Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nehru the gardener was my inspiration

Sakal Times
Sunday,  June 27, 2010
Nehru the gardener was my inspiration
CAMIL PARKHE
Thursday, June 24, 2010 AT 12:00 AM (IST)
Tags: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Gardening
When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was jailed in Ahmednagar Fort during the Quit India movement, he utilised the prison term to pen his magnum opus ‘Discovery of India’ and to create a rose garden at the historic fort of Chand Bibi. Nehru had no idea as to how long the British rulers would keep him in that prison. But that did not deter him from growing a rose garden there - an act that has inspired me immensely in the past few years.
As a student in Goa, I had developed a garden on an open space near the staircase leading to our hostel. But at that time, I had not known about Nehru’s experiments in the garden.
After marriage, I moved from Deccan Gymkhana to Chinchwad. The large open area in front of our building beckoned me whenever I stood in balcony of our third floor flat. One July morning, I started cleaning the area near our housing society’s water tank. The place had vegetation tall enough to hide buffaloes which roamed there. Next week, I bought a pickaxe and other gardening equipments.
It was then that my wife asked me what I was upto. She could not imagine me cleaning up that dirty place and planning a garden there, especially when the land was not even ours. It was then that Pandit Nehru came to my rescue. “Nehru, a towering leader of his time, made a rose garden even in a prison. So what’s wrong if I develop a garden near our society’s building?” I asked her.
The Nehru example did the trick. Thereafter my wife has never objected to my gardening. Working in a garden which was not even ours was not easy. I was aware of several pairs of eyes watching me scornfully from nearby flats as I cleaned weeds, watered the plants and drove away buffaloes. It was the image of Nehru working in the prison that helped me to carry on. Soon, I developed a garden on that land with many flower plants and some tall trees.
Recently, we shifted to a new building nearby in the same colony. Here, too, the large open space near the building beckoned me. This time, there was no hesitation on my part. I have been developing a garden on this no man’s land, nurturing the saplings with my head held high - thanks to Pandit Nehru !
Posted by zaroka at 1:57 AM  
Labels: Chinchwad, Gardening Ahmednagar, Pandit Nehru

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