I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Today, as I reached Cubbon Park thirty minutes early for my bi-weekly class, I decided to take a brisk walk around. But my plans were thwarted by none other than a gigantic tree. I am always fascinated by trees. I stopped short in awe at the size of the tree. And that was when I noticed the squirrels and the parrots playfully prancing around. I lost sense of time as I stood and watched them in silence, taking care not to scare them away. Not that they were bothered. They were used to the humans walking in the park. So I had an eyeful of these merry creatures, and clicked some pictures too. Then I noticed a man placing some nuts on the branch of the tree. And the birds and squirrels playfully shared their bounty.
There were some pigeons too, near the tree trunk. All I had to do was shoo them away from the ground, to get a beautiful picture as they flew away. (No, I didn’t do that!). Guess I have a halo around my head now. It only takes a small part of nature for that positivity! This happy sight still lingers in the mind as the day progresses.
As I walked homewards after my morning walk, I saw her by her scooter, getting ready to go somewhere. She lives two doors away from mine. I stopped by and said a hello. She was happy to see me and her hello was warm. ‘Come home’, she said. ‘Sure, I will’, I replied.
Such common words! Come home. Sure I will. But how many times do we really take that next step? Really visit a person?
This lady is an avid gardener, and I often see her lush-green terrace garden on Facebook. Yes, you read that right. On Facebook. I did try to peep from my terrace, but could see nothing. And whenever I bumped into her in the neighborhood, I told her that I would come someday to see her terrace garden. And I continued to use the ‘like’ button to all the rich harvest of vegetables and herbs she grows. On Facebook. It had been a few years.
So this day, she invited me for lunch. It was Varamahalakshmi, so she said we could have lunch after the pooja. And then I thought, ‘enough of the like button on Facebook. Let’s get real!’ And I said yes. When she realized I was alone at home on that day, she made it a point to call me and ensure that I didn’t shy away.
The food was yummy, of course. But more than that, I discovered a very inspiring woman who has so much to teach me. And she lives right by my side! Had I missed lunch, I would have missed more than just a meal.
It is nice to meet people in the real world, especially those who are close by. And we miss seeing them because we are busy living in the virtual world.
PS: That’s a pic of the green haven on her terrace 🙂
Yesterday, my neighbor was showing me her kitchen garden, and gave me the tomato and the chillies, which triggered some memories.
I had never gushed over a tomato. Never over a chilli! The sight of vegetables neatly piled up in the most creative way at the market, or either in heaps, to show the bountiful crop – all these failed to move me. They were just vegetables. Until now, that is. This is the effect that these silent green lives have over you. These were unplanned babies that sprouted out of the garbage heap. And the motherly heart said ‘no’ to uprooting them. So they were moved into pots with due honour. And before long, I found myself rejoicing the growth of every new leaf. When they flowered, it was such a lovely sight! And as the tiny little tomato and chilli made an appearance, I was eagerly looking up recipes for tomatoes and chillies.
The first tomato sat on the kitchen table. Somehow, I did not have the heart to cut it up. After all the recipes I had planned, I found that I was just looking at it – my first ‘crop’ of one tiny tomato. Too small for one meal. I admired the shiny skin and the healthy look. And it sat there until my son walked in, and popped it into his mouth, asking ‘mom, what’s for lunch?’ That was the end of my first ‘crop’.
This was a few years ago. Now for anyone laughing at my post – I suggest you grow your own veggies. I will be there to gush with you.