What made you smile this week?
That question is powerful, you know. I always find that even if I’ve had a so-so week, it makes me think of all the good parts – the happiness hotspots. I’ve been struggling with something the past two weeks and trying to pretend everything is okay. I’m trying to get on with routine stuff to help me adjust sooner than later. I’ll share it when I am comfortable.
In the meantime, I’ve been walking a lot – on my terrace and around my area. Our terrace is a lovely place and I’ve talked about it before. Somehow, these past two weeks, I’ve been noticing everything with new eyes. The crows, the pigeons, the kites, the parakeets all accompany me on my walk as we all enjoy the swaying trees in the evening breeze. Together, we watch the sun glide down to another part of the world, painting the skies pink, gold and blue as we experience those magical twilight moments. I can never get enough of those changing skies.
Couldn’t help sharing this photo of a 4 year old Vidur – every time we went to the terrace back then, he’d insist on bringing back a bunch of gulmohar (flame of the forest) flowers and leaves. Yes, that’s my tshirt and slippers he’s wearing. That’s his art work on the door.
Can you blame me for smiling?
Another beautiful sight I’ve been seeing every day this week is this flowering tree. It spills its flowers on the ground and fills the air with fragrance. We call it the parijat flower – the night jasmine. In Tamil, my mother tongue, it is called “pavazha malli” which, roughly translated means coral jasmine.
This flower always brings back childhood memories of filling my flower basket with the flowers from our garden, for our prayer room. Later, we would string them into garlands and adorn our deities. In fact, this is the first flower I learned to string into a garland.
This beautiful flower with it’s pure white petals and red stalk is very special – it blooms at night and falls to the ground just before sunrise. Besides its medicinal value, we have plenty of stories associated with it. The tree has a solid place in Hindu Mythology.
Once upon a time, a princess whose name was Parijataka, was in love with the Sun. Sadly, it was unrequited love and she committed suicide. From her ashes, rose the Parijat tree. Legend has it that since it hurts her deeply to look at the sun during the day, she blossoms at night and sheds her flowers – as tears before the sun rises. The fragrance which lingers everywhere is testimony for her love, the Sun.
Yet another myth associated with this flower is with one other our playful god, Krishna. According to this one, the Parijat tree was planted in heaven, aka Indralok where Lord Indra, king of the gods resided. He received it as one of the gifts from the samudra manthan or the churning of the seas (now that’s another longish story – another post!). It was a divine tree, and couldn’t be found on earth.
So anyway, sage Narada, well known for his penchant for mischief, picked up some of the parijat flowers from Indra’s abode and gifted them to Lord Krishna. Now Lord Krishna lived with his two wives –Satyabhama and Rukmini. Narada wanted to see who got these flowers from Krishna. As it happened, Rukmini got them and sure enough, Narada rushed over to Satyabhama to rat on Krishna.
Naturally Ms.Satyabhama was jealous. Narada was ready with a suggestion – why not ask Krishna to gift her the tree rather than a handful of the flowers? This sounded good to Satyabhama and when she saw Krishna she threw a tantrum and insisted on the tree for herself, or else.
Having done his duty here, Narada slipped away to Indra to tell him to beware, that his Parijat tree was likely to be stolen. So when Krishna helped himself to a branch from the tree and was about to be on his way home, Indra waylaid him and declared war. Bad decision on Indra’s part, as it turned out because he, Indra, lost. Cheesed off over this, he cursed the poor plant saying that it would never bear fruits even if it flowered.
Krishna triumphantly brought the flower back home where, not surprisingly, Rukmini coveted it. But Krishna, undaunted by the situation, cleverly planted the tree in Satyabhama’s garden near the fence that divided the two houses so that when it bloomed, the flowers landed in Rukmini’s garden, making both women happy.
Hmm. Who said the gods lead a boring life!
We grew up hearing a lot of stories about everything. And there was always a moral. I realize that in real life, we have quite a few “Naradas”. They do what is called pinching the child and then rocking the cradle and watching the fun.
So what made you smile last week? Please share in the comments!
Linking up with Sundays In My City hosted by the lovely Unknown Mami. We travel the world together!