The rampant urbanization is taking us away from the rich natural habitats where our trees, birds, animals have thrived (together with us humans) since ages. All we see in our cities is a mesh of concrete man-made structures. To be with nature, our city folks carefully plan some days off to travel to the mountains or elsewhere.
Thankfully, in Dehra (Dehradun), there seems to be some wisdom still left. It still has its lush green forests, many interesting birds, and colorful flowers, that add to the charm of Doon valley. As I write this post, the magnificent white and pink bougainvillea creeper shines bright just outside my window. The creeper is home to quite a few birds, and the whole area reverberates with their calls at sunrise.
In Dalanwala, a residential colony in Dehradun where I live, nature has still survived. Often in the mornings, instead of the high-pitched electronic alarm on my phone, it’s the chirping of the birds that pushes me to get off the bed. The bulbuls, magpies and the small passerine Indian White-eye humming in interesting tones sit on my balcony or can be found diving in and out of the bougainvillea creeper. Spotted Dove can be seen foraging on the fallen fruits and seeds or anything that interests them on my balcony. What a day to begin with.
From mid-May to mid-June, Dehradun becomes a fruit paradise. This city has numerous litchi trees, and this is the time when they ripen and are ready for consumption. Its colorful outer cover, once removed, unleashes a layer of sweet and translucent white flesh. Dalanwala has plenty of Litchi trees, and as you tread along any of its crisscross streets, your eyes will only absorb litchis all over. Dalanwala was carefully planned, and each house had a big area (many of the houses still have the same look and feel) where Mango, Guava and Litchi trees were planted. The climate of Dehra is just perfect for these fruits or perhaps for anything that can grow. No, it’s not just me who is saying this….
A quote from Mr. Ruskin Bond’s book ‘Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra’ goes like this << Dehra was always a good place for trees. The valley soil is very fertile, the rainfall fairly heavy; almost everything grows there , if given the chance. >> (Para 3, Page 42).
In the peak litchi season, the streets of Dalanwala are all smeared with this juicy fruit (they keep falling on the ground obeying Newton’s Universal law of Gravitation), and eventually stack up to form heaps of mountains. Excellent time for the stray cows who can be seen carefully examining the content of the heap and then munching on it. If someone could read their minds, I am certain they surely cherish this season and wait for the next one to come in sooner.
The Litchi season this year has gone by and the litchi vendors have moved on to selling other seasonal fruits (mainly mangoes). With the onset of the Monsoon season, the nature is at its best now and it continues to bless one and all.
Excellent blog, keep it up Saurabh. Your blogs are so good that I don’t miss my Uttarakhand
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How I wish I could be there to pluck and enjoy the sweet pulp of this summer delight. Such a real feel. Deliciously articulated lines. Keep it up!
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Ver well written. I could almost have the feeling of popping one in my mouth. Dalanwala indeed is the area that gives you the feel of Dehradun as it is known- quite ,serene ,spacious with old bungalows.
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