Remember Silsila? The iconic film of the '80s, the song 'Dekha Ek Khwaab,' the location and the expansive fields of tulips? I had my 'Silsila moment' last Friday while visiting the Camelia Duncan Orchid project at Shahbazpur.
Stretches of Dendrobiums in varied colours of red bull, Sakura pink, white and purple swaying in the breeze. In the midst of this riot of colours, my heart did leap and sing out aloud. No matter how out of tune it might be, I had my Bollywood moment!
Lush green carpet of grass with gerbera fields at one side, and a small pond surrounded by mango trees, hibiscus and allamanda bushes at the other. The orchid shades began right where the gerbera ended, both sides housed orchids in different gradients of purple, pink, lavender, white - so bright and sparkly that it instantaneously lifts your spirits.
I found it absolutely therapeutic! You can walk inside the orchid's aisles and pick your own flowers, which sells for only Tk 20 a stick; you can also handpick your plants and pot them under the mango tree sitting on the grass - the common dendrobiums sell for Tk 400 and the exotic Mokaras are a little costlier, Tk 600.
A cool glass of coconut water and the famous local bananas grown in Narsingdi take care of any dehydration or electrolyte issue you might feel in the farm because of the heat trapped inside the shades.
Not far from Dhaka, an early morning Friday drive to Shahbazpur, stopping at Ujan Bhati for a 'deshi' breakfast of parathas and vegetables with spicy omelettes, a visit to this beautiful garden surrounded by coconuts palms and trees will indeed put your mind at rest for the week's load to come.
Photo: Shahana Huda