While living in Kokan about 15 years ago, Artist Mumbiram was so impressed with the unique and pristine quality of the flora of the region that he made a series of Tree-scapes that bring out their fragile yet vital aesthetic importance in the unique cultural milieu of the region. They are admired and appreciated by all those who share with us the great concern we feel about the neglect and deterioration of the natural and aesthetic quality of our planet.
The solemn and noble Banyan Tree sits solidly at the side of the Lotus Pond. It is sending downwards more roots to greet the earth. One is reminded of the upside down banyan tree mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita — the tree of existence in the material world with roots reaching for the spiritual sky. This is where adolescent cowherd boys might rest or play while the cows graze on the pastures. The flowers of the Green Champak Tree are green in color and therefore inconspicous in the green foliage. Its hauntingly sweet aroma drifts in the wind and hits you in vulnerable, nostalgic and youthful areas of the heart.
The Champak Tree sends out branches skywards that resemble graceful dancers with raised arms. Its flowers are of delicate hues and an equaly delicate fragrence. Red, orange, purple or yellow, the Champak Tree adds a musical quality to any landscape. The Jackfruit (Phanas) has fruits weighing several ki-los precariously hanging from its mainstem. This is a tropical tree for which Kokan is famous. The fruit has very thick skin that is scaly on the outside and sticky inside. Inside the ripe Jackfruit are seeds with golden-yellow fleshy coats that are delicious and hauntingly aromatic. The Tulasi Plant has a place of honour in the Indian household. It has many varieties that grow in great abundance as forest undergrowth. Krishna’s Vrindavan was literally a forest of Tulasi (Vrinda) Plants. The black and white dayaal bird announces its arrival with a distinctive warble. You rush to the window to find the pair that visits your garden everyday although very briefly.
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