Flame Of The Forest

A delightful tale of love over time.

Weekend Stories by Trishikh

Deep in the jungles of Ajodhya Hill and Forest Reserve Area in the Purulia district of the state of West Bengal in India, blossomed the sacred Dhak tree or the Butea monosperma. Locally known as the Palash, it was nicknamed Bastard Teak by the Britishers. Much of its ancient forest tracts lying in the historic Doab area, between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna, was cleared by the East India Company for agriculture in the early eighteen hundreds. For its flaming-red beak-shaped Papilionaceous flower, the mystical tree was also called the Flame-Of-The-Forest.

Eighty-year-old Guruchoron Mahapatra along with his orphan teenage granddaughter ‘Palash’ named after the same beautiful tree, lived in a small wooden hut in the middle of a Dhak jungle on the outskirts of the sleepy little village of Baghmundi in the same forest regions of Purulia. Like the Butea tree, the girl’s beauty too was unparalleled, and for that…

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