Tulips in Pune

A very popular song of my childhood (Dekha Ek Khwab…) in the movie Silsila was shot against the backdrop of tulip fields.. Since then I have been wanting to see these flowers up close and luckily for me I did not have to go all the way to Holland for it, nor to the local florist…
I was privileged to see Tulips grown with extreme love and dedication, not to mention hard work by the mother son duo of Madhumati and Ashutosh Sathe. Not only did they generously allow us to view the flowers but gave us a detailed explanation about how they managed this feat (getting the flowers to bloom) in Pune weather, which is not their natural habitat. Mrs Sathe and Ashutosh have been growing Tulips since 2000 and the secret of their success is in the ‘forcing technique’ that they use to get the bulbs to germinate and grow.
According to Mrs Sathe, yellow, red and purple varieties bloom quite well in our climate. Once a flower blooms it stays fresh on the plant for eight days and then fades away. The flowers have a mild fragrance and ‘close’ every night and ‘open’ the next morning.
This year, they were happy to have a flower blooming on Valentines day itself and expect their flowers to continue to bloom till March end. Presently the tulips are the star attraction of their garden.
These flowers are indeed a sight for sore eyes.

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