It is one of my favourite jars. The wallpaper is a picture from the National Geographic website.


    1. @R’s Mom

      Oh, they are gorgeous flowers all right! πŸ™‚

      Well, in Bombay, you have other beautiful sights to see! πŸ˜‰


  6. With that, wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring a half-dozen chubby sparrows, a couple of parrots, a squirrel and a sunrise-colored cloud home? I’m not even asking for a huge banyan – nah, not *that* greedy!


  7. I can only imagine the lovely scent. Sometimes, I bring some orange blossoms, some jasmine, or some rosemary indoors, for reasons similar to yours. πŸ˜‰


    1. @Suko

      Oh, you should smell the flowers of the Indian Cork Tree if you get a chance. It is such a unique scent!

      Bringing a bit of the outdoors home is such a great feeling! πŸ™‚


    1. @Perspectives and prejudices

      The flowers are too beautiful and have too beautiful a scent to let them go waste, hai na? πŸ™‚


  8. I know those beautiful flowers πŸ™‚ indeed, it is a very happy feeling to have some of outdoors home πŸ™‚ Your desk looks so refreshing with that beautiful addition. Also, I love porcelain in white and blue. There is something charming about it !


    1. @Kismi

      Thank you, Kismi! πŸ™‚

      I love blue and white porcelain jars, too. I love collecting such little knick-knacks. πŸ™‚


  9. This makes me soooooo jealous! Missing those good old glorious days 😦 I used to do the same baharon phool ..thingy, esp. in summer – The Gulmohars! And work ? Hmph! its just ONE part of our lives, chill!

    Its great to see you romancing Bangalore despite all the abuse it has gone through.


    1. @Mom with a dot

      Well, I have been in Bangalore only for the last 3 years or so, and I find it beautiful, with its tree-lined avenues and gorgeous flowers all year round. I haven’t really been a witness to all the transformation the city has undergone, as hard-core Bangaloreans say. And compared to the no-greenery-zone that Ahmedabad was, I find this bliss. πŸ™‚


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