Friday, June 8, 2012

Jasmine flowers and more


Recently, when we visited a semi-residential area at Bangalore, I was thrilled to see that most of the houses in that lane still flaunted their jasmine creepers. Made me remember the bygone years during which jasmine played an important role at several households.

At Bangalore, jasmine creepers have played a special role – the role of bringing people together and binding them in a relationship, which can be cherished lifelong. I remember that every house had a jasmine creeper. The owners took good care of the creepers, and were all smiles during summer, when several hundreds of thousands of flowers bloomed.

My grandparents had a jasmine variety called – Nithya Mallige. It had flowers all through the year; excess during the warmer months. The creeper grew in front of the house, and climbed to the first floor (or the terrace).One of the evening duties of my grandmom's  was to pluck the buds and flowers, sort them out, and make garlands. Grandmom would give a piece of garland to all the women, including the grand-daughters. These flowers pleasantly united the grandchildren, daughters, daughter-in-law, and grandlady. All the day's stress was forgotten.

I wish that the tradition continued. Well, the big houses have now become apartment/commercial complex or have been sold. The grandlords and grandladies are no more; but their fond memories are like sweet treats for us. My grandmom is still around; thanks to God, she is hale and healthy. But, you see, there are no more jasmine flowers to unite the family like the olden days.

At parents' house, the ladies in the neighborhood would buy jasmine buds in bulk, share the buds among themselves, sit in front of one person's house, and then make garlands. This was the time, usually during the evenings, when they chit-chatted or gossiped. Technology had not yet made people lazy, addicted, or disconnected; these were events to bond personally with others. For a little girl, such as I, these events meant that she gets extra playtime with the neighboring kids. I can still visualize my little brother riding his little tri-cycle, and other kids running behind him. Oh, yes, it was chaos, but a memorable chaos, which was a display of selfless love.


I loved those childhood days. Each time I recollect those days, I feel awesome. Each time I see a jasmine creeper, I feel the need to encourage myself and others to grow this creeper. When I bought a creeper for my terrace garden, I bought two extra ones - one for my mother and one for my aunt. All the three creeper had excellent flowers, resembled tiny stars. Well, one of my parents' tenants took away my mom’s creeper without her permission or knowledge. She misses the creeper terribly. My aunt lost the creeper because of negligence from her family and tenants – the creeper just perished. After the flowering season, I must remember to gift a creeper each to both the ladies.

At our house, we have Rama Baana, Gundu mallige, and Suthu mallige varieties of jasmine. The Rama Baana is the oldest, and has survived multiple re-plant. The flowers are longer, have a Purplish cover, and a killing fragrance. The Gundu mallige is stout, smaller, and looks sharp. The Suthu mallige has layers and looks stunning. This is the variety that grows at our terrace garden. This time around, the flowers measured about 2 inches. Absolutely beautiful!


All right, I am done with my narration. It’s your chance to narrate a story about jasmine. Please drop a line, if you have a creeper or a memory of it or anything at all that you desire to share.

Oh, yes, the monsoon has set in; been raining heavily (at intervals). On such a rainy day, I love to eat something spicy. I made tomato soup, capsicum-carrot-onion curry, spicy rice noodles, and rice with spicy powder (or paruppu podi or gunpowder spice). 

Dinner

Today's evening sky - after the rains

Hey, it’s Friday, and join me in celebrating Fertilizer Friday with Glenda and Floral Friday Fotos with Nick. Happy weekend! 

Regards,
Asha

11 comments:

  1. Absolutely delightful read. memories indeed. We have small garden int the small relief area in the apt. roses mainly.In the teeny balcony we have pots. more out of desperation than anything else. I hope we can have small patch in the new place. Creeper is definitley on the mind.

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  2. The really good memories - very similar. but back in the hometown. last time when I wentI saw that spectacular plants in the piece of ground we have. well maintained by my. cousin and my little niece thoroughly enjoys it - knows about each plant. I mean she really knows them - like "wait a minute, this bud is new" kinda know. Lovely.

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  3. Thanks, Rajavel, for patiently reading the article and for sharing your stories. You can take a few plants from me, after your house construction is complete. And yes, kids and plants can become best friends. The kids learn a set of life skills from the plants; the plants get their dose of extra pampering from the kids. :)

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  4. I miss my Jasmine in Bangalore. The plant never failed to sport a flower or more, but i always used to pay a cursory glance and the pick one for my hair. But now, i miss the flower, the fragrance, the its infallible appearance every single day...

    Nice post and pics!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know... When I visit the houses (that are remaining) at older parts of Bangalore, every house seems to have a jasmine creeper. It's a romance of a different kind!

      Regards,
      Asha

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  5. Lovely pictures.
    And the variety of Jasmines, awesome.It must be smelling divine on the terrace, when they are in full bloom.The yellow Kankambaram looks cheerful.

    I am fascinated by the Mangalore Mallige, and brought one from Lalbaugh the year before. It survived and is flowering profusely, on the terrace. I am happy to pluck the flowers in the mornings,and enjoy whatever fragrance is left.
    Small pleasures..

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    Replies
    1. The plants are getting ready to bloom this season, Pattu. :)

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  6. Hi

    Can you pls guide me as to where in Lal Baug did you pick the mangalore mallige plant from .

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kaizer,

      Lalbagh nursery is open from 10.00 am (IST) onward. I think they close by 6.00 pm. Pls visit Lalbagh now, during the Republic Day flower show. You'll find several nursery stalls selling exotic and native plants. Pls check the health of plants/bulbs before you buy. Sometimes, the stalls tend to sell bulbs that are old or decayed. You can also visit the Lalbagh nursery, and ask the assistants to direct you to the jasmine plant collection. There are a few varieties of jasmine. These plants are growing from cuttings. When you buy, ensure that the roots have grown well, and the stem is healthy. Check the leaves; should be Green and fresh. Check below the leaves for pests. And then, pick a plant.

      When you bring the plant home. Pls keep the plant in semi-shade for a day or two, and then move it to full sunlight area. Jasmine plants love the sunlight. Water every day or when the soil is slightly dry. If the plant came in a growing bag, and you see that the roots have outgrown the bag, pls transfer the plant to a bigger container or on land. Soil mixture can have 2 portions red mud, 1 portion sand, and 2 portions manure (horse or vermi-compost).

      All the best!

      Regards,
      Asha

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  7. Hi,

    which is the area in which you saw a jasmine creeper in almost every house? I''m asking for a student project on Jasmine.

    Thank you.
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the lanes near Austin town. I don't know which cross. Some houses at South Bangalore still have jasmine creepers; you will have to walk around the neighborhood to locate such houses.

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Hi friends,

Thanks for visiting the blog site. Please leave a message to share experiments at your garden or to send me a feedback about my experiments. Even a simple "Hello" would make my day!

Regards,
Asha

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