4 years old, with my tiny lunch box, I would always been the first person to enter the school premises at 7:30am.
My school stood in the middle of the city ,it was huge palace like structure ,run by the Parsis called Tarapoorwala , they resided on the top most portion of the huge building which was a blend of both, Indian and British architecture with ample space for the classroom, dining area and the residents (owners of the school).
My school had several spaces ,of small garden area, at different floors, very well maintained including wide variety of plants.
The first thing I did after placing my tiny lunch box
and bag in my classroom ,was to rush back to the main garden area , the classroom use to be pitch dark ,and my hands beyond the reach of the switch board, I was afraid of the dark classroom ,and creaking wood furniture, and would try to spend as little time as I can in it . In Montessori schools, the classrooms had names and were called environments ,mine was called the Adil Ala Environment, and to this date I know not why the name and the tag environment.
The main garden area was huge , with variety of rides for amusements available for kids my age, but even at age four ,I preferred my solitude and soaking up in nature ,over the rides and never used any of it, my indulgence was nature, playing hide and seek with the morning sunshine, which penetrated through the thick bushes of several huge trees hovering above the playground .Gulmohar, Guava, Asoka, Mango, Bakula, with Bougainvillea climbers taking support and spreading out ,covering the entire school wall boundaries.
I would go around collecting these tiny “Bakula” flowers along with the stem ,which had enough partition space to hold a single flower in it, the morning dew on the flowers often soiled my clothes, as I collect them in the front portion of my frocks ,as many as I could ,holding fast to my clothes and then spreading them under a small hut in the garden ,with stem ,making bouquets of it ,I would make plenty of such every single day , and would gift it to my teachers every day.
The school had no further facility to teach beyond class 4th ,so when I left it behind ,moving ahead with my education, along with many memories ,the time spent with my flowers and trees in the lap of nature is what I still carry with me.
Many moons later ,as an adult ,I would constantly look for my flowers ,I visited several nurseries and gave as much description that I could to the nursery owners to identify what I was looking for ,but without a name ,I left them more puzzled and sometimes even annoyed.
Finally, several years later ,as I reach my 40’s ,here I found a picture of the same flowers ,I was in search of ! and a good friend helped me with the name . It was one of the most pleasant surprises from God ,who gifted me back my childhood friend, my flowers ,along with the most pleasant memories ,rewinding my life connecting me back to my inner self ,and brought me where I belonged.
I now have the Bakula plant right outside my window, its a small plant and may take years to turn into a full grown tree ,by the time this friend of mine grow and spread those “Bakula” flowers in my courtyard ,I may have grown old if I lived to that time , but I promise to myself , to continue to play with sunshine in the early mist of morning, collecting my flowers making a bouquet ,this time as an aged old lady, as a gift to my self, and cherishing the little joys of life!
Bakula Flowers are called “Maulsari” flowers in Urdu/Hindi and Mimusops Elengi is the botanical name
Special Mention : I would also like to mention special thanks to my dear friend Natasha for her assistance in reconnecting back to what I searched for several years.
(c)Mehnaz Amjad 2020
The blog post series on – Little Joys of life ,you will find stories and experiences,bringing to my readers a closer glimpse of my life, with an intent to share the precious code of happiness ,which lies within our own self,and life ,all we need here is to find it in “The Little joys of Life”!
About the Author : Mehnaz Amjad MBA (HR),PMP,SHRM-SCP , is a certified Life Coach,Founder of Guide & Advice which offers Life Coaching & Training services to both individuals and organizations. Online : LinkedIn