I grew up watching an amaltas (Cassia fistula) grow in our side-garden in Lahore. Each spring would bring flowers on the creepers and shortly thereafter the Amaltas would start blooming with yellow flowers setting fire to the little garden adjacent to my room. Lahoreâ€™s roads would also glow in the summer adding much zest to a loveable, hot summer.
Heat would make one yearn for the rains. So the cycle of seasons would continue with Amaltas at the centre of transitions and unforgettable for the colour and unfathomable beauty.
In Dhaka, Delhi and so many South Asian cities I have watched Amaltas trees in full bloom. The picture above (taken in Islamabad by a newspaper correspondent) today brought back all those muddled memories. Luckily, where I live now, Amalatas exists with a different local name.
Comforting, like an old acquaintance, it is still there in my life. It has not abandoned me.
A version of this post also appeared at Lahore Nama
Photo Credits: flickr.com