Everyone tends to have a special affinity for one's family members, but with the passage of time, we also develop a fondness for the plants growing in our little garden. Even the birds, butterflies, honeybees and glowworms frequenting the place become cherished members of the clan.
To me, each and every plant growing in our garden appears to be an affable friend. In fact, I cannot value the favours done by them in providing our house an ornate look and making our lives meaningful. Taking care of all these green pals by weeding, manuring, watering and sometimes giving them a complete bath, is a source of immense joy. They too reciprocate by shining, smiling and swaying in the breeze.
At dawn when I go out to greet these green, ever-flourishing chums, sounds of good-morning seem to be coming from all directions. Jasmine, marigold and flox send their exquisite fragrance across while the chrysanthemums, pansy and calendula greet me with their broad smiles. The yellow rose bush with elegant flowers and half-opened buds seem to be asking us to be grateful for yet another nice morning. Then there are some other evergreen plants which do not bear flowers, but in a quiet way are playing no mean part in imparting our house a pleasant, refreshingly green ambience. I touch them one by one to show my gratitude. And they, being very sensitive, become bliss personified at this gesture!
There is one more distinguished member of this green brigade. It is Chandni (milkwood plant bearing pinwheel flowers). Some NGO members came to the school where 'bhabhiji' taught to give these plants to the teachers. As they already had a Chandni bush in their house, 'veerji' and 'bhabhiji' presented it to us. We planted it in a large pot and kept it on the rooftop. It took some time to adjust to the new milieu, but soon started thriving and turned into a flower-laden bush. My husband routinely watered it. Its jasmine-like flowers would shine like stars on a moonlit night. I often saw it playing host to butterflies, honeybees and a pair of humming birds.
It has been 13 years since it has been adorning our house and imparting to us some serious lessons in life.
About four years ago, the bush suddenly wilted; we tried to save it in many ways but failed. It gradually dried up. It was very saddening…! After some time we chopped off the dried stem, leaving the roots and a bit of stem intact, hoping that it might sprout again. It was a long wait, but then a miracle happened! One fine morning, the leftover stem had two green shoots sprouting on each side. With the passage of time, we had two Chandni plants instead of one and they turned into burgeoning bushes with sparkling flowers. I thanked the bush more than once for inspiring us with its indomitable spirit and not giving up in tough times! Even now when the wind strokes it, ruffling its leaves, it seems as if Chandni is singing: "Life is never alike/ Sometimes tranquil, at others tough/ Heart and faith if we don't lose, Nature too sees us through!"