Samskrathi A Sharma
The IBAB campus is a biodiversity bubble that is secluded from the hustle and bustle of the city. The campus and its biodiversity are in stark contrast to the traffic-filled roads, skyscrapers and glass edifices of Electronic city. This biodiversity has kept me up and going, because it never fails to surprise me- the closer one looks, the more beautiful Nature seems to be.
While one walks to class on a summery, warm morning, one can soak in all the energy needed to face the day. The pink and purple jacarandas, the pongamia’s little pink flowers and the yellow tabebuia in full bloom add shades of purple, pink and yellow to the G.N. Ramachandran road in summer. These soft and delicate flowers fall on black, shiny, hard asphalt creating semicircles around the bark. Walking past these trees during a breeze is just heavenly as their flowers fall on you as if the trees were trying to talk to you. The gulmohar, also called the ‘flame of the forest’, stands tall against a bright, blue and sunny sky and draws attention from passers-by. After some programming or a stressful morning of work, sitting under the gulmohar under full bloom has its own therapeutic effect and reminds me of royalty and grandeur. The night jasmine having freshly fallen on the previous night lightens your heart and all you want to do is to soak in its comforting fragrance. These white flowers are so beautiful with an orange stalk and fall on the ground with the slightest breeze.
The yellow, red and green leaves of the Indian almond tree add colour to the pre-existing shades of green. If you walk during the rainy season, a group of bracket fungi and mushrooms would surely say hello. The chirping of the cicadas and crickets on eerily quiet evenings, and the constant croaking of toads after a downpour is a sound to behold. The red and green leaves of the copperleaf plant intrigue me every time I look at them, as every leaf has its own mosaic pattern of green or red and yellow, with no two leaves looking alike. While you rush for class, bunches of little purple flowers and orange trumpetvine cheer you up. The pink, white and red hibiscuses adorn the entire campus and look like gems studded on a differently shaded green veil. Right around the time of some festivals, some yellow cassia flowers from young plants will surprise you as it grooves with the wind. If you look closely, you can spot some lemon trees and orchids too. The winging vines of clematis and their sweet smell will tickle your nose, but the smell of the mahogany flowers is the sweetest and most gratifying. It took us quite a while to realise that these austere and dull looking flowers were the cause of such a sweet-smelling aroma. The flowers that look like splotches of paint on a green canvas can cheer the most cynical of spirits.
Having a quiet meal under the trees can have such a calming effect and help you feel energised for the tasks of the day. While you eat, a butterfly would surely catch your attention as she glides, and only a close inspection can reveal that a hundred worker bees are diligently collecting nectar moving from one flower to the other, along with sunbirds of myriad colours. The campus is a haven for birdwatchers as it is home to cuckoos, mynas, wag-tails, white-cheeked barbets, red-whiskered bulbuls, and occasionally, distinct calls of the coppersmith barbet are heard. Oftentimes, when one walks unsuspectingly near the mess, a pond heron would run into you and then fly away hurriedly. The diversity of butterflies and moths is extensive, with butterflies like lemon pansy, common grass yellow, crimson rose and jays, and moths like the oleander hawkmoth.
The wind whistles by, leaving a trail of cool
A fleck of verdure is all that it takes to bring a smile
The leaves rustle dry, exciting me into new escapades
The lush green grass calms every nerve
The sun kisses my cheeks, invigorating my soul
Amidst nature, every cell in me awakens, bringing in a beacon of hope
Picking pretty fallen flowers, putting them into my hair, walking past watered green grass, and chasing the sunlight as it peaks through the leaves of multiple trees invigorates my soul. When I would like to have some quiet and contemplate, sitting on the red benches with my bare feet touching the viridian grass and cool mud can calm my nerves and help me think. After a generous shower from the sky, gently shaking the branches of the black tea-tree sprinkles some freshly harvested rain water and exhilarates me. But, what few people have discovered is that its leaves are rich in aromatic essential oils, which is very soothing as well. While a quiet night-walk has shown me some slithering snakes and gliding bats, often times I have helped feed some blood-thirsty ‘super’-mosquitoes. When my mind is troubled, soul sour and body exhausted, I know that the trees will surely hear my rants and take my tears. Every time stress finds its way into my head, or I don’t feel good, I set out to soak myself and revel in the spirit of Nature and it heals me. Surely, nothing can be more beautiful than watching the fireflies on a quiet, cool evening as they indulge in a sprightly dance and glow in synchrony, silently reminding me of undying hope even in the darkest of times.