My ringing phone is perched precariously on top of the files for today. Steadying it with my sweaty chin I leave court. Sweating. In bloody Bangalore. And not a single drop of rain. I dump my files in the association and finally manage to make it out, but my phone has died. Should I head back in to charge? The thought of staking out a plug point isn’t appealing. Talking to sambar breath while I do it? Cannot.
Having decided that, I stand in the courtyard, wondering how the hell I am to entertain myself without my phone. Too hot for food, I head towards the sugarcane juice.
Is it too good to be true? That I can step out of court and find myself here, in this surreal forest?
Leaves gently rustle above me in slow motion. The scorching sun, filtering through, somehow cool and calming. I take a deep breath. I don’t swear at the bike that honks at me. I’m on an island. A sea of nonsense is all around me. But me, I am on the island.
How many words for green do I know? Verdant? So many shades of that. Some, full of new leaves, all lush and tender, not yet unfurled. Some large, darker, swishing. Emerald? For the underwater feel under the denser trees. Different areas of light and shade, like lost pieces of a strange jigsaw puzzle are all over the park. And the Christmas tree. Like an awkward teenager with a bad haircut. Its head sticking out over the others. Giving no shade or comfort. Just comic relief.
Green, contrasted with the clear blue sky and the still stark white clouds. This summer has been abnormal. The asphalt quivers. The white freshly painted divider, hovers like a ghost. The upper reaches of the branches, taking one last giant step to the other side. The blooms, almost malignant. Growing, unstoppably. Monstera leaves, larger than ever. Clinging to the dusty trunks, serpentine. Plotting. Mean and beautiful trees. I can imagine that.
I always take the same path back. Strewn with yellow copper pods. Delicate needles of pink from the raintrees. The sky is dotted with purple. The flowers, plain individually, striking on a bare branch. Painted on.
Stuck in a seasonal loop. Flowering, showering and shedding. I am too, I suppose.
The earth is dry and when a strong breeze blows, colourful pieces of plastic float with the flowers.
Author Bio: Maitreyi Bhat is an advocate practicing in Bangalore.
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Urban projects that have been depleting Bengaluru’s green cover, have taken their toll, and the proposed elevated corridor is the worst of the lot. It would remove Cubbon Park from the map, along with 3,700 trees.
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