I have never been a BJP supporter and my chances of becoming one in the near future are very remote. Like every other political party, BJP also has its share of extremely aggressive fundamentalists and their tendency to saffronize every burning issue fills me with insecurity as a writer and a citizen of a secular, freethinking country.
But UP’s current Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, to my pleasant surprise, has turned out to be a big exception. A lot of positive changes are already quite visible if you go by the qualitative difference these days in a patch of land near my office. Garbage is being removed very fast, public spaces illegally encroached upon are being freed, and so many developmental projects, both big and small, that were stagnant earlier are being revived and pushed to completion; and all this is happening very efficiently, quietly, silently, peacefully, without any clashes, loss of lives or property.
This is what India needs at this time. Sabka sath, sabka vikas (Hindi phrase meaning “Everyone’s support, everyone’s progress”) seems to be turning into a reality…We need many, many more dedicated politicians like Yogiji in future. If development goes on at this pace for next 5 years at least, UP will probably become India’s best state…
Just take a look at these pics of the area I am talking about, clicked both before and after the elections about 2 months ago. It will help you understand what I mean.
Before elections…Till around Jan.16…
After elections…Can you see the huge difference? This pic was clicked in Apr.17.
Some more construction pics post elections…
Can you spot 2 tiny men working inside this huge framework?
It is still wet, chilly, and foggy these days in Delhi…But that’s not unusual. That’s how it’s supposed to be at this time of the year (January)…
Here are some pics I clicked this week…
Purple Jarul Flowers near Hari Nagar Depot Red light
Pink Jarul flowers at AG-1, Vikaspuri
Around mid-April, a huge purple patch of purple Jarul flowers suddenly appeared near the Hari Depot red light. I noticed them while travelling in a bus on my way to work. They looked gorgeous and seemed to add a special touch to their drab surroundings. I tried to click their pictures that day, but I couldn’t; the bus was moving too fast. I tried again during the next few days, but all in vain. Sometimes the bus didn’t stop and when it did, it was too far from the spot. I promised myself that one of these days, I would come here specially to take their pics. But unfortunately, due to work pressure, I just couldn’t find the time.
And then one morning, I observed that the flowers were much fewer in number. Day by day, they kept decreasing and I wondered sadly if I would ever get the chance to take their pics before they disappeared. Compared to Gulmohur and Amaltas, Jarul trees are much fewer in Delhi. You don’t find them everywhere.
On 5 May 2016, I read Mayank Austen Soofi’s post on these flowers in his blog theDelhiwalla.com (http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2016/05/04/city-season-the-jarul-flowers-of-summer-jor-bagh/). That was sufficient to make me decide that it was now or never! I pushed my work aside as though it was a big emergency and I dashed out from my office that day to grab those shots before the flowers got trampled under the ruthless feet of Death. While I was on my way to that place, I had the same heady, tingling feeling of excitement that I had when I went out on my first date!
After reaching the spot, I clicked lots of pics of the Jarul flowers to my heart’s content and I plucked a few to keep in my poems diary. While returning, I took some pics of the plucked flowers too. I noticed that these flowers appeared to be of different color in different intensities of light.
And next evening, while walking from the bus stop to my home, I was pleasantly surprised to find another Jarul tree. Its flowers were of magenta color; some of them had fallen off and were lying on the ground just below the tree.
Here are all the pics. They give me a deep sense of fulfilment every time I look at them. Photos are, after all, one way of immortalizing special experiences.
Jarul flowers @ Hari Nagar
The images below are all of one particular Jarul flower. Amazing, isn’t it?
Jarul flowers @ Vikaspuri (AG-1)
And finally, here they are, those lovely Jarul flowers, resting in peace forever in my poems diary…
Mom & Dad…(photo clicked on a relaxed Sunday, 17 Jan.16)
Every time I look at this pic of my parents, my heart sends a grateful prayer to God for letting us survive through so many storms and live to witness this wonderful day of peace, joy, and contentment, far away from cyclones, drought, war, and terrorists….
This year also, we celebrated Durga Puja (19-23 October 2015) in Timarpur. While walking to the pandal and back to the guest house, I took some random shots of the surrounding greenery with my mobile phone. I got amazing results and it gives me great pleasure to share the pics here on my blog. Look at the photo on the top and see how the branches intertwine to form a canopy over people walking below them…
Timarpur is the oldest government residential colony in Delhi. It was established in the pre-independence era. Unlike other government colonies, most of the area remains untouched and undeveloped since it was first established. That’s why it seems to have an old world charm. Most people who live here are either tenants or the original allotees of the government flats.
With lots of wide, open streets, rich greenery, tall trees as old as the colony itself, the place gives you the feel of a fairy tale with all the elements of good and evil. There are, of course, a few patches of slum areas and the usual traffic. But the noise and pollution level seem to be comparatively less and there seems to be a general sense of all-pervasive peace and calmness.
We lived as tenants in Timarpur for 2 years till 1994, but we keep returning to Timarpur every year during Puja. My family members were government servants and were one of the earliest residents of Timarpur who played a prominent role in helping the Puja continue year after year. Our family tradition is still continuing till date and by the grace of Ma Durga, we always manage to find accommodation somehow near the pandal during those 5 days of Puja. My 19-year-old daughter says that she cannot imagine herself enjoying Durga Puja at any other pandal. So I guess the tradition will go on in future as well.