As the temperature soars, Delhiites hesitate to get out of their houses. In the unfortunate event that they have to step out, the only saving grace happens to be the sight of the beautiful yellow blooms lining up the city’s roads.
Amaltas, as they are commonly known in Hindi, is a tree found in the Indian subcontinent and part of southern Asia. In English, it is called Indian Laburnum or purging Cassia coming from its scientific name, Cassia Fistula.
This ayurvedic tree with various characteristics has captured the imagination of many authors and poets. But nobody has defined it better than author Khushwant Singh who wrote the following lines in his book Sex, Scotch And Scholarship: “The laburnum (Cassia fistula) or amaltas has become a great favourite of Delhiwallas as the gulmohar for the simple reason that both are quick growing and colourful. Of the two, the laburnum makes a more spectacular entry. It first sheds its leaves; by the second fortnight of April, only the long, brown-black tubular (hence ‘fistula’) fruit can be seen hanging from its bare branches. Then suddenly blossoms appear in clusters like bunches of golden grapes. The beauty of the Indian laburnum defies description. No poet or writer has ventured to put it to paper. Only painters have been able to do it justice. Alas! Its glory has a very short lease—less than a fortnight—after which its leaves take over”.
The next time you are out, take a moment out to appreciate these breath-taking blooms.