Parijatak उर्फ Nyctanthes arbor-tristis

When we talk of Parijatak flowers, a delicate darling comes in front of your eyes. I am sure all of you have seen the Parijatak flowers, especially those who live in the Southern part of India. This flower is loved by many, there are poems which use Parijatak as the symbol of love, and the flower has a very light fragrance, low shelf life. Typically these flowers bloom when we are counting sheep or dreaming. When we wake up, the flowers will be found spread below the tree- the Marathi word for this is सड़ा.


This flower is white and has an orange stem, it is very delicate. When you see a delicate girl, you will say she is like Parijatak flower. You have to be very careful when you pick up these flowers. But one good part is you get hundreds of these flowers in a day. What do you do with these flowers? Parijatak flowers have a knack for telling us if the temperature is cold or warm. When the temperature starts dropping, you do not see flowers spread under the tree, but they remain on the tree to be plucked by you and me, they are waiting to serve you but become a bit lazy like me in the cold weather!!


Parijatak is a very simple tree, does not provide much shade, flowers are not exotic but are simple. In a similar vein, what use is there of this Parijatak? The tree does not bear fruit and  looks very ordinary. Does this tree represent the common man?


The common man is not an IT guy, nor is he a hotshot manager. He is not a brilliant surgeon; neither is he a smart engineer. The equivalent of these guys is Rose bushes, Mango trees and Kiwi fruit or Strawberry bushes. But in day to day life we also need Guavas and Bananas. So our good old Parijatak is a simpleton maybe a carpenter or a mason. He can also be a security guard or a cleaner.

What use is the Parijatak tree? It is a question very similar to asking what purpose the common man is? The common man is a Parijatak tree of the human race. The common man has limited talents like Parijatak. He will use his sincerity and ability to carry on his day to day work same as the Parijatak that keeps on giving mild fragrance for years together. For every expert engineer, you need many ordinary people to perform the task of daily drudgery.

Similarly, we have many Parijatak flowers as against the few Roses. A doctor will provide solace to many like a big mango tree provides the shade. But the Parijatak tree does the work of a nurse who provides us with small relief during our illness.

Will the world full of honchos be the world that will perform? No, you need a common man to carry out many small contributions required for the fulfilment of life’s needs. Can you have only exotic Heliconias in real life? Again no, you do need Parijatak to take you through your daily chores.


Friends, it is for us to see how we use the common man and his fragrance. My wife Jaya has a knack for doing this. She will get the best of the stuff cooked by the maid in the house by training and nurturing her. Jaya also knows what to do with hundreds of Parijatak flowers. She makes Malas using the flowers and keeps Parijatak flowers as a floating display in the large glass bowl full of water. The display lasts for maybe a day or two, and the common man flower has given us back the fragrance in its own way!!

There is a Marathi song by Manik Verma बहरला परिजात दारीफुले का पड़तिल शेजारी !! The song is philosophical. It says that when the Parijatak tree is in bloom in our home, why the neighbour gets the flowers!

I am ok if my neighbour gets the flower!!