On many a road trip in the season of Spring, I had spotted the beautiful and vibrant flowered “Flame of the Forest ” or the Palash tree. It was a wonderful surprise to spot this tree during a walk around KBR park recently. And even greater surprise to see the tree flowering even near mid-March.
Under the Palash tree was a beautiful carpet of orange flowers slowly withering away, only to bloom during Spring the following year. On top of the tree however, were many birds and insects relishing copious amounts of nectar. Perhaps, they must have been pleasantly surprised to find a Palash tree in an urban space. The birds that I saw and immediately recognized were the rose ringed parakeet, a plum headed parakeet and a host of sunbirds.
For the parakeets however, the tree seemed like an interesting setting, with its body coloured like the leaves, while the beak in similar colour and shape of the flower, making it easier for the bird to consume the nectar.
The watchman observes that the tree is rife with bird-activity during the cool early hours of morning and the later noon.
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March 21 2013 Secunderabad Fire temple opposite Chermas
The place was decorated with unique and colourful rangoli and some simple torans and everyone who entered the temple greeted “Navroz Mubarak”. The Parsis dressed in all their finery, come together at the Fire Temple opposite Chermas to celebrate the first day of the Parsi new year. Everyone is seen holding the sacred kusthi and tying it around the waist before entering the temple. A Jashn or a special prayer takes place within the Agiary(Fire Temple) which is soon followed by food and revelry. Then everyone heads to the Seth Vicajee Seth Pestonjee Fire temple situated just behind the Chermas, a famous clothing store run by a gentleman from the same community. After the prayers, everyone is served Feluda and enjoy catching up with friends.
The evening usually has cultural activities at the Zoroastrian Club for which everyone meets once again.
Food is an important part of the celebrations but unfortunately I couldn’t stay long enough. This time I have made friends and perhaps next year I shall be able to blog about the cuisine as well.
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