Tag: oneness with nature

Nature, Nurture, Plant Mommy

As I walk in

Plant mommy! Yeah, that’s me. Every morning the lure of these little greens drag me out of the bed. My plants need to be watered before the summer sun scorches them, so even if my bed pulls me back, my feet feel heavy as lead, I get up and pick up the water can. The moment I step out on the balcony and look at the greens, lethargy is forgotten, I feel rejuvenated.

Leaving the bed has been a challenge in the past few months, the second wave of the pandemic has been draining. Constantly struggling with lethargy and lack of inspiration, my plant babies have certainly helped with that. While COVID has struck us hard, nature has been bountiful. My plants look lush green, the colourful blooms of nine o’ clocks and periwinkle (or Nayantara in Bangla sounds more poetic) give me hope amidst all the negativity around. These plants don’t ask for much besides little water and sunlight, and fertilizers occasionally. They propagate easily making me feel like a proud mom who happily watches over her babies growing.

Also, I am lucky to have friends who are plant lovers and happily share their green bounties with me. Whenever I feel low, I visit my friend and neighbour Titas’s garden to pick up a few saplings and cuttings. Jade, periwinkles, different kinds of succulents, I have picked up so many plants from her garden. Sanjay, Sanchita and little Prapti always visit me with a plant – different varieties of money plants, crotons, oregano and what not.

I find the lure of the green irresistible. I have picked quite a few plants from the nursery next to my society as well. Each time I go there to pick up pots or moss sticks, the fellow easily sells a few plants to me. “Yeh dekhiye madam kitna sundar paudha hai. Aap ko theek rate laga denge,” he says with a smile. Unlike many nursery owners, he knows his plants well. This is an indoor plant, this needs sunlight to flower, water this one only once a week, his tips certainly help. Palms, ferns, snake plants, peace lilies, I have picked up many plants from him and most of them worked out well.

My green balcony

These days I am at my happiest when I see these plants grow, flowers bloom. The ample rain that showered over NCR owing to cyclone Tauktae certainly helped. I had just got a few plants from Titas’s garden then and the rain helped them thrive. And what more, my plants have started propagating well. I have started multiplying my ferns and snake plants and sharing these oxygen bombs or happiness bombs with my friends and neighbours.

A novel twist to the desi New Years

It’s New Year time, I mean time for desi New Year Celebrations. Be it Baisakhi in Punjab, Bihu in Assam, Noboborsho in Bengal or Vishu in Kerala, most regions in India usher in New Year mid-April, sometime between 13th to 15th April. These days are significant for each community marked with new purchases, feasting and cultural celebrations. People visit their places of worship, layout traditional feasts, visit each other, there are so many social dos.

This year, however, it was different. Locked in to tackle a novel virus we did not have much to celebrate for. With social distancing becoming the new norm, any kind of function or social visits were out of the question. Some of us did manage to dish out feasts at home with whatever ingredients one could manage. Picture of homecooked delicacies on social media and WhatsApp groups did bring me some cheer. We wished each other in our virtual world while the real world wore a deserted look. We prayed in the solace of our home wishing for our old world to be back soon.

Photo courtesy Abhishek Rana

Nature, on the other hand, had a different story to tell. There were celebrations all around. As I went to my balcony at night in my good noboborsho pyjamas, after a plateful of special Maggi for dinner, a glowing Venus greeted me in all her glory followed by her friends twinkling with joy in a clear night sky. The plants in my small balcony garden have never looked greener, blooming periwinkles are such delight to my eyes. Ganga water has become fit for drinking and Yamuna has never been this clean before. Dolphins have been seen on Mumbai beach, peacocks and deer are out in the road. The most polluted cities of India are filled with Oxygen. The story is the same world over. Nature is revelling as we humans are locked in!

My blooming garden

We vain humans. For all our successes, our march to progress, we forgot that we are but a small cog in the grand scheme of things. We forgot that we once worshipped and celebrated nature, and not destroyed her mindlessly. Indian New Years, that usually fall in the fag-end of spring, mark the beginning of harvest season, celebrates Mother nature before sowing new seeds. Nature has been an inherent part of our culture. Epitomized as Prakriti, a fertile woman or a mother, who conjoins with Purusha, the man, to create and nurture the world – the world that consists of all things living, not just humans. 

Spring Sky. Courtesy Riti Chakraborty

Other civilizations across the globe, have their own lore’s of nature, of man’s oneness with nature. Gods and Goddesses in both Hindu and Greek mythology symbolize many forces of nature. Noah’s ark that saved his family from the great Biblical flood also sheltered thousands of species of animals. In fact, God commanded him to do so.

But for us, the educated urbane lot, these are just mythological tales, mere lore that the novel virus has thrown back on our face, rather mercilessly. Yes, a rude jolt was what we needed, but it remains to be seen how long we stay awake!