Writing And Gardens.

Marianna has this question at the end of her post “I love that English cottage-garden look. I wonder if that says anything about my writing? LOL!”

Yes, it does indeed Marianna. Very organized and colourful!

Mine is like parts of our local park/garden, which is really a mini jungle.

Some order in disorder!

Now to round off with some poetry.

The Man Born to Farming

The Grower of Trees, the gardener, the man born to farming,
whose hands reach into the ground and sprout
to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
His thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has he swallowed
That the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth
Like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
Descending in the dark?
~ Wendell Barry

Butterflies and Jasmine.

When I wrote my post on The Butterfly I did not mention why the butterflies come into our garden. My friend and regular commentator Sandeep reminded me to make amends with his comment: “A similar looking butterfly seems to have made our garden its home. It seems to be partial to the jasmine flower, for some reason.” I shall post photographs of Sandeep’s garden soon.

We too have a few jasmine bushes which have been allowed to grow as hedges along the fence that borders our compound. The butterflies must be coming for these.  The photograph above is a close up and here are two other photographs:

Both the photographs were taken early in the morning, from the veranda where we sit to have our tea, read the newspapers etc. The top photograph shows the plants covering the North West corner of our compound and the lower one shows the jasmine flowers that have fallen on the paved ground. We have paved the garden rather than have a lawn as we keep moving potted plants around. The gaps between the stone slabs had thick grass growing which we have mowed down for the monsoon. Fresh grass will now sprout and cover the gaps with thick green colour soon.

The jasmine flower is blessed with a heady scent. When the breeze is from the right direction, the veranda and part of the living room immediately behind it get the scent and it is unbelievably enticing.

The jasmine flower is used to make garlands and the garlands are worn by many Indian women in their hair as an aid to beauty and for the perfume.

In the good old days (ahem!) we had an institution called the mujhra to which men of refinement would go in the evenings for some entertainment – the Indian equivalent of a night club! They would inevitably be welcomed inside by the Madam, with a garland tied around their wrists from long strands of jasmine stringed together.
The men would lounge around on thick mattresses on the floor, spread around the periphery of a hall and the dancers would dance in the center. The men would keep smelling the jasmine tied around their wrists in the belief that it enhanced their perception! Here is a very popular mujra scene from a famous Hindi film. You can see some of the patrons with the jasmine flowers on their wrists.

Small Joys Of Life.

“Many people lose small joys, in hope for the big happiness.”
– Pearl S Buck.

My friend Sandeep is currently away from Pune at Canada and is about to leave for the Middle East on assignment. He has posted a blog about what has happened in his terrace garden in his blog with a photograph that captures the essence of the garden. Please do visit.

When I read that post, I could not help thinking about my own little patch of green where sparrows have nested and are quite friendly with us. I have left a comment to that effect in Sandeep’s blog and would rather not repeat it here.

The point is that, this post and my spontaneous comment brought to my attention that it is the small joys of life that seem to occupy me rather than any big earth shaking happinesses. A series of such small joys including a instant messaging chat with Sandeep, Sundar, sitting in the verandah and watching the birds and flowers, drinking a cup of hot tea while it is raining, enjoying a bit of golden oldies music on the satellite radio and the list is endless.

I am quite comfortable in such pursuits and do not particularly miss going out and ‘doing’ things. A couple of my friends however think that either I am bonkers or am reaching for a spiritual high! In either case, I am considered to be just an oddity among a whole lot of people of around my age, who seem to think that motion is joy.

I do not mind being thought of as such. I do however mind when someone takes it up on himself or herself to change things and try and persuade me to join in some escapade or the other. I have now a great excuse of my father living with me and so use that an excuse not to join in. I think that it is frivolous and not necessary to be forever in motion to enjoy life.

Perhaps it is just senility creeping in. What do you think?