Anybody who would walk into my house couple of decades ago would first be welcomed by the plants. My mother always introduced to them as a part of our family and ensured that the plants knew whom they were being introduced to. She spoke to them, she nursed them when they were hurt in any manner and she made sure they got everything they required to be strong and healthy.
On so many occasions, after serving me and my brother food she would take a stroll down towards the plants and also walk up to the terrace to ensure her ‘Green Brigade’ were properly fed. After ensuring everything was as per her daily routine, she would sit and have her morsel. To be honest, at that time I would consider her act as a sheer waste of time and energy. Not that I hated plants, but I would find it difficult to understand why she was doing so much when they cannot even reciprocate. Until one day, her ‘Green Brigade’ made me see and realise, what I had failed to acknowledge.
During mother’s hospitalisation for more than a year and half due to brain hemorrhage, as an elder the responsibility of looking after my brother as well as the ‘Green Brigade’ came upon me. Everything went on as per my mother’s routine from watering them to adding the manure and changing the soil as and when required. Only thing I did not do was caressing them or talk to them from time to time. It really made no sense to me and hence, I did not want to waste my time doing that. Within a few months I noticed, despite taking gardeners care of them, the plants seemed to be less lively and few of them had stopped bearing flowers.
When my mother was home, she was still very weak and feeble and could not move around much. But to my sheer surprise, due to her mere presence and her voice, the plants were not just lively again, but were also laden with flowers. It was their way of rejoicing, her safe return from the hospital and reciprocating their love and concern towards her. That day I understood the true meaning of unconditional love. Something we humans genuinely lack, surrounded by our bloated egos.
How much I wish, we cared for each other by not expecting anything in return. How much I wish that people could be more human loving than pretending to be God fearing. If you really feared God, you would never hurt or speak ill about God’s own creation. You would never be unkind to anyone. Like the ‘Green Brigade’ everyone would be lively and bearing fruits of happiness and joy, which could be shared amongst each other. How much I wish, despite different caste, creed, colour, sex and religion we understood that we all breathe the same air and one day shall perish into the same soil. Only for a new ‘Green Brigade’ to originate…teaching lesser mortals like us valuable lessons of kindness in life.