When ‘chingam’ breaks in,
We, a band of children would go through the paddy fields and scatter among the hill slopes searching flowers since Atham.
The hill slopes starts reverberating with the song.
Kannanthali Muttathoru Thumba Mulachu”
Everything appeared big and wonderful as per the childhood conception of space. When we leave home very early with our “pookkunda”, a small round shaped basket woven with treated screwpine leaves, grandma used to say “you gather more Kannanthali and thumba” and bring a cluster of kannamthali on Uthradam so that we can adorn Thrikkakkarayappan’s crown on Uthradam.(Thrikkarayappan is the earthen deity worshipped during onam)
Years passed along with the song
“Kannezhuthi pottu thottu kallumala
Charthiyappol kannamthalippenninenthoru nanam”
I used to walk along the trail, across the grassy slope of parakkulam hillocks, popping up an umbrella, the full bloomed plant stood with wide open eyes braving the later monsoon rain.
I remembered MT Vasudeven Nair in his article “Kannanthali pookkalude kalam”.In those virgin days, they had vast stretches of kannamthali’ bushes stretching across Thanikkunnu to Parakkulam hills.
The fragrance resembled the smell of punnellu (fresh rice ‘puthari’)
“Sir Kannanthali’s have bloomed again upon the north eastern slope of the Parakkulam hills”.
Manasa , my student always informed me when the flowers bloomed. I visited the next day and took photographs. This was recurred like rainy season every year Manasa was 17 last year.
“Sir our kannanthali’s‘ve flowered again, never rip off even a cluster sir, call me when your reach there”
I left the sprouting of the grass slopes that was really a flowering bonanza. The intensity of the violet colour at the petal tip elevated us to a world by dense ecstasy, breaking the flux of time. The floral splendour with yellow, white and violet mix.
But that colour fantasy was emerged at the gun point. The stretching arms of the excavator was drawing closer and closer.
“I took the photographs under the cruel eye outworn”. Much harm has happened to the delicate ecosystem of the hill slopes.
“Everything is over Sir; there is nothing else but the quarry. Our Kannamthali bushes have gone forever. Manasa burst out shedding her dreams perhaps forever.
We are being un paradised on each and every day. Never can we bring them back and make them bloom!
We have buried deep the floral dreams forever by denuding heavenly dense edenic moments from the hill slopes forever. The flower, the generation, the archetypes, the bees, the pollination, the fragrance of fresh rice…lost for ever.
The bulldozer munched everything.
When the west wind searches for the flowers on the hill slopes.
It collapsed into a sigh.
“Death is woven with the violets” -Virginia Woolf.