Delhiwale: How green is her balcony
In the centre of residential towers, Payal Singh, a textile designer has turned her balcony into a green island.delhi Updated: Aug 03, 2017 17:04 IST
Aa jao, aa jao....
She is calling out to pigeons. Rice grains have been scattered along the narrow ledge, but no bird appears. Could it be because it is raining so hard?
It is early morning and we are on Payal Singh’s balcony in Vasundhara Valley Apartments. This complex of buildings is located in the outlying parts of Delhi, beyond even Vaishali, the last Metro stop on the Blue Line. The tiny fifth-floor balcony looks out on dozens of similarly tiny balconies on the facing residential towers. There are no trees. The birds usually sit on window air conditioners, says Ms Singh. A textile designer, she has made this balcony her private island. Here, she stands alone with her cup of morning chai, cherishing moments of solitude, before her husband and daughter wake up to claim her.
Ms Singh’s balcony is like a little forest. It even has a neem tree. She planted the neem sapling in a flower pot two years ago and it is now touching the roof. Two moneyplants add to the balcony crowd, along with basil, mint and Christmas trees.
The balcony is screened with a metallic net — “because otherwise birds come inside the balcony and make it dirty.”
A green vine has crawled up on one side of the net. “This is giloli... Its leaves are good for dengue patients... Last year, I also planted papaya leaves… That too helps if, God forbid, you end up with dengue.”
Suddenly a pigeon lands on the sill, helps itself to the rice grains and goes away. “Every morning birds appear as soon as I step out into the balcony... I wonder if it’s always the same set of birds. If, by chance, my husband or daughter appear, they immediately fly away... but they never mind my presence. Maybe they think I’m their friend. This thought makes me feel nice.”