It was late June last year when we planned a weekend trip to a tribal village in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. It was not much a tourist spot and almost an insignificant place to visit. The main reason behind to choose this spot was that we ( me, my husband and three of our friends ) wanted to spend a day or two in total tranquility, peace and amidst nature. One of our friends, he had some connection with the district tourist office and arranged the booking in a Government Lodge. We reached there by the afternoon. The drive was quite tiresome and moreover it was drizzling all the time. Though we all enjoyed the rain but it became taxing for the one who was driving, he had to be over-cautious all the time as the road had potholes here and there and the overall condition was pathetic.
A sumptuous meal followed by a power nap was enough for us to regain our energy. We gathered down in the adjoining lawn to enjoy the heavy moisture-laden breeze that made the evening beautiful. A whiff of some sweet fragrance from the nearby forest carried by the wind made the atmosphere all the more sweet and aromatic.
Next morning, I opened my eyes as the first rays of the sun squeezed their way into the room through the heavy curtains. I decided to take a walk through the village alone. This is a thing I enjoy doing always. I love to spend time with nature whenever I get a chance, away from the bricks and stone and the cacophony of city life. It rejuvenates me every time and I prefer to be alone, breathing in the fresh oxygen and enjoying the greeneries with an insatiable thirst.
So I grabbed my camera and stealthily left the room as I had no intention to disturb the deep slumber of my husband. The dawn was drifting slowly towards a not-so-sunny morning. The sky was partly cloudy and the soothing weather lifted up my heart. I took a narrow path which meandered into the jungle that made the boundary of the small village. The path was created as the villagers often had to visit the jungle in search of wood, dry leaves and other things. It would be an exaggeration to call it a ‘jungle’ …it was just a reminiscence of one. But still, the natural ambiance along with the cool temperature, the loud chirping of unknown birds was making me feel blessed.
Then I again sensed it. That fragrance which we were talking about the last evening. I very much doubted that this forest was the source of it and now as I was advancing along the path, the faint smell was becoming stronger and sweeter. Not only sweet, it was rather intoxicating ..a woody-floral strong aroma which can beat even the most expensive French perfume! I followed the scent-trail and then I saw the trees.
Four of them, standing side by side, in the full bloom of the monsoon, fresh and heavenly. The Kadamba ( Common bur-flower ) trees. It was one of the most blissful moments of my life. The wind around was heavy with the aroma radiated from the flowers which looked so beautiful. Big and round golden yellow color in the center fading into yellowish white on the outer side. The enchanting smell held me there captivated. I inhaled more and more wanting to etch its existence in my mind’s aroma-graph for ever. The Kadamba or Kadam ( Scientific name: Neolamarckia cadamba ) has a rich, mellow and delicious aroma that can energize a tiring mind. It smells best between 3 A.M and 6 A.M, the time which is said to be unique to offer a prayer to God. It is said that Lord Krishna used to love the Kadamba tree and its flowers. We can find many a paintings with Lord Krishna playing around with Radhika and Gopis under Kadamba tree.
I was really thinking about all those mythological stories when a few drops of rain jolted me back to reality. The partly cloudy sky was now overcast with clouds and I expected a downpour to rush down anytime. I took out my camera to take a few quick snaps and started my return journey down the way. The imagination of rain-soaked Kadamba trees emanating that the heavenly aroma made me blissful once again.
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