I do not know if this is being politically right or wrong, nevertheless, living in home, locked down for almost two months, has been one of my most rewarding experiences. I spent literally 24/7 with my son as I used to when he was a little baby, in my arms. But this time it is better, as he communicates, responds, protests, accepts and participates. Also never spent so much time after the home, looking after it, cleaning it, deep cleaning it. Lastly but most obvious, never I dared to imagine, neither I ever wanted to be locked down with my husband for such a long time, that too we are passing with flying colours and rainbows. I assume all of these happening because, I am not pushing to be happy otherwise, with things as it used to be. I am very adaptive, and for days like now, it is a blessing. This lifestyle is giving me a different perspective of life, almost like being able to see life from an aerial point of view.
Now, coming back to my core story. My mother gave me a curry leaves plant few years back, which is one of my most precious possessions. Not because, or not only for, as it is a gift from Maa, but also for the lesson it taught me. It showed me the way to accept the bigger purpose of life, it instilled compassion in me. Somehow, I feel my long-awaited dream of becoming a sage, has finally got it’s “what an Idea sirjee” moment. I not only feel tender inside but, I feel calmer and quieter (perchance I have only a few to talk to now, the real test will happen after lockdown is over).
The plant caught fungus quite a few months back, and recently, started to infect other plants too. Me, too busy with my normal chores of life, watering, and plucking few dead leaves was all I did for that tiny balcony garden, I now can proudly call serenity-zone. I did try organic ways like spraying detergent, bicarbonate of soda and pepper but all in vain. Then, during this Dengue season, my Chaad Saudagar of a husband, turned entire house as Behula’r Bashor Ghar, putting nets to block mosquitoes and insects. After the new high rise, the net was the final pin on the coffin for my balcony garden. Apart from money plants, nothing can sustain that much of seclusion from nature. So as the story goes, about ten days back, I chopped off all the leaves, stems and kept the bare trunk making it look like a dead tree.
In fact, it was a dead tree, all the leaves were pale and covered in white fungus, the trunk was covered in fungus as if I have wrapped it up in cotton. It was sticky, it was feathery and nasty above all. First, I wanted to throw the entire tub with the plant to garbage bin, but I think I did have hope for it somewhere deep inside my heart. Subsequently, I restrained myself and limited only to chopping it all off, I cleaned the trunk with a toothbrush and detergent with force and disgust. I wiped, sprayed water and then without any prior thought, I took it to the roof.
Like any mother, leaving her child in hostel, I whispered to her (curry leaf plant), “my dear, think, I am leaving you in a hostel, or giving you up for a foster care, as a poor mother, who can’t ensure food for her child. I need to feed you nutritious food, that I am unable of. So, staying in the roof, with nature’s bounty and this beautiful rain, if there is anything good, that might come out, this can only be the hope”. I not to exaggerate (which often I am guilty of), did hope, her to forgive and understand me. I ensured to visit her daily and held on to my breathe. It did not make me wait long, only after 10 days; I see little green hints of expansions are seen. I hugged it, with joy and wonder. And I realized right then, there are things beyond our control, we must stop pushing where we can do no good, better trust on mother nature to take it forward from us. Perhaps only thing we can do is to, submit to nature, is to be humble and always be ready to start from zero. On this I remember, and now as a mother and a wife I understand it better, we (Ma, Baba, brother and me), have started our lives from zero for more than once. I have learnt my first lessons of resilience then, at a very tender age. Not until now, did I realise the true depth of starting from zero. Once you can dive into nothingless, and start from zero, you learn to accept adventures of life better. Nature has a room for everyone, she will accommodate us all, in her own way, absolutely not how we want it to be. We are weary as we are thinking of extreme individual existential crisis, but when it is a global phenomenon, we can only do the right thing, and let nature decide the rest. There will be a new world order, after this horror is over, and the currency will be empathy.
Signing off today, leaving you with a Rumi verse from The Essential Rumi Translated by Coleman Barks:
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”