For others, it all started when I moved to Bangalore in July 2019. A huge balcony which, now-a-days, is impossible to find in matchbox sized apartments and pleasant climate of Bangalore was all that was needed to start exploring the long hidden gardener in me. But let me tell you one secret, it actually was my childhood wish to have a small garden of my own.
November 1996, when my family moved into their own house which was then a bungalow with backyard. Ample amount of space was left around the house which my father utilized to create our small garden. He had got many different varieties of saplings from a near-by nursery, those of fruits, flowers, vegetables, few ornamental, few for their spiritual beliefs. But he couldn't look after it due to his hectic work schedule. So my grandmother started looking after it. I was 3.5 years old kid at that time, who was amazed to have 24*7 private mini-garden (it felt like being a fairy tale princess running around those colourful bushes). I don't remember much, but by the time I was old enough to understand, few of these saplings didn't survive due to transportation or other environmental reasons. But many of them were now as old as me or even more. I was having organic fruits and vegetables everyday. Papaya, banana, mango, jack fruit, gooseberries, brinjals, lemons, guava, tomatoes, chilies, curry leaves, spinach, fenugreek (methi); to name a few. Some local vegetables were also grown (I know only their local names so didn't mention). By the time I was in my 10th grade, our coconut trees had become matured to bear fruits. In these years, my grandmother experimented with many other varieties of fruits and vegetables like strawberries, litchi, pineapple but only few were successful. Anyways, trying is what matters more than results. It felt very nice to see her put all her energy, love and care into those plants like they were her children. Everybody now says that I have inherited my love for gardening from her.
So coming back to the present, from then I was fond of plants. It took me very long to realize that this was my area of interest instead of wasting 4 important years into engineering. Yes, now I'm am among those who unwillingly are part of the universal rat race. Never mind, it's never too late to start anything. So, when I stepped into my present apartment's balcony, the first thought that clicked me was this is it, this is the place where I can create my space, where working will be pleasant and fun, where my mind will feel recharged and energetic and my soul will find happiness.
So, once I was settled with all other house stuff, I told my mother that next weekend I am bringing some new members in the house - plants. First sentence she said to me was "Tulas lav aadhi" (Plant Tulsi first). For obvious reasons, this was her first choice of plant. As obedient as I am, I got Tulsi sapling first - not as I share same belief as my mother but I would get to sip fresh Tulsi leaves for my morning tea. And yes, with this small sapling, I did Shree Ganesh of my balcony garden. And today I have more than 30 plants in my balcony. To know how my hobby is turning an empty balcony into a mini garden, please do subscribe and get notified about the next post.
PS : No old pictures for this post as those photographs are misplaced. For the balcony garden, I was too busy creating my garden that I didn't take pictures when I had started. But here are few glimpses of flowers blooming these days in my balcony. Hope you like it. Please do comment about your views on this.