My son hollered ‘Boridyem playmobilia’ which promptly got my husband’s attention.Translated from tree-latin it means – ‘I am dying of boredom and I am going to play on your mobile’. It’s our in-house language which we designed shortly after my husband suddenly developed a strange disease.
Whenever we went out, he developed this weird habit of looking around and muttering under his breath and no, he wasn’t looking at the birds.If you remember, we had narrowly escaped bankruptcy after I put my foot down in ‘Wife to a Birder‘.I tried to listen in ‘Caesalpinia pulcherima…Holoptelea integrifolia…Bombax malabaricum…Barringtonia acutangula…Ficus religiosa…Pongamia pinnata…”
This was serious.Finally my bird-brained husband was becoming hair-brained.Of course, that didn’t surprise me one bit.All that hankering behind Munias and Prinias was bound to take a toll.
He was still taking off to his early morning birding jaunts, but mornings soon stretched into afternoons. I would eye his uneaten breakfast balefully and attack it with gusto.Better not to waste tasty,wholesome,healthy grub ! Oh..okay..hold your horses,I will strike off the ‘tasty’.
Coming back to the topic at hand, when afternoons threatened to turn into evenings, I decided to take matters in hand.Finally he trudged in with the SACK. During his early days in birding, he would just carry along his camera or a pair of binocs..but lately, he had starting carting around this mammoth sack which he wouldn’t let go even for a minute.I grabbed an opportunity to sneak a glance inside,when my husband was busy ogling a pair of silver bills nesting in the verandah. Bird book…butterfly book..insect book..tree book…tree book..tree book..leaves..more leaves..sticky fruit…EEK ! what was that..dead butterflies ! I hurriedly stuffed them all in.
I decided to broach the subject without further ado. There’s no easy way to break this, is there ? Yoohoo ! Sorry old chap, I think you are finally turning into a fruit-cake and you ought to go see a shrink.He barely raised an eyebrow.He was still muttering and furiously checking his camera and one his books.’Dalbergia lanceolaria’, he shouted suddenly startling me out of my shrink reveries. That evening, I had a hurried and whispered consultation with a family doc..he had gone completely over the top after seeing this Dalbergia somebody (Gosh ! I didn’t even know if it was a man or a woman ?? I hoped for his sake it was a man). That night, I had a fitful sleep with my husband mumbling strange names in his sleep as well..”Terminalia …..Limonia acidissima….” He was going to terminate me with lime-acid ? and he was speaking in code.
And all of a sudden on a fine sunny day, on a leisurely drive, who should I meet ? Dalbergia ! Not Dalbergia lanceolaria but Dalbergia latifolia. My husband was giving a commentary..also known as the Indian rosewood..a large deciduous tree…
Finally the fog cleared and so it was,that our in-house tree-Latin came into existence destined to attract the attention of this special category of ‘tree-ers’.
And I never thought I would say this..but I missed BIRDS. The Brahminis aka. the Rukminis, the Wagtails and the Bee-eaters.Such cute twittering creatures who would eventually go their away and let sane people suffer birders better. But not trees, they were everywhere – more ‘everywhere’ than I ever thought birds would be. The only other ever-pervading, omni-present hobby these days can be based on garbage – The Garbagers ?
Sitting beside my husband while driving has become an extremely dangerous sport with my teeth rattling every 2-seconds as we jumped over a pothole while he loving admired the wayside Tabebuia argentea. Once when a friend invited us to a garden party, I had to endure eating endless Paneer-Tikkas by myself as I waited for my husband to join me for lunch,who was busy enjoying the gardeners company.
We were watching a murder thriller…as the murderer’s hand slowly emerges from behind a tree and in the pin drop silence ‘Cupressus torulosa’ booms and earns us a few well-earned glares.
On a particular family dinner, I turned to see my husband in deep conversation with his brother when suddenly they shouted in unison ‘Tabernaemontana alternifolia’ ! I assured some gaping onlookers that it was the new series of Hannah Montana.
Ah..heavens forbid..it was catching !