My parijatham plant is recalcitrant, dragging its feet to put out the blossoms of the year. The plant reminds me so much of my son who is entering his teens; the plant too appears to be in young adulthood with its own character and preferences. The plant did not want to be huddled with marudhani on one side and the golden oleander on the other side. I did not want to pamper it, but somehow it was getting sullen and refused healthy growth. It was given its share of attention through the year from me and from my gardener, still the plant felt left behind.
One morning I found a flower, from far it appeared like a jasmine, but the translucent red stem reflected the sun. I knew it was a parijatham flower. I wondered where it came from, I knew my plant was sulking there was no way that it would put out such a beautiful flower, I looked up and saw that the flower had fallen from my neighbour’s garden. I groaned at the uncanny repetition of an incident from my childhood, except that I do not have my grandmother’s patience and compassion.
The next Sunday I waited for my gardener, told him about the flowers from my neighbour’s garden and expressed concern that the winter would pass by and our dear plant may forget that it can blossom. My gardener belongs to the breed that illustrious people like my grandmother come from. He asked me not to worry and told that there is still enough time left for the plant to bear flowers.
I wanted to take no chances, I told my gardener so. With his help I moved the plant to the centre of the terrace, moved the aloe vera and asparagus to keep it company. I put a tall bamboo stick in the middle of the pot, bunched the slouching branches, and fastened it to the stick.
My plant immediately cheered up, the leaves perked up; it enjoyed the attention it was receiving. It stood tall and beautiful. Within a few days my plant showed tells tale signs of budding, the shoots had a fuzz of life. The plant is in no hurry, it is taking its own time like my son who seems to be following his own clock. Being a worrying mother I try to urge him to take the world on, anxious that a winter will pass by. Nevertheless, like my parijatham plant in all its glory my son too will blossom. It is just that I have a world to learn from my grandmother and my gardener.