A Strange Encounter


“The world is my garden” she said before I resumed my path. . . . . . . . . .

Stepping out of my home I usually head straight to my destination without sparing a thought for my surroundings. But now with no examinations and classes at hand, I have lots of free time .  Thus unlike my usual routine I decided to take a leisurely stroll around my neighborhood.

After travelling quite a distance, I chanced upon an old lady who I saw was watering plants. Fair enough! Nothing new! But this lady was watering the roadside plants. She carried on with her work for quite some time and I stopped to look at what she was doing.

She watered the plants, picked up wrappers of chips and chocolates and disposed them off at a nearby dustbin, cut off the dead leaves, pruned the grasses and her work went on and on. I was so amazed to see her working selflessly for these plants that I lost track of time.

She saw that I was looking at her and motioned me to come nearer. She was clear in making me understand that she was not educated enough to converse in English and was very glad when she saw I understood Bangla. Thus began quite a monologue which changed my perception towards life quite a bit.

According to her we are mostly alive and surviving the scorching heat due to these plants which grow on the roadside. However, they are abandoned in nature. Even though they give us so many useful resources, no one takes care of them. She thought it to be her duty to take care of these plants and thus every morning she watered the neighborhood plants. She explained that since this activity of hers takes a long time she never bothered to maintain a house garden of her own. Every time a plant dies she goes out to the market, buys saplings and replaces them.

She went on saying that there are many afforestation programs in the world, but how many people seriously take part in it; and what after planting the sapling? They abandon it and get on with their regular day to day activities never sparing a thought for the needs of those saplings they plant and took selfies with (Yes she used the term selphy). She brought in an example and pointed out  that if pets are cared for then why not plants- both are living, both have feelings and above all both need love to grow and survive. The lady told me she remembers the names of each and every plant there (scientific names) and sometimes lovingly gives the new saplings a nickname of her own.

Her biggest concern was the polluted roads during the rainy season which would harm the plants.

realized that I had been away from home longer than I intended to. I bid her goodbye and carried on my own way. “The world is my garden” she said before I resumed my path. Her selfless devotion to the roadside plants indeed left a deep impression on me. It has compelled me to question whether we have become insensitive to our natural surroundings. Are we truly missing a point here?

I have gone past the same road quite few times after I met this lady and on one or two occasions have spotted her busy managing her “garden”. Do let me know of what you feel about her work and if possible ponder for a while on my question that are we really becoming insensitive towards nature.

P.S I have no photographs here because the lady wanted to remain anonymous and I did not want to attach photos from the net in this post. 

32 Replies to “A Strange Encounter”

  1. I feel guilty on not minding what’s in your neighbourhood. But yeah, most of the time, things and people around us can easily give us surprises and life lessons. The lady reminded me of my old aunt (she was our neighbour before) as she regularly checked the plants that were planted in front of the five consecutive houses, that look likes she wanted to arrange the whole village. hehe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an environmental scientist and ecologist I am in love with this post! It’s trully a rare occurence to see people who are actually aware of what’s around them and them being concerned of what might happen if we don’t act.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think what she’s doing is amazing and it’s something that could change the world or at least the neighborhood that she’s in. It’s quite true, how we often forget to take care of our surroundings and she makes really good sense. I support her in every way!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, this is such an amazing story. “The world is her garden” – if only there were more people like her.
    In my home country it used to be every neighborhood duty to look after its road plants and pavements. Shame it doesn’t continue any more and everyone is totally careless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely story! You can see a lot of (good( things around you when you slow down a bit and look around. In this country where i live at them oment people are not really taking care of their surroundings – sometimes even in the staircase of our house there are leaflets and usen handketchiers on the floor – people just don’t care. I think it’s important to take cre of the enviroment. It’s great that there are people 9not so many I guess) who cares and do collect rubbish and water flowers that nobody else is willing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I admire all those people who work selflessly to preserve our nature for the future generations. I don’t understand why we have become so selfish and only bothers about our existence. I’m glad to know that you approached that woman and gave voice to her thoughts through your post! I believe that one small step can create a huge difference. This post can inspire millions to stop taking things for granted and love our surrounding!

    Liked by 1 person

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