Along the Vikhroli stretch of the Eastern Express highway in Mumbai, there are a number of Pink Trumpet trees. These gorgeous looking trees welcome you with its blooming flowers. They look stunning when in full bloom mainly between December and February, generally associated with dry periods. But the tree also blooms during few other months when dry leaves are shed and fresh flowers blossom.

A Pink Trumpet tree has very few leaves and its flowers are large in various hues of pink. These small to medium sized trees typically grow between 20-40 feet in height. Its botanical name is ‘Tabebuia Heterophylla’ and require low-maintenance and less water to sustain. 

Native to the South America, the Pink tree is known to have medicinal uses. For its impressive flowering display, the tree is often cultivated as an ornamental plant in urban landscapes and gardens. The local municipality of Mumbai has planted several of these stunning trees between Ghatkopar-Vikhroli road in the eastern suburbs.

When the flowers fall and envelopes the road, visually it creates a beautiful monochromatic color palette running along the roadway. Like many eyewitnesses, we too were attracted by the glory of the pink cherry blossom trees. So we stopped by to wish them ‘Good Morning’ and they happily decorated the garden of our soul. 

Its fragrance mesmerized our senses and we smiled admiring its freshness. Even though flowers are synonymous to happiness, they shouldn’t be plucked. They belong to the birds and the butterflies, whose species often visit the tree and compose music for our ears.

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope” said Lady Bird Johnson. Let us enjoy the radiance of the flowers in the dark moments, and capture energies of hope and in happiness. 

You can absorb a plenty of positive vibes by taking a free floral tour of these exotic flowers. Best viewed while walking or cycling. 

I wrote this poem for you:

Pink Tree
Pause and reflect, ‘Me’ – a misguided soul.
We came from the soil, and there we have to go.
If truth makes me feel blue, look-up with pride at the Pink Tree.

From Sydney to Airoli:

When we rode to Airoli Circle, Sydney and Narayanan were our lead guides. We were new guests to these already existing place. Being experienced cyclists, they matched our level of riding and understanding of the route. Or else, on our own we would have reached another city… perhaps Sydney! 

Marcus is a honest man, but here he is caught lying.

On our return journey, we were introduced to the Pink Trumpet trees, that worked like a balm to us in these times of pain and distress caused by the pandemic. Thankfully, trees don’t have to adhere to any social distancing norms of maintaining 2-metre distance. We took full advantage of this opportunity by clicking photographs around the Pink tree. 

Marcus Schultz recorded this video using his go pro camera. He is a Russian working in Mumbai and rides with the West Coast Cycling group.

And I wrote one more poem:

Oh! tired legs, rest under my shade.
With the sunshine, I am standing.

Risk Management:

The road conditions were unfamiliar at-least to me as I was riding for the first time towards Airoli. In my previous visits, I have either used train services or a public transport to reach that part of the city.

As expected, I was sharing the road with motorized vehicles and experienced several bad patches in the early dawn –

pot holes 
paver blocks
unpaved stretches
uneven humps
rumble strips
dark patches with no street lighting
and intangible fear.

Any safety gear is incomplete without luck by your side.

Emergency mechanic service on-call, seems to be unlawfully painted on the route. The service might be of help to people, we never know.

So practically, every rider has to navigate through such an overwhelming variety of risks and manage their own safety. The authorities have been consistent in providing such experiences to its citizens on almost all parts of the city. They deserve nothing but an Oscar.

A decade ago, when I was doing my Masters in Business Management, the curriculum did not include a vital topic of ‘Risk Management’. I am learning the nuances of this subject through cycling. Maybe, I should raise my grievances with the college and ask for a certain percentage to be refunded from my course fee.

Meanwhile, the road conditions remain as is and ‘I am the guardian of my life’.

Inspired by the Pink Trumpet trees, this poem is also written for you:

I am brave,
I fight droughts,
I battle floods,
I sustain winds,
I fear axe.

Strava stats:

30-cyclists rode for an average 50 kms each. Cumulatively, crossing 1500+ kms in this ride, burning nearly 30,000 calories and must have saved a good amount of carbon emission. More importantly, tons of joy and happiness reaped.

Paint your eyes Pink:

Pink is known to be a relaxing color and linked to love, kindness and calmness. Beyond this, there is not much that I can explain you more about the Pink Trumpet trees. As long as there is pink in the world, it will always be a better place. Experience it to believe it.

And one last poem as we end this blog…

Little do I know, what all I own.
All that I own, is free for you.

Photo credits: Members of the West Coast Cycling group.

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Author: Vijay Malhotra Mumbai

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