Daffodils

Every month brings with it the blooming of a new flower, and for us March signifies daffodils

Suneel Wattal
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 18 2018 11:37PM | Updated Date: Mar 18 2018 11:37PM
DaffodilsFile Photo

Speaking of Daffodils, my school memories take me back to the famous poem 'I wandered lonely as a Cloud', where the great poet Wordsworth has recreated the tranquility of his observation of a meadow full of daffodils during an April afternoon walk. Due to a relatively different climate, Kashmir witnesses the daffodils coming to life early in March. But the charm and grandeur of daffodils is retained from England to Kashmir alike. 

Over the ages, Daffodils have come to signify the onset of spring, as it happens to be the most common flower found around that time. In the local parlance, we call it "Yamberzoul", a highly popular name for ladies a half century back. The other name for the flower being Narcissus (or Nargis in Urdu) signifies beauty, rather unparalleled beauty. Come March and one can see the Yamberzoul flowers blooming in almost every garden, field or meadow. This reminds me of the white-petal-yellow-buttercup flowers in the front lawn of our Srinagar home, which my father maintained meticulously. There used to be a big patch of these flowers on the Bund outside General post Office, which has now gone into oblivion. We even had a wild growth in the Burn hall school lawns, our favourite lunch spot, which is now superimposed by the staff residences. I can still feel the fragrance of those Yamberzoul flowers from the days gone by. How I wish that aroma hit my olfactory nerves again and again. 

The flower has a special significance for Kashmiri households. While it adorns the walls and niches in our homes, it finds an extensive mention in literature. D.N.Nadim's, 'Bombur ta Yamberzoul (Bumblebee and the Narcissus)', the first opera to be published in Kashmiri, is a detailed account of a Bumblebee spending his life looking for the Yamberzoul flower. It is incidentally this opera which gave birth to the famous song - Bumbro Bumbro, establishing a Bollywood connection for our fragrant Yamberzoul.

Daffodils signify the end of winter and the start of a fresh season, a new year, or 'Sounth' as we say in Kashmiri. They symbolise freshness and start of a new cycle. I wish the daffodils this year bring a new beginning, which is peaceful and devoid of any unpleasant incidents. Like the fresh daffodils of this spring, let us strive to rebuild the lost glory of Kashmir afresh.