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. Kabir says:

    The splash of color that this tree brings is a joy to behold.

  2. Ordinary Girl says:

    Such beautiful trees. They make me wish I were a better photographer :)

  3. auk says:

    Raza, Now that I am forced to divulge where I come from, Amaltas Road is in Wah Cantt.

  4. Tina says:

    What a lovely article and a reminder not to overlook the beauties in our own backyards. It’s often hard to find people who have complimentary things to say about Pakistan in the hot season, but the good things are there for many–folks who have fond memories of mango orchards ripening, of monsoon rains, of sleeping on the rooftop–and now the amaltas tree. Thanks Raza! The pictures are great too.

  5. MQ says:

    RR: I planted these trees in 1999 outside our farmhouse in Islamabad. It’s a fairly fast growing tree and starts flowering within 3-4 years. I took these pictures in June 2003.

    Incidentally, Kohsar Road, Isamabad, the road that connects Margalla Road with Jinnah Super, is lined with Amaltas trees (I guess the last picture in the post is of the same road). It presents a spectacular sight in June.

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