My amaltas Tree

Posted on June 23, 2008
Filed Under >Raza Rumi
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Raza Rumi

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. Lahore’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:

19 responses to “My amaltas Tree”

  1. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    Raza: You have revived many memories. When I was writing my memoirs of Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti, I wanted to write about ‘our’ Amaltas tree but did not.

    In our school there was this one lonely Amaltas tree under which we parked our bicycles. In months of May and June that tree used to bloom like crazy with very sweet fragrance. The tree had very nice deep and cool shadow. It was a place to for our group to ‘hang out’ and for Dildar to hold his daily ‘majma’. I wonder how many laughters and care free early summer hours were spent there.

    Last year I went back to visit our old school. It has been upgraded to a degree college now. I went looking for ‘our’ Amaltas tree……… It was not there any more. That part of the campus has been claimed for the new addition to the old building.

  2. Richard Rai says:

    Thanks for bring back memories of years gone by. I still remember waking up in the morning beholding beautiful flowers hanging from the branches. Loved specially the combination of bright yellow to yellow green.

  3. Zebunnisa says:

    An interesting look at “sacred trees” here:

  4. Zebunnisa says:

    Beautiful post. Thank you.

  5. Asma says:

    And I thought only Islamabad is rich in yellow delights :)

    Lovely post :>

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