Sunday, 5 October, 2008

Found this photograph during one of my google image hunts. Image googling is actually like a treasure hunt, you never know what gem you are going to stumble across.
Maple leaf or chinar ka patta as the Kashmiris call it is one popular leaf. Prior to my Canadian expereince, I had heard Kashmiris talking about chinar ka patta. I once had a Kashmiri friend who could go on and on about how the chinnar ka patta floats down from the tree and how it looks carelessly fallen on the ground. Likewise in my once upon a time Kashmiri boss's house virtually every art object was designed on the maple leaf. Then I read the book called The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir by Sudha Koul. Again the book had chinnar patta strewn all over it.
This particular photograph of maple leaf brings Kashmir to my mind very strongly-- the red signifying bleeding heart and body to my over imaginative mind.
When I lived in Canada I was pleasantly surprised to how a whole nation can be crazy about a leaf. Maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada and you see maple leaf in everything be candles, candies, car freshner, sweater motifs, art objects, photographs, tee shirts, caps, bags and all other imaginable commodities. Maple syrup is another popular thing there-- it is poured over crepes or pancakes for breakfast (yummy, highly recommended), maple flavoured yogurt which strongly resembles misti doi of the Bongs, (so whenever I was misti doi craving I used to make do with maple flavoured yogurt), maple flavoured chocolates etc etc and some more etc.
May the chinnar trees continue to grow and yield beautiful leaves which feed the imagination of the people the world over.

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