Champa flower

Champa flower

Champa flower

Often, taken by our numerous interests and duties, we forget that the simplest things in our life are those that give us the biggest joy… like Tagore tells us in this sweet and lovely story between a child and his mother.


Supposing I became a champa flower, just for fun, and
grew on a branch high up that tree, and shook in the wind with
laughter and danced upon the newly budded leaves, would you know
me, mother?

You would call, “Baby, where are you?” and I should laugh to
myself and keep quite quiet.

I should slyly open my petals and watch you at your work.

When after your bath, with wet hair spread on your shoulders, you
walked through the shadow of the champa tree to the
little court where you say your prayers, you would notice the
scent of the flower, but not know that it came from me.

When after the midday meal you sat at the window reading
Ramayana, and the tree’s shadow fell over your hair and
your lap, I should fling my wee little shadow on to the page of
your book, just where you were reading.

But would you guess that it was the tiny shadow of your little
child?

When in the evening you went to the cow-shed with the lighted
lamp in your hand, I should suddenly drop on to the earth again
and be your own baby once more, and beg you to tell me a story.

“Where have you been, you naughty child?”

“I won’t tell you, mother.” That’s what you and I would say
then.

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5 Comments

  1. I like it a lot, It looks similar to orchid, Is it?

  2. Yes, it is beautiful; the champa flower is the official symbol of Laos, where it grows everywhere.

  3. Jill

    Is this where Nag Champa incense comes from?
    Once I had a peculiar thought that one of the things I would like to experience after I die is to be the scent of a flower–a honeysuckle or lilac or rose.
    Ciao. Ho un poco di italiano ma non scrive molto e il suo inglese e meglio che il mio italiano. Non studiavo ancora tutti i tempi di verbi, i tempi congiuntivi(sp?) non affato. I verbi sono molto complessi in italiano–a me. Ma, poco a poco (al fine, se sono fortunata).
    Perhaps you live in an English-speaking country, now. Anyway, cheers on your spiritual journey.

  4. Graham Brown

    Beautiful website. I was at a plant nursery recently and they were selling a plant which the label said was a Champa flower, from the Himalayas, and is a type of Magnolia. I think it’s also called Champaka. Your photo is of a Plumeria flower. It’s called Frangipani, in the West (but also called Champa in some parts of the world – so I’m not saying you are wrong in any way). It’s related to the Oleander (no relation to orchids) and is originally from Central America. I have one in my garden. I have heard that they should not be used for puja, but I have no idea why this is. I have never seen them offered for puja in Australia or India, even though they are widely grown in both countries. One person told me it’s not that they are inauspicious but it’s because they drop easily to the ground from the tree and are therefore only for the Mother Earth. They smell wonderful though.

  5. Mridula

    Lovely poem.I am from the northern part of a small state called Kerala in India.Our community celebrates “Pooram” a festival for the God of Love Kama.The Champa flowers play the main role in this festival.Young unmarried girls gather the Champa flowers and offer them to the God along with jaggery and cocunut.

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