Green with envy

Green with envy

All of us have our preferences. There are some things we favour or like better. There seems to be no logical explanation for this. So we take it in our stride—that’s the way it is and there is nothing we can do about is how we resign ourselves to this kind of partiality.

On my morning walks, I am drawn by the lovely flowers blooming in gardens. I stop to admire them and smile involuntarily. The sight of those flowers nodding in the gentle breeze or remaining still on a windless day lifts my spirits. After a long, lingering look at them, I force myself to move on, quelling the desire to stand and stare. My niece, who, once in a long while accompanies me, despairs of this habit. “If you must go into a trance, please don’t do it on the road,” she admonishes. But no scolding niece can dissuade me from feasting my eyes on such splendour or dim the pleasure it gives me.

Especially eye-catching are the gorgeous white, yellow and purple orchids proudly displaying their charms. These are far too exotic and totally beyond my range as far as growing them is concerned. I pay the homage due to their allure and walk away. My garden can only boast of modest geraniums, bougainvilla, amaryllis, Star of Bethlehem and a tuberose-like lily. By and large, the geraniums and bougainvilla bloom obligingly. So I have no complaint against them. My grouse is against those plants which exhibit a disturbing tendency to emulate the failings of humans. They too are given to bias and prejudice. I wasn’t aware that plants are prone to this unedifying practice. Here is the tale of woe that led to this dismal conclusion.

I have a row of amaryllis which gets plenty of sunshine. But it only produces pale miniatures where as those in my friend’s garden bear big bright bunches. And she doesn’t give them any special attention. By contrast, the Star of Bethlehem is more loyal, putting forth about a dozen blooms during the season. Elsewhere, the same plant blooms in profusion during the season apart from the odd blooms out of season.

But the unkindest cut of all was inflicted by the white, tuberose-like lily. My sister-in-law was enchanted by its pristine purity and mild fragrance. She asked me for a bulb, put it in a pot and let it fend for itself. It flourished, and in due course, rewarded her with a large, healthy sheaf. But mine languished, withered and died. I had nurtured it, lavishing care and attention on it. Yet it perished, leaving me desolate.

That’s when I felt like singing along with Dhanush, “Why this discrimination di...?”