Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What a fragrance!

I recently got drunk (hic!) for a few moments by the heady fragrance of the Sampigé flower (Sampangi Poo in Tamil, Champaka in Hindi) that just filled the road in a market that I pass by. Maybe there was a basketful of those flowers that just landed in from any of the villages around. No other flower comes close to having your head whirr with such a strong fragrance and the aroma wafts for a fair distance.

Jasmine (malligé, malligai, Chameli) is also aromatic, but is relatively muted, but can knock you out from close quarters. :) It is a therapy, walking through the flower market in any city and you can always see bees buzzing around the aromatic flowers. You should see the way the jasmine flowers (buds) are twined together in Madurai, a city famous for its jasmine as much as its temples. Beautiful!!! And the flower vendors count it by the number of buds twined and not by hand-lengths as is usual with flowers. So many variants, for this beauty in white, Madurai Malli, Mysoora Malligé and so on.

Another flower that can give the Sampigé, a close run for its scent, is the Thalé Hoo (aka Kédigé, Thaazham Poo, Ketaki/Kewra). Unfortunately, I have not seen it (or smelt it) for a long, long time. Very, very distinct fragrance which cannot be missed and those large pods. This is the famous flower which is condemned to non-worship in temples in Hindu mythology (Shiva Puránam), along with Brahma for untruthfulness.

Aromas and memories. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Images, courtesy of Wikipedia and University of Graz, Austria


gils said...

sivaji rajini mathiri unga mangala va thedi kovil kovila suthareenga pola :D

Savitha said...

Oh, tell me of these flowers. The sampangi, malligai(what smell re! I hate to press a hair pin through it only), the mullai poo, panneer poo(what a scene it wud be early morning with lots of panneer poo on the ground---I've soaked myself in the smell for a long, long time.

mullai poo- we had a very big mullai kodi that actually made the roof for our vehicles at home, earlier. I miss the smell of it- especially in the nights, with a pleasant breeze and this smell filling the sit-out/varendah.

I cannot,but only awe at the creativity of His highness in giving us this variety of everything- from colours, shapes, fragrances- what a rasanai He has,illa??

Annam said...

alagai pookuthey:)

R-ambam said...

hmm.. flowers are refreshing :)
adukku malli of Madurai brings back memories of college. One of my friends got a whole basket of them rolled in a plantain leaf for us.and the fragrance that filled the room made our day.

Srivats said...

//It is a therapy, walking through the flower market in any city and you can always see bees buzzing around the aromatic flowers//

Said it all at these two lines, yes it is really a therapy and senpangi, although I get head ach smelling that, I still love the smell of it when dad removes it from his bag, when he comes back after working in the temple.

Lovely flowers!

RamMmm said...

@gils - Mangalavai thedura stage ellaam thaandi romba naal aachchu. :-)

@Savitha - Fragrances do induce quite a nostalgia. Neenga sollaradhu rombavey sari. Nature is as beautiful as you see it.

@Annam - azhagaana pookkal, azhagaai pookkindrana. Nandri.

@R-ambam - Same comment as for Savitha.

@Srivats - True that sampangi has a very strong smell to the point of aversion. :) But that smell is heavenly especially when you smell it outdoors.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. We used to buy some sad looking sampige just before we boarded Brindavan Express (some of you may remember that train ;-)). I think some of the preserved petals are still in my old notebook that my parents have preserved :-)


RamMmm said...

@My3-Oh yes, Brindavan still runs. :) My memory wafts are from some road-side market or Gandhi Bazaar flower market.