Tree of Hope

Three months ago I brought home a small plant which I called the tree of hope. It was my first Tulasi plant and I hinged a lot of wishful thinking on the well-being of the plant. Sadly, a 3-day trip out of town saw the demise of my little plant, a happening that left an indelible mark on me.
Today I want to write about the warmth of plants and not the lack of it!
Last year I went to Mumbai on one hectic recruitment drive from SAP. The only Mumbayya I encountered on that day were in a haze of driving past, traffic signals and our over enthusiastic cab driver. I had seen the tourist spots of the city of dreams on an earlier visit but it was around this time that I got to experience a slice of sights and sounds of the normal Bombay. Happy kids on the sidewalks getting wet cheerily in the non-stop rain (It had been raining since 7 days and continued to rain for another 5 after.). Girls confidently walking on roads in mini-skirts. People going, going and going. Roads teeming with people except at the tech park where our office was situated. The building Harshad Mehta built from the hawala money. The huge piece of real estate which was converted from slums to tech park material by buying every slum dwelling for a crore each (trivia provided by the cab driver) . The proudly candid driver from UP, who told us his life story in the 4 trips that we made in his car. The Udupi hotel we landed at for lunch on the quest to eat authentic Mumbai food (the food was super delicious and the waiters were speaking to each other in tulu/konkani).
While one does not identify Mumbai with green spread, the most ecstatic sight was that of plants. Every window in every residential building whether decrepit or exquisite had a spot of green hanging on it. Pots in every size, shape and colour hung from or balanced precariously on the window grills/sills with life coming forth. Bright flowers peeping out from behind clothes flapping in the breeze. There is nothing more soothing to the soul than an eyeful of fresh greenery and this seems to be rooted in the very heart of mumbai. The Mumbaikars are the busiest people we can see and yet they take out enough time to bring a sprig to life. They probably see glaring ups and downs in their lives given the pace of life and still they dont deny a glass of water to the little shrub outside their window. The tree of hope lights up the very depths of one's mind and heart. Plants have a meditative quality to them and help in calming frayed nerves. A dash of green helps bring positivity in one's mind.
It must have been my anguish or my self depracation at not having tended to my precious plant, whatever the reason, my buddies P & P presented me with another slender sapling complete with pot and pot-mix on the occasion of Tulasi Habba. My hope is back on track!
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