A Journey To My Garden

I was inspired to write this post after reading Andrea’s thoughts at Harvesting Hecate on celebrating the harvesting season. This is my post in celebration.

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It’s almost October. I sit and try to look at the past. At first, I don’t see anything of relevance, but then I stare harder and see good memories taking shape in the invisible before me.

A year has moved in this house, but I miss the old place. I miss the vicinity which had multiple parks in it. The parks always invited me with their cheerful flowers. I had adored their companionship and their beautiful space.

The new home is good, however, concrete blocks surrounds the place. I like whites but I miss the greens of the nature.

“Charity begins from home,” they say. So I thought, why cry about something that I can’t do anything about; why not focus on something that I can do, instead. And so, a thought of a terrace garden germinated in my mind. But there was only one problem — I’m no gardner, I told myself. Having zero knowledge about gardening, I dropped the idea and didn’t even bring a single plant home.

In March of this year, my mom visited us. She surprised me with a pot of fully grown aloe vera plant. I was both happy and angry. Angry, because she had travelled a long way and all I wanted from her was to travel light. Happy, as my subconscious mind had intelligently played and surprised me with this gift. So, I accepted it with great happiness.

Every action has a reaction. I had completely failed to see the consequence that I had invited by adopting that one plant.

Misery loves company,” they say but I’m sure that my one plant was seeking for more green beings for itself.

It all starts from one tiny step, and so it started from one small plant. I went to the nursery and got some sturdy plants. Since it was March – April and we were proceeding towards hot Indian summers I needed some strong plants for my so-called garden.

I bought a reddish orange hibiscus and some green croton. I was happy. They were growing nicely.

my croton plant

When you have taken one successful step you need to stand firm and not run, but I did just that. My enthusiasm had captivated me and I bought two — one red and one white rose plants. It was a good purchase as they were in full bloom.

Disaster struck! And it didn’t happen gradually. One day I woke up to a horrifying scene. If plants could suffer from yellow fever then they were already in its tight grip. In two days, yellows too, had disappeared and given themselves to a bare brownish bush.

I’m not a gardner, but I wanted to save my new buddies. My desperate attempts made me seek help from the wise master Google. I also visited the temples of Youtube multiple times. I was losing time. Then a decision was made.

With nervous breath and a racing heart, I took a pair of scissors and did some light pruning on my friends. Just like a quack doctor I had complete faith in the survival of my patients but couldn’t guarantee the success of this surgery. Nevertheless, I was proud of myself. I had an exhilarated feeling, as if, I had extended myself to help a human being come back to life. I wanted to share this proud moment with my mom and so I called her. To my horror she revealed that I had committed a crime by pruning the roses in the months of April — the peak summer time. You see, it wasn’t a complete revelation to me because I knew that already, but I just wanted some consolation that I had taken the right step. Anyways, after the call had ended a thought stuck to my mind that whatever I had done was for the good of my plants, and I was surrounded by an illusionary belief that my plants would come back to life.

Days passed. Months passed.

My heart started sinking. “What had I done,” I thought. But the hope was still dwelling in my heart — I had not given up, yet.

Every morning at 6, I got up to water the plants. My eyes longingly scanned them for a different reality in them. Nothing happened.

My hope was now cracked.

And then, a change took place. The branches had taken a pale green colour. YES! Yes! I shouted with joy in my heart. But this time I didn’t want to share the news with anyone.

Some creepy idea crept into my mind and I started talking to them. Holding their feeble branches with my fingertips, I could recreate any scene from any movie where the doctor had advised to talk to a patient in coma for their (quick) recovery. I talked to them. I prayed to God.

Then, it was magic — when I saw, two- three green leaves had opened themselves to this world. My heart was filled with the warmth of an early morning sun and my eyes had become watery.

I Thanked God! A miracle had happened.

This time I was ready to call… my mom. It was joy. It was a victory for me. It was that moment to say… see, I was right and you, wrong, but I saved my breath from all that and when she said, “Hello!”

I said, “Mom my plants are alive. The rose plants have come back to life.”

white button rose

Months have passed since then. I look at my small garden of a countable number of pots. As one plant blooms and fades away another plant pops out its blossoms as if they are passing the baton to each other.

Looking at what I’ve achieved I’ve now become a bit daring. I’ve now started planting some herbs and veggies.

My first chilly plant, though, died suddenly like a plant heart attack of some kind. One day it was glowing green in health and the other day it had turned stiffly brown. Creepy! There was nothing to worry as I had saved some chilles from the plant. I sprinkled all the seeds. And then, it was magic, again. The chilly plant has reincarnated itself from the depth of the soil.

Baby chilly plant, veiled for protection against birds and (specially) pigeons

Now when I look at my garden, I surely feel that I’m no longer a beginner. I’ve connected well with my plants and that is all that matters.

Enjoy some pics on the way out of my garden. Thanks for visiting!

 

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Book Review: A Dash of Flash by Millie Thom

A long vacation was due for me so I had packed my bags but I couldn’t think of not reading anything. So, I chose a book that I had been wanting to read for a long time and it was — A Dash of Flash.

Here’s my copy (Kindle version)

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It truly was a collection of flash fictions. The bonus for me were the pictures that some stories had. The author had already stated the length of the stories in the “about the book” page. Some stories were as short as 100 words and some were as long as 1000 words. The length really didn’t matter to me as I enjoyed reading all of them. Inspite of being on my vacation, once I had picked up the book for reading, I was amazed that I could not keep it until I was close to finishing it. I had intentionally kept some to read on the plane. Each story was different in its own sense and style. I think, I could re-read it again.

I also loved the cover of the book. The typewriter and a stroke of lightning looks very appealing to the eyes.

So, if you are a fan of short stories or flash fictions I would suggest that you give a read to this book and I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed.

Time to go…

The boxes are packed and I’m ready to go.

The truck is loaded and the wheels are rolling. The house in which I had stayed for the last five years is slowly becoming distant. But distant, it will only be to my physical eyes, for it is locked in my mind’s eye forever. Although, I’m happy that a new house is waiting for me but also sad as the old is sailing away.

Just like my guardian, the old house had protected me and given me plenty of cherished memories. Right from the beginning, I knew, I shouldn’t get fond of her but I couldn’t stop myself from falling into her arms. The window of the dining room opened like a screen that showed me a motion picture of people and life – I never got bored. The sitting room that was flooded with sunlight opened to a balcony giving a perfect view to a well kept garden. A place where children played and various kinds of birds sat on tree tops feasting on their flowers.

Now it’s time for all this to end. Perhaps, ending is just only a new beginning – and that’s life, I guess.

As I leave my old house behind, I can only be positive and feel excited about the new house.

Once again I’ll be filling the vacant space of a house with different colours of emotions and chunks and pieces of material.

Taking a student’s seat

Hello, dear friends. I know… been a while…been busy. I really missed saying hellos, posting comments, and reading.

My smooth blogging life was shaken and stirred when I started taking driving lessons.

People say, “There is no right age for learning”. I believe and agree with that saying. But driving scares me. Driving in anger and not in a sane mind is what I had always thought of. So, how was I to learn driving?

As I’m no longer a teenager, I was not very sure if I was scared (of the obvious reason – accidents) or disliked the idea of taking control (as I feared for my life and the living around me). Inspite of my medium sized horrors my courage had reasoned out with my fear.

It also turned out that my fear and resistance had given rise to a new kind of excitement. I was excited not to sit behind the wheels but to sit on a student’s seat.

I knew what kind of student I would be. The only thing I was unsure of, was – what kind of teacher or driving instructor will I get. I was a bit nervous and scared as I had heard some miserable experiences of other learners and how the instructors could be mean to learners.

Finally, the day came, when I was to meet my driving instructor. I was excited. We exchanged smiles. Behind my hesitant smile I was trying to ascertain how good or bad teacher will she be. Although, not sure if she was doing the same with me – judging me as a quick or a slow learner.

We started with the lessons.

Day 1 – was important to me, and the little body on four wheels. I was having a hard time understanding its functions and handling it. I felt I was at war with my senses…checking the mirrors, controlling the steering wheels, gears, clutch, brake and accelerator. I pitted myself and my four-wheel companion as it made noise while I struggled with it.

My instructor didn’t need a master’s degree to understand that I was scared. She asked me to stop and relax. She allowed me to drive at the lowest speed to get a feel of the three musketeers – clutch, brake and accelerator.

Day 2 was much better. I still had to learn a lot but I felt relaxed.

As the days passed, I think, I got better with managing the three musketeers and other controls.

What really encouraged me was the support and positive attitude of my instructor or teacher towards me. Never was she rude and always patient (a trademark of a good teacher). If I missed something, she would say, “I’m going to constantly repeat the instruction till you get it right.” She kept repeating, until I was taking the right kind of U-turns or changing lanes or applying the brakes. When I would stop in the traffic, she would instruct me calmly. She would say, “Don’t worry. We are just learning. Don’t hasten otherwise you will commit mistake and it might take longer. Whatever you do…do it slowly and gently.” Gently I would get started and off we would go.

She had surpassed my checklist of a good teacher. Her excitement and keenness to teach had motivated me to leave my fears behind and learn freely. Her cool and calm attitude had pushed me to try better every time.

Our combination, of obedient student and dedicated teacher had worked well. Up to an extent I think we both have been successful in our process of teaching and learning.

I’m still learning as she thinks I need some more practice and confidence.

On the book “Shadow Of The Raven”

I had been busy the past few days…doing what you ask. Well, I was reading “Shadow Of The Raven” by Millie Thom. With a red dress and a hat in the gravatar of WP probably a lot of people would know her. For the others who do not know her, I can only say that she is a terrific blogger and has immense love for history. She has written two books and is writing the third one to the “Sons Of Kings” series.

I was very excited to read this book because firstly it was written by a fellow blogger and secondly only a few days back I had installed Kindle app to be able to read more books by other blogger friends.

I haven’t written any book reviews so please don’t consider it to be one. Whatever I’m writing is out of excitement to share with my fellow bloggers in the sole interest that I found this book absolutely interesting.

This is the first historical fiction novel that I had picked up for reading and I enjoyed every bit of it. Although new to the Anglo-Saxon and Danes era, this book helped me to see the bloody time that had existed in the past. With bits of historical facts and fiction the book is set up in the 9th century England.

Eadwulf is the main character of the story. Unaware of his future Eadwulf thinks “Being the son of a king could be so boring at times….” Only time will tell of an adventure that is not kingly in any way. Other than the royal blood pulsating in him, he also has a warrior spirit in him. He decides to take things under control when all, and at last… his love is taken away from him and given to another.

With a list of characters the story line is a tale of hate, mistrust, misery, slavery, torture, old customs and a whole lot of other things. The beginning was a bit slow (for me) but after sometime it really picked up momentum and when it did I had my claws in the book. The descriptive and refined language made it easy to see and feel through the book’s window. It was almost as if I was watching “game of thrones” (another version of course) but with little less of brutality.

In the end I would like to say that the book served its purpose… that is – it made me watch the story like an observer. Of course, I didn’t feel an axe falling on me when the sacrifices were done (if you want to know that). The ending left me hooked with some unanswered question…that’s why you have the second book, right. 😉 I’m certain that I’ll find the answers there.

Thanks to the kindle my first book is over and I’ll be heading for another one very soon until then keep working and sleeping. 🙂