Magnificent May

I remember my school and college days when the month of May used to correspond with the Parsi holy month of Adar. In the long summer vacation we would visit places of tourist interest, particularly the Iranshah Atash Behram in Udvada. The deciduous trees that had shed all their leaves in April and stood as mere skeletons recover their foliage in May, and soon thereafter break into blooms of various hues. The crown of the rusty shield-bearer tree (Peltophorum) is covered with yellow flowers, that of jacaranda with blue and gulmohur in shades of red while yet other trees have orange, pink, violet and purple flowers. The koel sings its heart out day and night, even at 2 a.m., as the mangoes ripen on the trees. Whereas the koel’s timetable is geared to the atmospheric temperature, that of the brahmini kite, characterized by white neck and rufus colored body, is governed by the moisture factor. It appears only during the monsoon months and is supposed to be a harbinger of the rains. Towards the end of May, all eyes are focused skywards awaiting the arrival of the monsoon. Dr VISPY M. MEHER-HOMJI ...

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