FLOWERS OF SANTINIKETAN: FLOWER KANCHAN at SPRING
FLOWER KANCHAN-THOSE BLOOM IN SPRING or THE SPRING BLOOMERS
The flower KANCHAN, as we generally know, comes in several varieties; more-over not all of them bloom at around the same time. Those Kanchan flowers, which bloom at around 2nd half of February and in early March, are being highlighted in this article.
The most familiar Kanchan, blooms at around December. But a few smaller, but exquisite varieties of Kanchans start to bloom at the beginning of spring. Along with Shimul these Kanchans also create the perfect preface to the dynamic change in the landscape of Santiniketan in spring. Palash ultimately takes up the centre-stage in this colourful drama- ‘Spring at Santiniketan’. This exquisite varieties of Kanchan (the smaller ones) are regularly getting rare in Santiniketan.
These pink Kanchans are usually medium height trees, below the Jamun, Mango, Sirish and Radha Churas. In spring they almost completely shed their leaves and lovely shades of pink sprout from all over the branches. The colour statement is surely subdued compared to the famous Palash; but the artistic blend of pinkish romanticism is sure to touch the heart. These flowers almost look like delicate ‘foreigners’ on the rough and tough soil of Birbhum, but these Kanchans are very much a native flower of this area. Because of its smaller size, these trees are not much visible while on move on a high way, but they are very much a part of Bengal landscape for the discernible eyes.
Certainly these are exquisite brand of flowers, with a very faint smell. It is amazing to know that for most part of the year these Kanchan trees look pretty dull; but for a fortnight to a month in a year they become the envy to most of other trees. The abundance in which they bloom, the tree getting completely devoid of leaves and getting dressed up all by flowers, is a pure joy. In close up these flowers can certainly engulf the senses and immerse the soul into the silence of eternal beauty.
The cycle of seasonal activity for quite a few flowering trees are similar. All the year round a few trees like the Kanchan would be dourly busy with the act of survival and expansion; but incredibly at around spring they would shed all inhibitions and smile in gay abundance. The Shimul also completely sheds its leaves; Palash on the other hand is a bit conservative-but sheds considerable amount of leaves. Soon these trees will start life afresh with fresh leaves; but the finishing annual dress up at spring will dramatically change the mood of the landscape. Santiniketan, fortunately, has remained a playground for such freaky trees for long.
This is the white variety of the same Kanchan, the only one such tree exist now at Santiniketan in a private property at Simantapally, ofcourse as far as I know. This particular variety looks strikingly bright in the well-lit cloud free mornings of spring in Santiniketan.
The colour white always appeals to the mind with its natural somber hue. Being pretty rare kind of a flower in Santiniketan it certainly looks special. Interestingly Kanchan Flower is thought to be a distractive element to the pious mood in offerings to God. So these flowers are never offered to God & Goddesses; ofcourse we can’t really be too sure about the unpredictable ‘Lord Shiva’! So, even though this flower looks really like a great offering to God by Nature herself, tired looking white Kanchans ultimately drop down to the ground with nobody really wanting to pick them up.
I am trying to end this article with some ambitious poetry on ‘Kanchan’-
“Some seasons in my life, you have been with me,
In the light and shade of fluctuating time, you have touched me with your somber grace.
I have felt your softness quivering right in my heart,
Even though I am an audacious human being,
You have taught me to be humble.
Your beauty carries me along with the swings of life towards eternity”