We are deep into another sweltering summer in Bangalore; while news from hometown in Kerala has talk of rains, Mango showers🌧, it did rain heavily on one evening in Bangalore, on 1st April, but that was it.
My kitchen window faces east; this perfect vastu feature is a big bonus for our rented home. And in April, each summer morning begins by sighting a perfect round deep orange sun on a watercolour sky of grey, white, pale crimson and blue; at the forefront of this canvas are tall silver oaks with their orange flowers and green leaves swaying in the breeze and glinting sliver, they line the compound wall of our apartment complex; then, half an hour later, the sun transforms into a pale yellow glass bauble with silver reflections off it’s spherical surface and it is then that I step out for a morning walk.
Any expeditions outside is undertaken early mornings or evenings; remaining indoors the rest of the day is advisable. Schools have closed for the summer vacations; summer activity classes are on in full swing for the kids while the parents are grappling with the new hybrid work model. The newspapers are full of ads for travel, within India and outside for the fully vaccinated and bravehearted.
The leaves are relatively small in size but dense, dark green on this tree; but what gets your attention in April are the yellow berries that stand out against the green backdrop. However, there is something special in the leaves of this tree; they don’t seem to be swaying in the breeze, they are seen stiff and upright. And I get more curious !?
You step back to get a view of the tree in its entirety; it’s a small tree; there are two of them, few meters apart at the Kasavanahalli lake, eastern side; the yellow berries get your attention, but you can’t take your eyes off the small green leaves !
The Streblus asper tree is called the Sandpaper tree; feel the leaf’s surface, its coarse; it was an unexpected surprise, feels rough like sandpaper…nature’s sandpaper! You cannot know this until you touch the leaves and feel them…This tree stands out along the shady banks of the Kasavanahalli lake, only if you slow down and let your eyes catch it.
“In medieval times, its rough leaves were used to impart the last fine-grade polish to ivory.”Trees of Delhi by Pradip Krishen
I like this tree and the delightful surprise it’s leaves behold; you smile at it as you walk past ! It’s the sandpaper tree !! Who would have thought !?
Till next post, take care !!