HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Leafy art

Usmeet Kaur , Hindustan Times   March 30, 2013
First Published: 09:49 IST(30/3/2013) | Last Updated: 09:50 IST(30/3/2013)

Having mastered the ancient Japanese art of creating bonsais for the past 12 years, Major General (retired) Bewli is putting all his artistic tendencies to use ever since his retirement from the Indian Army two years ago.

The Major General is exhibiting a long list of his latest creations — 80 bonsais, 20 driftwood scriptures, about 125 cacti and 32 avian cartoons — at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16.

Barring the cartoons, we talk to him about his undying love for nature. “I am just a nature lover with a lot of patience. Bonsais is particular need a lot of love and time. You can’t have an overnight affair with these! Every morning, I see my plants even before bed tea,” says he, and about the longevity of these plants, adds, “Cacti stay with us for about 50 years, but bonsais stick around for a 100. They are my any-time buddies, to the point that I can decipher their mood every morning now.”

What the Maj Gen aspires to do in the future is give Chandigarh a beautiful theme-based park. “The Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens, California, US — which dates back to about a 100 years — has a beautiful layout of bonsais and cacti. I want to create something even better for City Beautiful in the next 10 years.”

“And if I do end up doing that, I will donate my plants to the garden eventually. These plants are a result of my love and care of 20 years; I can’t give them away to someone who doesn’t care,” adds he.

About being technically sound for bonsais, he says, “Mumbai is a place where bonsais are a big trend. I went there a while ago to assess my talent. I’m hopeful that the bonsai trend would hit Chandigarh soon.”

The exhibition is on till March 31

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