In the shade of a gooseberry tree.
I did manage to spot one gooseberry tree (November 2009) and mind you, it was a very
huge one, with branches sprouting in all directions. One branch had been hijacked by children who perhaps imagined they were on a plane! Most of us, have at some point in time feasted on the bitter-sour tasting gooseberry (amla, nellikai). More often than not, we have stolen them from our neighbour's garden! And, that's what these children are doing, ignoring the repeated shouts from the farm owner(a retired class one officer from the dept of public instructions) who at a distance could be seen with a raised walking stick in his hand.
This tree, I learnt was more than 80-100 year's old and stands tall giving an imperial look. Standing under the cool shade of this huge tree is itself a great feel, for it benefits us greatly purifying the air all around as it does. I had experienced a similar feeling when we had a gooseberry tree at our home, sometime in 1981. It's amazing how one can still recall that feeling after all these years. As for me, if I am taken to a gooseberry tree and if I am asked to identify it with my eyes shut, I guess I will know the answer.
Back home in my village, these trees were found in abundance in every home but now their numbers have diminished and it is becoming tough to spot these trees.
( PS: the diminishing trend is not witnessed in any of the forest habitats. Last year, We saw a good number of gooseberry trees in the forests of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra). As of now, I have planted a gooseberry tree
in my garden around one and a half years back and it has grown just one and a half meters during this period. Moreover, its slim and appears weak.
Hang Me From a Gooseberry
An Englishman, a Welshman and a Hebrew
They were sentenced to be hanged down Texas way
And they each wre asked to choose a tree to swing from
And they started with the Welshman right away
So the Welshman chose a pear tree and was happy
The Englishman said "Any tree will do"
So they chose for him an apple tree to swing from
When suddenly these words came from the Jew
"Hang me please from my favourite tree"
And the judge said "What tree will it be?"
"It's the tree I love best, it's my dying request
Hang me please from a gooseberry tree"
Then the judge said "But surely you know
That a gooseberry tree's awfully low"
"Oh all right then" says Mose
"I will wait til it grows
The peepal tree, also has a similar cooling
effect. I remember during summer while flying kites or while resting under its shade, a gentle breeze would shake its leaves in a synchronous manner, giving off a mysterious "whoosh" sound and would then cool the sweat from the brow, leading us to lay down flat and exclaim "ah". The goodness of the Peepal tree shade can even be experienced in a hot and humid place like Chennai or any other place for that matter!
I am also partial to the Mysore Fig and Honge
(Pongamia Pinnata) trees.
Chandagal Village, Mysore district
Photo date: 29 Nov 2009
Girth (approx): 3 trunks - 2.5, 2.0, 1.5 meters respectively
Thanks / Regards
Hang Me From a Gooseberry Tree