When I was in middle school, I had the most fun and passionate English Teachers who taught poetry and prose. One of those poems was this: Somebody’s Mother
Speaking of mothers, Mommy told me a lot of stories of her childhood. One of them was about the fruit trees in her father’s (Grandpa TVS) fields. She described the low hanging mangoes and how she would lie down under the shaded trees and eat them. She also described the giant grapefruits that were too sour for her to eat.
Because of her stories, although I grew up in the outskirts of the city (concrete jungle) with dwindling vegetation, I grew up with growing love for fields, villages, shaded and fruit bearing trees. I found the whole concept of lying beneath a low hanging mangoe tree very exotic.
As I grew up, over the last two decades, wherever I went, I left a trail of plants and trees. That is not to say I have a green thumb. Far from it. I am a plant killer. But, I kept trying my best. I learnt from the best and kept getting better. Given that frugual is part of my DNA, I never (over-)spent on plants. I borrowed a cutting or got a sapling from fellow plant lovers and planted fruit trees and roses. Plant lovers were more than happy to drop by and show me the ropes and in many cases, handle my SOS “Hey…..run over….plant is drying out, yellowing out, tilting over” calls. One of those friends was an elderly gentlemen named Al who helped me plant peaches, pears etc during my Fremont (CA) days. Al even helped Kumar put in a sprinler system and drip irrigation, so I didn’t have to water the plants every day during summer. During my CA days, when the fruit harvest came in during Spring and Summer, I shared the labor of love with friends and colleagues.
But, as my life course changed, I moved around, and many a times, I didn’t get to enjoy my labor of love. I didn’t get to see the plants that I set in the ground mature…and bear fruit.
Such is life…is it not?
That brings me to today’s story.
For the last few weeks, I have been plucking persimmons and distributing them. I didn’t plant the persimmon trees in the backyard. My friend Thane tells me that persimmon trees are like the Indian version of tulasi (holy basil)…considered very auspicious for a family. The Chinese family who lived in our place must have planted them in the ground with much love and nurtured them. But, before they could enjoy the labor of their love, they moved away.
Leaving me to pluck these persimmons and distribute them with much love.
These persimmons. Somebody’s fruit.
I bet Mommy is proud that she left her legacy of love for plants with me.
Leave a legacy. Plant something.
Also published on Medium.