Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:31:40 PM
It was a bright sunny day when my mother asked me to come up to the terrace. Our terrace was completely bare at that time, without even a decent chair to flaunt. I groaned and went up to see my mother on the top of the stairs, who was looking very excited. ‘Are you ready?’ she asked me with almost childlike glee. I nodded. She opened the door and I followed her “outside”, not knowing what to expect. As soon as I reached up, I shielded my eyes from the sun’s glare. ‘See this?’ asked my mother as I looked at the pots dotting our terrace. ‘What are they for?’ I asked, eyeing them critically and gazing forlornly at the bright Indian sun. ‘A little piece of nature in this concrete jungle’ announced my mother indicating at the ever rising buildings all around us. ‘And you’ she said handing me a seed ‘will start the process’. Seeing that I had no choice, I carefully dug out a small space and put the seed in it. I had already started sweating, but worked relentlessly, not wishing to disappoint my mother. I finished my task and stared at the pot as my mother watered it. ‘From tomorrow on’ she said ‘you’ll look after it’.
So everyday from then on I watered my plant in the bright Indian sunshine. Nothing grew for several days and I became impatient. After several protests from my mother, I continued looking after it. Finally, one bright day, I saw a small sapling sprouting out. I felt the pride of a mother seeing her child succeed. And there, I learned my first lesson, the lesson of patience. I worked hard, sweating over it as I pulled out weeds. And my hard work bore fruit, literally. And then I saw beauty. The beauty of a small small bud sprouting out of an evergreen stalk struggling like a small child. The beauty of a bud unfurling its petals, blooming brightly at the sun and me. A small seed, so tiny in my palm had grown up to live on its own now. I learnt to love, even the bright Indian sun. And then came rains. In India, rains had always been a time of celebration. But this time, it was special, as I had my small plant with me. I learned of the joys of farmers, working thousands of days under this sun to bring food on my plate. I learnt about my heritage, I learnt about the joy of the first scent of moist earth. And I learnt all this from small part of nature, as loving a teacher as my mother.