Sowing seeds of opportunity

Sowing seeds of opportunity


Sowing seeds of opportunity

The evening traffic was hectic, there was barely any space to pedal. Office-goers in their cars and two- wheelers, buses packed with people. The air was still — with dust and smoke, damp with vehicular noise. The stretch was bound to be so until the city limits were crossed, or the clock had to advance in its hours for the traffic to quieten. I kept dragging forward with moments of sprint. The city of Bangalore was settling down that evening.

Occasionally, I came across gigantic flower-bearing trees spreading its arms with freedom, looking above at the setting sun which had a mercury splendour of clouds hugging it over the distant horizon. I wanted the sun to stay for a bit longer but the dusk seemed to hurry. It was a quarter to seven and I was beginning to yearn for solitude, and a cleaner, greener environment. Just then, a paper-light pink flower dropped on my fist that clenched the bicycle arm. I looked up and it was a big tree in full bloom, its flowers strewn all over the crowded road, my tires riding over the fallen ones.

Bangalore, our historic city, which still holds the fame for being the ‘garden city of India’ used to have moderate weather throughout the year, given its elevation and the huge number of public parks celebrating its vigour of nature. However, in the recent years, there has been major urban expansion — mighty trees being felled and half-cut trunks bleeding gum, awaiting uprootment. The roots are tilled away by mighty cranes that clear them off the earth until the last speck is gone, flattening way for big ‘restricted access’ buildings and concrete roads that take away the ‘available to all’ greenery, forever. Recently, I read an article in a newspaper that stated that this year’s summer was the hottest the city has seen in years.

My eyes sighted the seeds pressed on to the tar and then drifted to many other fallen seeds on the concrete pavements nearby. It seemed to me that the seeds were looking for an opportunity to grow, but that had completely chanced out, masked by concrete, disconnected from the earth below. The seeds’ every opportunity was denied.

Since that day, I have started picking up seeds that I come across on concrete spaces. I collect them until they fill up my bag or pocket, from my walks and runs. I dry them for a day or two in sunlight so that they become strong enough for germination and then spread them on soil wherever I can find ground. It is important to consider its future too. I will  succeed if at least one in a 100 make it towards the sky. And the effort will not be wasted; some seeds will lie buried in the soil for years and spring up at the breath of the first favouring season!

If only we could come together, make a small ‘clearing‘ dedicated to germination in our apartments, homes or office spaces. And in these spaces, people can plant seeds in strips of mud after categorising (such as a Gulmohar or Tamarind, etc), and nurse them until the plants are born.

By doing this, we can drastically contribute to the creation of more trees. And then, in their free time, folks could carry such plants wherever they go, leave them in places where ‘shoots’ could grow, and create such a fantastic change, a reversal to the brutality brought forth by our so-called civilisation on our planet.

I hope you are able to grasp the potential of this thought and think of the millions of opportunities we could create together, with the seeds that we see.