I have heard many who claim to have many things growing in their garden but also have well manicured finger-nails. You may own a garden but might not be responsible for what grows in it because you have outsourced this task to a gardener. So you cannot claim to have grown anything and it does not make you a gardener. You can’t have those delicate nails and also be doing gardening. Gardening leaves its marks. On a hot sunny day you can turn a burnished red and your hands are always rough no matter what hand cream you use, including those that claim to work miracles. I take about two hours daily to weed, prune, rake and ensure that the roots of the plants are well looked after and the leaves are healthy. Every once in a while one also has to look for little pests that devour the leaves and cruelly kill them for the choice is between allowing the pest to thrive or your vegetables.
Author: Patricia Mukhim
Patricia Mukhim is an educationist, activist and journalist. She is currently the editor of The Shillong Times, Meghalaya’s oldest English language daily and a columnist for The Telegraph and The Statesman.
In 2008, I came across the word ‘bipolar’ again. It was in a letter my daughter Daniella had written to her psychiatrist, telling him how grateful she was for the one-day workshop he had conducted on the subject. She wanted me to publish her letter in The Shillong Times, a paper I edit, but I didn’t. I didn’t have the courage. It still sits in my inbox. For years I had criticized people for being in denial about drug addiction, alcoholism, HIV& AIDS, and now I found I was equally culpable.
But this realization came later.