Monday, 7 May 2012

Delhi in May - Blatantly Beautiful

In the heart of the historical part of Delhi, neighbouring the Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid and the colonial St. James Church, Nina Kochhar offers a genuine home-stay in quiet, green, scenic, secure, low-rise surroundings at the elite Oberoi Apartment complex, where her only guest room ensures that YOU ARE THE VIP at any given time.

Delhi in May

I am referring to the colours of the hot Indian Summer.  It is definitely hot, hot, hot.  Hot weather, hot chillies, hot colours.  Masses of laburnum trees in clusters , in rows, or even esoteric individuals, dripping with lascivious yellow pendulous clusters of flowers set against tender jade green leaves.  Planted close together in many places in Delhi, their blazing basanti yellow absolutely delights the eye.  Green – the colour of golf course grass in long flat stretches, as far as the eye can see, with horizontal linear brush strokes of the brilliant gulmohor, flagrantly and shamelessly orange.   If this wasn’t bright enough, dabs of mauve are applied from the heavenly artist’s palette on candlebra jacaranda spikes. Then there are the dark, dark green mango trees (weren’t they purply bronze a month ago?) with artificial looking green paisley mangoes painted on, as in Rajasthani miniatures.  And ofcourse, rosettes of pomegranate flowers, also as in the aforesaid miniature paintings, complete with green, long-tailed parrots with red neck rings.  In a more subtle vein, the frangipani displays formal bouquets of creamy, waxy flowers merging into sunny yellow centres set among precisely oval green leaves profiled on well defined cylindrical cork-coloured branches. At night, moon spattered carpets of champa flowers aphrodasiacly intoxicate lovers with their fragrance.

Image result for images laburnum in bloom
Other summer colours…if strawberries were painted by celestial artists for cooler climates, the water-melon designer was never any less, with succulent reds edged by subtle shades of pink, ensconced in bowls of cool striated green sprinkled with black designer seeds!  The peachy shades of cut musk melons, the cool light green of sliced cucumber, the gold of papayas and the mango colour of mangoes.  How can one explain “mango colour” or even a “mango shape” (not to mention “mango taste”) to a non-mango person.  Not ochre, not mustard, not any colour, except “mango”.  The beautiful safeda, the obscene totapuri and the rich alphonso.  I almost forgot leechis – the contrast of rosy, grainy, greeny outer crisp shells with the oyster textured syrupy pulp over a nut brown seed.  The designer team up in the sky certainly used “creativity” when detailing the diamond on this planet that we call “India”.
This morning, looking out of my window overlooking the Nicholson cemetery I was given another visual treat.  Perched on a tomb’s cross, with it’s magnificent back to me, wearing gorgeously glittery green, merging in glamorous design into a long flowing draping train of boldly medallioned blue – an absolute masterpiece of creation….the  blatantly beautiful Indian peacock.
Nina Kochhar

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