Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sewali Flower - The night Jesmine

Durga Puja always reminds me of those sweet days when both me and my brother would get up early in the morning to collect "Sewali Phool". This is the time when those white flowers bloom at night and fall down in the morning. Every morning Deuta(father) made us to leave the bed by telling someone else who might have already finished picking up those white flowers away! Even if it's chilling cold, dense foggy curtain covering the earth, we used to get up to the call of the "Sewali Flower" every morning.

Now that years have passed, we have grown up. Occasional glimpses of those enthusiastic, funny days is just what we cherish now. Yet after years, I have realized, this "Sewali Phool" has played a vital role in shaping my life. Wondered how? It's not merely of those nostalgic moments that we cherish today. It has done a lot more then that, as a friend, and as a guide.

Let me explain it in detail. Actually my father's call to pick up "Sewali" early in the morning was just an indirect lesson to make us leave the bed early in the morning. We loved those white tiny flowers so much that for their sake we never hesitated to give up the warm lap of blanket in our cozy bed.

Once we are in the battlefield, (oops! under the big "Sewali Tree"), competition between me and my brother started as to who can collect more. We had to collect only the clean once only. So a kind of constructive competition started between us.

Often it happened that someone else had already picked up some of the flowers and so our collection is less. On such days either me or my brother would shake the tree so that the remaining flowers fall down, an the other started collection! This way, we became united during those golden hours of "Sewali Collection"(though rest of the day we were like the greatest enemies on the earth!).

Now I realize, actually "Sewali" has made us punctual, disciplined, artistic and kind towards others. We would come back home with our collection of the day, ad would give our mother. She would prepare some traditional curry with dried flowers. It is a bit bitter in taste, and of course we never liked it! But because we loved those flowers we had to it. It has ben established now that "nyctanthes" has high medicinal value, an it is nothing but my sweet "Sewali Phool". Amazing, our sweet "Sewali" on the back yard had been helping us so much, unknowingly! Thank you "Sewali".

"Sewali Phool" is used in Assamese cuisine. To learn how to cook this medicinal flower click here.

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