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Developing bonsai is her passion

ALTHOUGH IT is often said that the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, even the hard-core critic will be forced to gape in awe at the splendid beauties nurtured by Shail Tandon.
None | By Padmini Singh, Allahabad
PUBLISHED ON JUL 28, 2006 12:21 AM IST

ALTHOUGH IT is often said that the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, even the hard-core critic will be forced to gape in awe at the splendid beauties nurtured by Shail Tandon.

The lady excels in nurturing bonsai, which are a treat to watch for the nature lovers. A visitor to the household is greeted by tranquil atmosphere, greenery and of course bonsai plants, of which she has managed to raise almost eighty.

And the biggest surprise is the rare collection of a particular variety grown on rocks. "It all started way back in 1984, when I was inspired by another person with the similar passion. I started with just three very ordinary plants and gradually gained experience in cultivating this art," she said.

It was not easy for her but where there is a will, there is a way. Books became her first tutor and then followed the methods of trial and error.

"Books can teach the basics only and they are based on the environment prevalent in foreign countries. Here, I had to bring some changes according to our very own climate and environment," she added.

Right from artistically developed banyan and 'pakad,' there are a number of fruit-bearing trees and flowering plants, which are an intrinsic part of her vast collection. However, the bonsai could not be made out of palm trees as they are sans any branches.

Those developed on rocks are the trees of pakad. Firstly, the plants were developed in pots. They were allowed to settle on rocks after they developed fibrous roots. Moss and manure nourished them further.

"First the cuttings are developed in pots and once they develop roots, the tap root is pruned, leaving the fibrous ones to develop. Transferring them in a flat pot and then nurturing them according to your own will provides immense inner satisfaction," says Shail.

Lining the staircase, in the veranda, on the terrace, in the garden and also forming a part of interior decoration, bonsai plants have taken to every nook and corner of the vast household and add to its beauty and magnificence.

"Although several years have passed, I am still thrilled to watch the unfurling of leaves. Raising bonsai teaches immense patience. And how exciting it is to follow the art which is said to have been developed in China in 200 BC," she added.

"With the advent of apartment culture, bonsai plants are the best option to surround oneself with greenery," feels Shail.

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