At the end of a rainbow

Lucy found her diamond sky

“The man who planted”

on March 23, 2014

The other day my eyes fell on a small article about a gentleman having spent most of his retired life growing plants in his terrace gardens, so much so that he has set a record for number of plants grown. I along with my father found the news interesting enough to pay him a visit, and after much hunting on the internet found an address to go to. As we reached the area, my father was astounded to find a dingy locality, replete with low hanging cables, stray cows, generous puddles and the now rather universal smell of garbage. “Somehow, I hadn’t imagined a lush terrace garden in such a place” muttered my father, much to my amusement because I had been asking him to put our small backyard to better use. He had always been of the opinion that nothing less than a farm is will do if one has to grow some vegetables and fruits. I could see that he was probably imagined some spacious villa and fancy gardens instead of the crumbling dark staircase that was supposed to take us to his apartment. We reached the nondescript entrance and found a doorbell with some difficulty. After ringing twice and waiting for about 5 minutes, a lady finally opened the door. After stammering some introduction due to the awkwardness of the situation, we were nevertheless allowed inside the house which seemed was little more than two tiny rooms, stacked with old furniture and memories. She led us to the balcony, where a mango tree was growing happily from a sack full of soil. As we made our way to the terrace, I noticed each step containing some plant or the other growing in tiny broken cups, toothbrush holders, coconut shells and anything else which could hold a bit of soil. The terrace was blooming with flowers and lent a surreal ambience to the otherwise noisy and polluted air of Delhi. Most of the plants grew in sacks used for packing wheat and flour or discarded plastic vessels. It was truly difficult to imagine such a beautiful place tucked in the underbelly of a city that is forever hungry for “growth”.  We couldn’t meet the gentleman himself, but the lady described the effort he put into taking care of all those plants, a work he thoroughly enjoyed and encouraged youngsters to take up as a hobby.

They say generosity is not a luxury sport. I’d say the same holds true for environmentalism (whatever you mean by it) or any other ‘ism’ that apparently requires time, money and effort spent on something or someone besides one’s own life. The truth is that by expanding our life beyond survival instincts, we only stand to gain in spirit and happiness. As eloquently put by Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, “We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create.” An old man quietly planting hope, one seedling at a time is a beautiful reminder of the fact that creating value in life is a manifestation of intent rather than resources.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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One response to ““The man who planted”

  1. Satyaki says:

    Reblogged this on Travels Across Uchronic Lands and commented:
    Worth sharing… a nice counterpoint to my generally pessimistic worldview.

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