Oct 12, 2009

Nancy, the horticulturist

A new home, a new garden - this was something Nancy had been looking forward to for many months now. Her parents had purchased a piece of land in the outskirts of the city and their home was nearing completion. Nancy has always been fascinated by plants. In their current rented apartment, she used to admire her mom, Cynthia tending to saplings in mud pots in their balcony. She always used to volunteer to pluck tiny roses from the pots just before Cynthia begins her prayers every evening. "She will major in botany and will become a horticulturist!!" - Cynthia proudly proclaimed to her apartment neighbours about her 5 year old daughter.

The day finally arrived when they shifted to the new home. As promised, Nancy's dad Albert ensured they had a nice patch of fresh grass ready in their lawn area before they moved in. Nancy was more excited about the lawn and the grass than their new home. While Albert and Cynthia were busy setting up their home and arranging things, Nancy was joyously jumping and playing on the lawn. When she felt exhausted, she laid flat on the fresh grass, admiring the clear blue sky and singing the kindergarden rhymes that she recently learnt in school.

A month passed by quickly and Albert's family had settled down. It was a Sunday morning and a fat man named Balraj was standing outside Nancy's home. Albert stepped out to speak to him while Nancy was holding her dad's hands and listening to the conversation intently.

"The grass needs trimming and you also need to sprinkle some urea once you have trimmed the grass. Ensure the weeds are also removed. There seems to be some thorns as well. Clean it up nicely. If I like your work, I can think about hiring you as my regular gardener", Albert gave the instructions.

That afternoon, Balraj completed his job perfectly and Albert was impressed, "You seemed to have done a good job. Come over last Sunday of every month and ensure the garden is maintained properly".

The lawn was no longer soft and green. There were brown patches after trimming. Nancy hated the sight of her garden now. "Daddy, I don't like this gardener man. He has cut all the grass and it doesn't look good", she expressed her opinion. "It will grow soon, dear. You have to trim the grass regularly or else the lawn will look bad". Her dad's explanations were not convincing enough.

Month after month, Balraj did his job dutifully but Nancy just hated the sight of him. She was no longer interested in spending her play time on the lawn. Cynthia noticed it and wanted to ensure her daughter's interests in plants doesn't dwindle. It was a sunny evening and the sun was about to set. Nancy was playing with her soft toys, sitting near the portigo. Cynthia sat beside her, "Nancy, I don't see you playing on the grass anymore. What happened? Don't you like the lawn?"

"The grass is not good, mom. I don't like the brown patches. Grass should always be green. Why does the gardener come every month and cut it?", Nancy asked. "This is how one should maintain a garden, dear. You should trim the ends of the grass regularly for it to grow well. Think about this. Doesn't mom take you to the haircut lady every 3 months to trim the ends of your hair? Now, see how it has grown so well! It's the same thing", Cynthia loves to answer the questions her daughter poses now and then. Nancy seemed to have got convinced and was no longer feeling bad about the lawn. Whenever Balraj visits her garden, she started to question him on each and every task he was doing. "Nancy, the horticulturist in the making", Cynthia thought while observing the conversations between Nancy and Balraj.

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