Green impact

The writer on the two trees that she loves best

March 10, 2018 03:47 pm | Updated 03:47 pm IST

A sentient air conditioner Flame of the forest

A sentient air conditioner Flame of the forest

The majestic and mystical Nagalingam tree in the verdant Sri Ramana Ashram in Thiruvannamalai has had a deep impact on me.

Situated in the garden opposite the samadhi of the master, this tree is always profusely in bloom. The flowers are bright, big and pink in colour with yellow stamens that look a snake’s hood. Its fragrance mingled with that of the incense from the temple.

Forming the Cobra’s hood

Forming the Cobra’s hood

Couroupita guianensis or the Cannon Ball Tree is a native of the rainforests of Central and South America. The fruits look like a cannonball and have a hard outer shell with pulpy flesh and seeds inside.

In Hinduism and in Buddhism, this sacred tree has a special significance. This tree has an irresistible charm and I can gaze upon its beauty for minutes on end.

The other tree that left an indelible imprint is the grand old Flame of the Forest in our farmhouse in Appakudal village, near Bhavani town.

Butea monosperma is native to the tropical and subtropical parts of India and southeast Asia. Its bright scarlet flowers cover almost the entire tree when in bloom and signals the arrival of the fleeting Indian spring.

My sister and I would have just returned from boarding school and would spend hours playing in the veranda, watching this tree. Squirrels and birds would vie for space on its branches and its dense and thick foliage would provide a cool canopy for our house. Indeed, it made the burning summers more bearable.

It was a sentient and live air conditioner that continued to work 24x7.

Geeta Sridhar is an apex member of the environmental NGO Siruthuli

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.