She adds, “Its unique keel petal requires birds to make an effort to reach the hidden nectar, thus aiding pollination. They are practically the first blooms of ‘Vasantha’ with generous amounts of nectar, therefore a key supporter of biodiversity in the arid season and important to the semi-arid ecosystem since they can survive the harsh conditions.”

What a palash in full bloom signifies is the circle of life. Intrinsically tied up with the rituals of the land, they are eternal, majestic, silent, and historical, and they inspire omniscient emotions that move everyone from a common bystander to great poets.

It is walks like these that enable city-dwellers to pause and ponder, to rest and recharge, to notice the invisible and pay attention to the silent wonders surrounding us. From a year-old baby to silver-haired citizens, children to Leo, the Labrador, walk was essentially a labour of love and community.

Deeply rooted to nature, the rustle of leaves in the breeze, the chorus of birdsong, the scent of wildflowers—each sensory experience serves to ground us in the present and simply be in the moment.

Yoga instructor Harshita Soni puts thing into perspective when she says, “I had read about the palash in a recipe book but had never seen it. I often mistook the African Tulip tree commonly seen in the city to be palash. I think if there were an Oscar for flowers, it would go to palash.”

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