September 11, 2016

A Garden in Bombay



In a city like Bombay where one spends better part of life buying a house, it is sort of impossible to own a garden. So you make do with what you have. Builders don't even give a balcony, a verandah, a courtyard, a long corridor, so forget about a garden. But I wanted one. 

Let's say - 
Mera ghar khali tha, udaas tha, kuch kami thi...
Phir meri saheli ne mujhe money plant ki cuttings di...

The four strands of Money plant gifted by a good friend, brought greens to my house. Now they have grown meters and meters of vines, with cut offsprings growing into new plants. Three survived out of these and grew into massive multiple vines of money plant, climbing walls, dropping heights, surviving and fighting where no plant would survive. Imagine they grew big and bigger in just one small bowl of water - Took roots, multiplied, held mud, spread on walls. They took the direction I gave them. Took whatever manure or water or sunlight I gave them. I took bits and put them in water and they grew into babies and then parents themselves. 

The biggest survivors I have seen.  The delicate, pretty, high maintainence plants failed to grow on the ledge of an 11th floor. But hardy plants grow anywhere with anything, because they believe in adapting and growing despite all odds. They don't ask, they don't take, they seek and they give. 

This was just the beginning, after that any plant I introduced grew too. These money plants created an aura of happiness around my plants. They nourished the soil, cleared the air, created the soul of a garden where all plants flourished. The remaining seeds from fruits and vegetables in the kitchen, were thrown into spare pots and they took roots. All kinds of strange plants from water melons, to capsicums and even pumpkins grew. They don't meet my tummy needs but they meet my happy needs. 

They keep my home warm on cool evenings, cool on hot summers, humid in dry afternoons and dry in heavy rains. Only a fighter knows how the city is and these small joys are signs that you have built a home in the concrete and created a place for yourself in this strange tough city - only you understand the joy of owning a garden in Bombay. 

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