The Parijatha Tree

You cannot not fall in love with the parijatha. It is a cute little flower with white petals and a tiny orange/red stalk with a lovely fragrance, not too mild yet not as heady as the jasmine. It blooms at dusk and falls off by early dawn. The fallen flowers form the most beautiful carpet nature can design, the flowers lie about around the base of the tree face down with their orange stalks upright. There are many stories in the Indian mythology about the Parijatha tree. To know more, google is your best friend 🙂
My garden-crazy mother definitely had a green thumb, or two….well…..10 green fingers!  The earth was not conducive for growing plants. It was hard laterite. She persevered and we had a large variety of roses, hibiscus, hydrangeas, crotons, champak, money plant growing on the jack with leaves so large that they could be sent off to replace the banana leaves used for traditional functions :-). Even the lemon tree that lived silently and stoically, gave in to my mom’s goading and we harvested large quantities of lemon, the size of guavas that we would distribute among family and friends.
So you can imagine how my mom felt when the parijatha saplings that she tried to plant and grow would die, just like that! They didn’t seem to have the will that mum had to break through the earth, grow roots and live. She watered them, checked on them, sheltered them from excessive sunlight and must have even talked to them and pleaded with them to adorn her garden, but to no avail.
Then one day my maternal grand-mom came from the village with two parijatha cuts. She planted one near our main gate and another one in our backyard. Lo and behold, both the plants sprouted new leaves, grew roots deep through the earth and we had two lovely tree-shrubs!
My grandmom didn’t live much longer after that visit to our house. The plants flowered away like they wanted to make up for lost time. For us grand-kids and my mum the parijatha trees were a gentle reminder of one of the noblest soul that lived on the face of the earth. The tree near the main gate would shower flowers on to the road too. The flowers served well; many early morning walkers of our neighbourhood  have picked them and offered the parijatha at the feet of many a Gods in their homes.


  1. Wow! This is amazing Kiki! And memories seem to rush into ones head! I actually had a lump in my throat as I read this one!
    Hugs! And keep them coming SIS-STAR!


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