Trees are great examples of nature. Trees stand testimony to the fact that Nature is a great teacher. There are some people like my grandfather who nurture trees and create a beautiful bond with Nature.
My grandfather – my maternal grandfather had immense love for trees. His name was also very close to nature – Mr. Bhaskar Atmaram Gokhale.’Bhaskar’ is the name of the centre of our solar system – the Sun. Aajoba ( Grandfather in my mother tongue -Marathi ) had spent some of his childhood years in the scenic Konkan region- Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra, India. For education and work purposes, he settled in Mumbai.
With his hard work, foresight, textile education and experience, a lucrative job in a leading textile mill- he bought a plot of land in the suburbs of Mumbai. After some years, he constructed a bungalow on the plot.
After returning from work, Aajoba used to work to develop a garden around his home. He appointed a gardener. He learnt the nuances of gardening from the gardener, his observation as a child growing in rural India, books and magazines publishing about gardening. He was also experimental by nature.
In few years, as a fruit of his hard work and dedication, the gardener ‘s efforts, his family members ‘ support, God’s grace, my grandfather succeeded in developing a gorgeous, gregarious, green zone around his home. He brought along glimpses of Konkan to Mumbai! There were coconut trees, mango trees! He also had flowers like Rose, ten o’clock lily, kewda. He succeeded in cultivating Black Rose as well! Apart from the garden, the terrace was also home to plants of curry leaves, bay leaves, tulsi. There were some other trees in the backyard like berries.
Residents of the colony used to visit the garden for viewing it’s beauty and maintenance. He had also won a prize in the colony’s gardening contest.
He took care of the plants and trees – the way a parent would take care of his children.
As a child , I have many fond memories of my jovial Aajoba. One of them- he used to draw a coconut tree on a page of his note pad. He used to gift it to me along with a chocolate as a parting gift. I learnt drawing a coconut tree from him. He used to always show a coconut, either falling down or in the process of falling down!😃.
The coconut tree was something like this…