Tribute to my mother
Month of August brings memories of my mother, especially remembering her birthday on 18 August. She was instrumental in planting the interest in my mind of appreciating the beauty of nature, especially flowers. She taught me that they are not just flowers, each one has a name. I love Canna, especially the bright red variety. I have been thinking, how I developed this interest.
I recall, when I was just five, my parents taking us to see the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta (today Kolkata). The picture planted in my mind is that of a magnificent white building (See title picture from Wikipedia), with its beautiful green grass lawn in front of it. This is the only picture in my mind of the visit, albeit with a slight difference. The plane grass lawn ended before the façade of the building with thick parallel row of red cannas in front of it. I was impressed with the beauty of the flower against this marble building and my mother told me that the beautiful flower was “Canna”. Whenever I see Canna, I am reminded of this visit, Canna and my mum.
My mother had green fingers and our small lawns in front of houses, wherever we were, was beautifully adorned with different flowers. Whenever we came home from our boarding school far away, she would take me to the garden and show her flowers and I loved it. Another favourite of her was candytuft, beautifully arranged in rows along with other plants. She was very proud of her huge dahlias, blooming in August September in Kotgarh (Shimla).
My interest in plants and botany grew and at one stage I was determined to study botany. In Palampur, where we were in school, my interest in botany was further fired by our science teacher. When I saw under the microscope plant life in water, alga and spirogyra, I wanted to explore it more and asked my mother if she could borrow a microscope from the hospital for a few days. She obliged me and I had a great time enjoying and exploring microscopic plants and other life under the microscope from the pond water.
I have always retained my interest in plant life and never miss an interesting plant. Grass family has fascinated me and I have shared different stages of rice plantation here. Bamboo trees are a great attraction for me. Wild flowers and intricate corollas of many flowers make me go bonkers. With photography as my hobby I snap them whenever intrigued.
When I see cannas or candytufts, I see my mother’s face there, which enhances my enjoyment. I dedicate this article to the memory of my Mum.