No, my arms did not fall off, but the region below my chest decided to teach me a tough lesson for being stupid enough to walk into the wrong room at the gym. But, that too passed and I am back in action. Sort of.
The heat saga continues (today was the hottest day since 2012), and the clouds turn constipated when they enter our city limits. I am past panicking at this stage. The only thing that is taking a beating is my garden-of-sorts.
I say garden-of-sorts because I wonder if seven plants, a garden make. Why only seven plants? The story begins nine years ago, when we moved into this apartment.
Our apartment is on the ground floor and we have a large yard. I was excited about the yard because I had always dreamt of a house with a garden. So I started a garden. Hibiscus, jasmine, marigold, sunflowers, moonflower, Rangoon creeper, Holy basil, Ixora. Soon enough I realised that the ground was sterile thanks to a potent mix of cement into it, and I toiled hard to replace the top soil with fertile soil. I did not have a green thumb, to boot. My plants grew slowly, very slowly, but grow the did, and slowly started blooming. I posted pictures of every new leaf and bud in my old blog. This was mine.
My then four year old would play in the yard every evening. It was idyllic.
Until one day, I saw a snake in the yard. A harmless rat snake, but a snake nevertheless. This is not surprising because we live in wooded area that is home to many animals and reptiles. I have seen snakes outside our compound, but this was the first time I saw one inside. The kid was thankfully not in the yard at that time.
A couple of days later two snakes engaged in a combat dance in the yard, oblivious to the surrounding humans. That’s when I freaked out.
I had to choose between by child being able to play in the yard and me having a garden. The child took precedence. In one fell swoop, I axed down my garden. The hibiscus, jasmine, marigold, sunflowers, moonflower, Rangoon creeper, Holy basil, Ixora…
The snakes rerouted to outside our compound again, and the kid played in our yard every single day for the next nine years of her life.
Now with the kid old enough to probably run away if she saw a snake, the desire for plants returned. I planted a few (6-7) in a small patch on my yard. The ground continues to be potently sterile, and I continue to not have a green thumb. Add to it an unusually hot summer (because of that Chinese hoax called global warming), a previously failed monsoon, and my plants are growing at glacial rates, driving me nuts.
But here is an interesting fact.
Of the gazillion plants I axed nine years ago, one vine doggedly kept coming back to life no matter how often I thought I uprooted it. In my new garden, this is the one vine that had grown rapidly holding on to the jute string I gave it for support. This is the plant that has survived nine summers despite being ignored by the inmates. Despite being planted originally by a gardener without a green thumb.
This plant is called the Rangoon Creeper.
The plant is called Malathi in Tamil.
Malathi was my mother’s name. My mother died when I was 13.