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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

A mother's green legacy

Parminder Kaur, Hindustan Times   December 01, 2012
First Published: 10:42 IST(1/12/2012) | Last Updated: 10:43 IST(1/12/2012)

All through my growing years, I had been intrigued by my mother's passion, rather obsession, with the vibrant and colourful tiny-tots that she lovingly nurtured in the front yard of our home. Her attachment with plants and tending them daily while braving exhaustion of a tiring household routine seemed quite irrational to me.

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Generally compassionate and generous by nature, any child who plucked a flower invited her wrath. In fact, what my brother and I despised most was our rotational duty of watering the plants.  I was personally not very fond of soiling my hands with the mud and messing up my clothes. I was content being a distant admirer of the colourful hues.

After marriage, I donned the avatar of a self-confessed interior decorator and many a times thought of introducing a dash of greenery to the concrete jungle of my house. But I was always discouraged by the paucity of time and, the lack of will. Being a working mother, I always had the guilt of not giving enough time to my son, then how could I have showered my love on a bunch of leaves or may be flowers. Raising a child and nurturing a plant is equally demanding.

However, my love-hate relationship with the 'potted greens' changed when a health crisis forced me to quit my job and rest at home. With newfound time at hand, I took a fancy for the green species, as my son was getting suffocated with the extra love and attention.

The green revolution was ushered in with a bright, spotted croton that I brought home after a lot of fuss about the planter rather than the plant itself. I zealously started nurturing the plant without realising that gardening is an art and science as well. For me, it was only about watering the plants and that I did with utmost dedication, three times a day.

In my enthusiasm, I failed to notice that my green pal was indeed getting paler and didn't seem to enjoy the hospitality. It started to wilt. I was heartbroken by its demise. Later, a chance discussion with my mother made me realise that my plant's death was not incidental but accidental. I was guilty of murder and the weapon used was water, yes the lifesaving water.

I had watered the plant to death. Excess of everything is bad. I learnt the finer nuances of gardening from my mother. Now, I am a doting parent to a bunch of green kids and ardently protect them from mischievous human children. There's a sense of déjà vu though as life seems to have come full circle with a mother's legacy being eventually inherited by her daughter.

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